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 Biography of Sylvia Belle Davidson Hager

 

 

Sylvia Belle Davidson was born March 15,1907 in Clay County Kentucky in
Wildcat ,Kentucky.  She was born late in her parents life as they already

had children married and grandchildren when she was born her siblings are
as follows.  Wilson Davidson, Dulcenia Davidson, Sarah Liza Davidson, Nancy
Davidson, Bev Lucas Davidson, Ova Davidson, Farris Davidson, America (Meck)
Davidson and Buddy Davidson.  They were farmers hunters and trappers in the
Wilds of Daniel Boone country as the farm was a family farm they all worked
and raised their  crops and worshiped God on Sunday they were a very
religious family and their ancestors had settled the land nearly  two hundred
years before them so their Homes and family were a great source of pride for
them.   Her parents were already middle aged when she was born her father
was 48 years of age and her mother 46 years old.  Her father was Blevins
Davidson and her mother Ellen Romaine Potter Davidson Paternal grandparents
were Silas Davidson and Sarah (Sallie) Hays Davidson Maternal Grandparents
were Richard Potter and Nancy Stewart Potter When she was 13 years of age
she had inherited the wondering of what was over the horizons and what life
had in store for her these are in her words to me her granddaughter and
namesake Sylvia Acord Bragg.  At the age of 13 years she just could not keep
from day dreaming of what was over the next mountain it was if something was
calling to her another way of life .  Although she would never lived in
Wildcat Kentucky she visited ever summer as she loved her parents very deeply
and her brothers and sisters would remain close to her all their lives.

One day she had a disagreement with her mother it was over her shoes she
had not taken them off before she walked through the creek on the way to
church with her mother. So that was the day she started walking and did not
look back as she walked she was not afraid because she had spent lots of
time in the mountains and fields as it was always her job to take the
lunches and water to her father and brothers no matter how far from home
they were working and she spent lots of time with her dad as they had a coal
bank on the farm and they would talk for hours as he would rest and tell
family  stories of how his ancestors had traveled to the New Wilds called
Kentucky and the hardships they encountered as they traveled from the Black
Mountains of Virginia.  She did not remember how long it had taken her as
when she got hungry she would stop at a farm and ask to work for her food
and when she was tired and sleepy she would stop in a field or someone’s
barn and sleep.  When she stopped she was in Elk Creek at Emmett Logan
County West Virginia  She got a job working in the boarding house there and
the woman that owned it was good to her she and she was working there when
she met Watson Riley Hager this dashing man that she would fall in love with.
He was working in the coal mines there and had already been in World War 1.
They married August 5,1922 in Lincoln County West Virginia as that was where
his parents were and he was born and raised there.  They had 4 children Mary
(Betty),David, Myrtle and Blevins Hager.  Things went well for a few years

and the times were hard as they moved from one coal camp to another as the
struggle for the United Mine Workers and the fights between Union organizers
and the company thugs made so much unrest and hard times for the miners and
their families.  The men would only get a few days a week and the rent for
the company houses came before food for the children and with them working
so many hours and so little pay she took hearing their children crying for
food as long as she could one day she ask her mother-in-law that was now a
widow and living with them also if she would take care of the children while
she went in search of work.  She found a job cleaning in a tavern and ever
Saturday she would take her payday and  buy  groceries and clothing for her
family this worked fine for almost a year.  Then she came home one Saturday
with the groceries and grandpa had a girlfriend and again she grabbed her
oldest daughter Mary (Betty) by the hand and she didn’t look back for several
years they went to Welch McDowell County West Virginia from there to Pineville
Wyoming County West Virginia where she rented a building across from the
Court House and started her café she even managed to hire some people to
work for her she said when Court was in  business  was even better.  
Then there was a fire and several  businesses in Town burned and hers was
among them and all she had worked and saved was once again gone. 

She found out about a building in Oceana, Wyoming County ,West Virginia
that was for rent and there was a lawyers office downstairs also this was in 1942,
so she started out once again she managed to buy her building in 1944 ,and she met Kelly

Raymond Hurst s/o Dr. Posey Hurst and Dora Hendricks Hurst ,they would fall
in love and be married  he had as were his mother and his 2 sisters were
school teachers ,that was not what he wanted to do in life as his love was
automobiles and he had his own business as a mechanic and his garage was
just up the street from hers and all went well for several all the time she
would invest her money in buying rental property but it was not to last as
World War 11 was still going full force Then my grandfather Watson Riley Hager
got in touch with her to let her know he was going into the service once
more and his sister Becky Hager Brumfield had  their son Blevins Hager and
the other 2 children had been taken from him.  So my grandmother started the
task of gathering her children up as now she had a good home and could provide
for them.  Her happiness once again was not for long grandpa Kelly had became
an alcoholic   she filed for divorce.  Then as the years went by grandpa Kelly
went to Florida with Aunt Betty to work as she had married James Baxter and
now lived in St.Petersburg,Florida.  Then in 1963 The Logan General Hospital
called and grandpa Watson was very sick and was asking for her she brought

him home to Oceana when he was released from the hospital and that’s where
he remained each thought the other had divorced them and so they were still
married .They remained together until his death April 17,1979.  Also
grandpa Kelly had made his home with them as Grandmother had bought the Hurst
Home and they remained  best friends  he remained with her until her death
August 26,1982.

Submitted by; granddaughter Sylvia Acord Bragg

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