Brown Davis was born in the Cherokee mission town of Park Hill, Oklahoma. Her father, Dr. John Frippo Brown, from Scotland (note that not all US Federal Census indicate that his birth place was in Scotland. Probably his father was born in Scotland and he in the Carolina area.) accompanied the Seminoles as a military surgeon during their expulsion from Florida. It was during this journey that he married Lucy Greybeard a Seminole from Osceola's clan.
In 1874 Alice married George Rollin Davis, a merchant from Kansas. They operated a post office, general store and the Bar X Bar ranch together until George's death. The couple had 11 children.
Alice served as a teacher in a Seminole mission school, an interpreter between Seminole tribesmen and the government, and in 1922, Davis was appointed principal chief of the Seminole tribe by President Warren G. Harding. She was not the first female tribal chief, but the first appointed to the Seminole tribe.