Friday, April 13, 2018

Mary Elizabeth Davis. “Betty”

My grandmother, who I knew as Betty, or Grandma Betty, was born Mary Elizabeth Davis on November 28, 1899, in Cumberland County, Virginia. 

Although born in the 19th century to a Presbyterian minister, she truly became a 20th-century woman.

Back row:  Suzanne Davis, Mama Blanton, Frances Davis, Margaret Davis, Miss Happy Blanton.
Front Row: John H. Davis, Jr. (Betty’s Father), John H. Davis III, Willam Davis, Susan Morton Davis (Betty’s mother) and Mary Elizabeth Davis (Betty).
Photographer unknown.

In this photo, taken around 1910, Betty is the young girl looking over the shoulder of the seated lady in the black dress, her mother.  Betty’s blurred image may be an indication of her active personality.  

All the people in the photograph are members of the Davis family, except for two:  Mama Blanton and Miss Happy Blanton.

These two ladies helped to care for Betty when her mother was busy with John and Will, Betty’s two younger brothers. (Eves, 2008)
They must have been very close to the family to be included in the photograph.

Married Life

On June 30th, 1925 Betty married George L. A. Davis. Although his last name was Davis they were not related.  (Last Will and Testament, Mary Elizabeth Davis Davis, 1959)

George and Betty Davis. Photographer unknown

Betty and George had two daughters, Mary and Georgene.  Both married and had children.

Work Life

Betty was a history teacher at Ocala High School, even after she had children.  During the Great Depression, her job gave the family a stable income. (Eves, interview, 2008) (Ocala High School, 1943)

Ocala High School, Ocala, Florida. Now Osceola Middle School.
(Photo credit: Ebyabe, 2008)

Used by permission from the author, Ebyabe.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5, Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 and Attribution ShareAlike 1.0 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one.

Betty lived much of her life in Ocala, Florida.  She was living near her daughter, Mary, in Gainesville, Florida when she died at the age of 89 on October 15, 1989. (State of Florida, 1989) She had a full life.


1. Davis Family Bible.  (Published 1890). Births page.  Entry possibly made by Susan Morton Davis. Photocopy.  Retrieved from records of Mary Elizabeth Davis.
2. Interview with Mary Elizabeth Davis Eves (daughter of Mary Elizabeth Davis).  Recorded December 25, 2008.
3. Last Will and Testament of Mary Elizabeth Davis Davis dated July 13, 1959.
4. Ocala High School. (1943) Ocaleean Yearbook. Faculty page.
5. State of Florida. (1989) Death certificate of Mary Elizabeth Davis Davis.
6. Ebyabe. (2008). Osceola Middle School, formerly the Ocala High School. Ocala Hist Dist Osceola Middle School.jpg. Wikipedia Commons.  Retrieved January 4, 2009.

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