The following was taken from a hand written account of her life written by Hazel herself:
We left Topeka, Kansas by train in the fall or winter of 1902 for Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Mama, Lura, Thelma, and I came on a passenger car. Papa and Glenn came by freight with the stock and furniture. We moved to a farm across the Cimmaron River just north of the little town of Cashion. We made a crop there. Papa and a neighbor by the name of Thomas A. Kelly came out here (Roger Mills County, Oklahoma) that summer and filed on some land (160 Acres). Then that fall after the crop was gathered the folks loaded two covered wagons and a buggy with household goods, farm implements and chickens and drove the cattle to Mama's cousin, Hi Hoyt, who lived a few miles southwest of Taloga. There they unloaded part of the furniture and chickens and left them and the cattle there. Mama had a monkey heater in her wagon to keep warm and cook on. We got here the 21st of March 1903 (my ninth birthday). Papa stopped his team and came to the wagon where mama was and said, "Well it's right in here somewhere." She said, "If it's all like this, let's go back." He looked around and found the corner stone and that was the place. We drove over by some peoples' place that had been here for awhile and camped until papa could get a spring dug, so we could have water. These folks' name was Rippy. Their granddaughter is now my daughter-in-law. So then we went back to the place and papa started breaking sod to build our house. He would break the sod with a sod plow, then cut it in squares with a spade. Mama and us girls would load it in the wagon, then we would haul it to the house, and he would lay it in a sort of brick fashion. He got the walls up then he would go to the timber and cut trees for the ridge pole and rafters. We peeled all the bark off of these so the worms wouldn't work in them so bad. While we were doing that he had a bachelor neighbor of ours fence 40 acres of grass for the stock. His name was Henry Harney. Mr. I. A. Kelly drilled a well. He got the ridge pole and rafters up, then we went back to Taloga after the stock and things. Don't remember how long before we came back. We borrowed a saddle horse from Cousin Hi, Glenn drove the cattle. When we came to the Canadian River, of course, we had to ford it. I remember papa telling mama to not let her team stop. They might go down in quick sand. Glenn had trouble getting the cattle across. They wanted to stop and drink. I remember being really scared.
When we got back here, papa finished putting the roof on. The reason he left it off was to let the poles dry, so they would stay straight. He first put on brush, then prairie hay, then dirt. Our floor was dirt too. When we would sweep, we would sprinkle it with water so it wouldn't be so dusty. The first feed crops we grew was corn. Papa made a planter out of a syrup bucket, made holes so far apart and put a wire handle in it. He would plow a row of sod, Lura and I would take turns pushing the planter. He would break a furrow, we would plant that, then he would cover it with the next one. Every third row we planted. He got several acres of the place in cultivation. He bought a one horse drill, that he put different plates in to plant different seed. He would make the rows and I would follow and plant with the one horse drill. Lura got sick, so I was the field hand from there on. Glenn left as soon as we got the cattle here, to take the horse back and it was several years before we ever saw him again.
(This next part was after Hazel was married.)
We left Oklahoma the 18th of April 1916. Lou, me, Jay and Pauline. Jay was five years old and Pauline was 2 years old. With us were Lou's parents Mr. & Mrs. G. L. Young and his sister Mattie. We had our covered wagon. Our team was Sam and Frank and saddle horse Buster. Mr. Young was driving a pair of mules to his wagon, Queen and Daisy, and leading one mule Halie. Mattie was driving Flora and Mollie to a buggy. I don't remember just where we went into Colorado. We came to the Two Butts Mountains and Lake. We climbed the mountains of course. We thought they were really high, but just two big hills. Then to Lamar and on to Ed's. We got there the first of May. They were having a barbecue there, so we got some of it. Sure was good after eating pan cakes, fried potatoes and dry salt meat for almost a month. Well Flora had a baby colt that night. Mr. Young knew it couldn't follow so he built a cage and fastened it to the back of his wagon, and that is where it rode. Then we went on to Lymen. Our trail and on into Denver. When we got there they told us the mountain passes were full of snow and we couldn't go in the wagons. So we chartered a rail car, loaded everything in it. Lou rode in it, the rest of us of course went by passenger. It took three engines to take the passengers to the top. Don't know how many engines on the freight. We had to go through a tunnel five miles long, the cars would get smoke in them. Lou said the horses sneezed and coughed all the way through. We got to Craig at night, and went to a hotel, but Lou didn't get there until the next night. So the next day we unloaded and started on. You see Lou's sister Grace (Mrs. Robert Gardner) lived out there. We was going to see her. We went on to Maybell and Sunbeam that is where they got their mail. Don't remember how far it was on to their place, but we got there about the middle of May. Well they were gone, but left a note saying they were working in Vernal, Utah. We stayed at their place several days to let the horses rest. We could get in the house, so it seemed good to have a stove to cook on. Then we went on to Vernal, Utah, stayed there for four days and started back to Oklahoma.
We was camped one night by a river, so Lou, Mattie and I decided to fish. Lou had caught a few little mountain trout. Pretty soon a man came along and stopped and asked if we were having any luck. Lou showed him what he had. He said well I'm a game warden, I won't bother you, but there is one just down the road that will, so you better not fish anymore. So that ended our fishing.
Well that day I had parted my hair in the middle and brushed it till it just shone and braided it into two big braids. Some folks camped where we was, the man came over to chat, he looked at me and said you must be part Cherokee, it made me so mad, his wife was as black as I was.
When we left Vernal, we came down through Rangely then Meeker and on down to Rifle. Dee Gardner came down to our camp. We were staying all night there. He was Robert Gardner's brother. Then on down to Glenwood Springs, crossed the mountains on the Tennessee Pass just north of Leadville. We stayed all night there that night. The next day Lou had to have his saddle horse shod. His feet had got so sore. I don't remember why we had the rest of them shod. We came on to a place called Red Cliff. I did some laundry that evening and spread them out on the sage brush and they froze until I couldn't fold them up. That was the fifth of June. We ate snow there. Came on to Buena Vista across to Canon City, Pueblo, Rocky Fort, down to Springfield and on home. Got Back the 16th July, tired, broke and glad to get into our little dirt dug out. Lou had built on forty acres he had filed on. Dirt roof and dirt floor, but it sure looked good to us. He went to work for T. C. Brady, but first he went to Strong City and got some groceries. Had them charged went to work and paid for them and we started living again. For no amount of money would I make that trip again.
Hazel's life history as recorded by her in 1973 at the home of her daughter Pauline.
As soon as I was old enough, I began doing farm chores. My brother Glen had left the family shortly after the move to Oklahoma, and so us girls began doing farm chores that were generally done by the son of the family. I spent many days out in the cotton fields picking cotton for 5 cents a day. Lura and I were in charge of herding the cattle. We would leave early in the morning and herd the cows to one of the pastures. We would have to remain there, with them, until they all laid down for the afternoon, then we were allowed at that time of the day to go home for lunch. As soon as lunch was over, we were back to the fields with the cattle. We would play around on the trees as we kept our eyes on the cattle. When the sun began to go down, we would herd the cows back to the farm for the night. Every once and awhile, we were allowed to ride one of the horses when we took the cows out. We would also kill rattle snakes as we tended the cows, unaware of how dangerous they really were, until after we had been killing them for quite awhile.
I was the type of person who would ride anything. One day I took a young colt, just barely broke, and went to deliver Daddy's lunch to him out in the fields. Mama insisted that all of us girls ride side saddle instead of straddling the horses like the men. On my way to daddy, the horse spooked throwing me to the ground. Daddy caught the horse while I walked my way up to him. He helped me back on the horse, and instead of going straight home, I decided to go visit one of my girlfriends, but the horse wanted to go home. I fought with him to try and get him to go my way, but the horse won out. When I finally reached home, Daddy was there to meet me. He had seen all of my struggles to get the horse to obey, so he told me to straddle the horse and make him do as I wished. So I straddled him and grabbed a Turmeric branch, and went to see my friend.
While growing up in the times we did, we as children, had to invent our own entertainment . One day when papa went to town for the day, we had finished up with all of the chores, and was bored with nothing to do. So Mama laid belly down on the table, one of us took her feet and the other took a hold of her hands and we spun her around on the table like a merry-go-round. Mama was a very hefty woman, and somewhat of a butter ball. We were so surprised when she laid across the table and allowed us to spin her around.
I remember one Easter Lura and I took some egg shell halves, decorated them with colored paper and put handles on them. Then we took them outside and hid them in a nest. When Thelma began to look for eggs, she found these decorated halves. She was really excited to find out what they were. We told her that they were the cups that the Easter Bunny had used for breakfast. Thelma believed that for a long time.
My mother would take empty Arm and Hammer boxes, cut them, and then fold them until they looked like chairs. Then she would take some scrap cloth, and cover them, and then give them to us girls to use with our dolls. One Christmas Thelma had pleaded with Mama and Papa to have a doll. When Christmas day finally came, Thelma went to the tree anxious to see if there was a doll for her. Under the tree were two Large dolls. Thelma knew they were for Lura and I. She looked disappointed, and then Mama and Papa told her to keep looking. Hidden in the top of the tree, was a grapevine basket made to look like a cradle, inside was a little doll just for Thelma. Mama and Papa was worried that Thelma might be upset about the size of her doll compared to mine and Lura's, but Thelma didn't seem to mind at all. She was just so happy to receive a doll.
Our Christmas tree was always decorated with decorations that us children made. We would use the tinfoil off of Papa's tobacco plugs and cut out stars. We would string popcorn and then, with any kind of colored paper that we could find, we made chains to hang on the tree. All of us enjoyed sleigh riding, and we only had one sleigh and that belonged to me. So Lura and Thelma decided to invent their own. Lura took and old chair back and nailed a board to the bottom of it. Then she took some rope and fastened them along the sides as hand holds. Thelma went to less work and borrowed Mama's dish pan. The hill we would sleigh down was near the house, and you would go down the one side and half way up another hill which was a few feet away. Thelma seemed to be the one who traveled the fastest in her dish pan. I can remember seeing her going down the hill in that dish pan, holding on for dear life to the handles. I'm surprised none of us were seriously hurt.
We had to walk two and a half miles to school and we tried never to miss a day. In the winter time, we didn't have overshoes, so we would tie gunny sacks around our feet and then wade through the snow to school. By the time we reached the school house, the gunny sacks were frozen stiff. We would untie the tops and slip our feet out of them. The gunny sacks would stay in perfect formation of our feet until they thawed. One year we had a real bad winter. Lura was sick and Thelma was still too young to go to school. I decided that I wasn't going to miss a day of school so that I could receive, at the end of the year, a perfect attendance award. Every morning I would wake and get dressed for school. I'd wrap up in my coat as well as Mama's to keep warm. Then I'd wade through the snow. I'd make it as far as the creek and then realize I couldn't cross it because it was too high. So I'd have to go back home, and try it again the next day. I was unable to make it that whole winter. My teacher heard about how hard I had tried to come to school and, at the end of the year, she gave me a certificate for trying so hard to make it.
We went to school in a one room school house where all of the children from ages five to nineteen were taught. Some of the great big boys, who lived far away and who couldn't come to school during harvesting, would come for only a couple of months out of the year. Some of the young boys, were actually men coming to learn something whether it be writing or reading. There were also a lot of thrashings if we didn't behave ourselves. One year we had an old man as a teacher and he would always sleep a lot during school. One day during recess, we found some rope and snuck inside the school house while the teacher was sleeping and quietly tied him into the chair. We played outside the rest of the day and then went home when we got tired. The teacher being tied up in his chair, couldn't get up to ring the bell.
At the age of fourteen, I became very interested in boys, and I would spend a lot of time spying on Lura and her boyfriends. I was at the age when I liked to be grown up, but yet I still liked to play with dolls. I would make Thelma promise not to tell anyone, when she would catch me playing with them. As we became of age to have boyfriends, we would become part of the "Boy and Girl Parties". We would have candy breakings, which everyone in the surrounding area would form a collection of money. Then one of the men would make a trip in to town to buy a box of hard tack candy. Then they would brake the pieces in two, and put them in a dish pan and cover it with a towel. Then you and your partner, would stand in a line and wait for your turn to stick one hand in the pan and pull out a peace of candy. You would keep drawing until you found the matching pieces. Then it would become the next couples turn. When I caught typhoid fever, I was sick from August to February. A friend named Charlie Gardener would come and visit me nearly every day. One day he came with a bundle of candy he had won at a candy breaking the night before, and gave it to me to eat. I couldn't have anything, because back then they starved typhoid fever. The only thing I could eat was broth. I thought that it was still nice of him to do such a thing for me. We would also have taffy pulls, using molasses taffy, and we'd pull it until it was creamy white. This we also did at Boy and Girl parties.
On the Fourth of July, if the cotton was all picked, we would go to the town picnic, which was held generally by a creek in the shade of the trees. On rare times we'd get to travel to Cheyenne which was 20 miles from the farm. Mama would fry some chicken and make cakes and pies and the girls always had a new dress. It would take us three hours to travel to Cheyenne in the lumber wagon. Some people were fortunate enough to have double seated buggies or surreys. We owned only a single seated buggy, so on family outings we'd have to take the wagon. One year daddy put the cover on the wagon so we could ride in the shade. The years that we stayed home on the Fourth, everyone from the countryside would gather for these picnics. There was always music and a man appointed to give a speech. The speeches were always long and boring, but the children had to set still until he was through. Then they would sing songs and recite. They sometimes held competition and the little girl who recited the best would win a prize. Mr. Harney would always make ice cream. He would have to travel a long ways to get the ice and then he'd make up the ice cream and sell it. This was the biggest event of the year. You could spread your lunch out in the shade and spend the day eating and eating and then go back home wore out. The next day you'd have to work twice as hard to complete two days worth of work. There were dances for the adults after most gatherings like this or even on a Saturday night. The girls had to be of a certain age before they could get out on the floor and dance, but they would enjoy setting there listening to the music and watching their friends and family dance. It was at one of these dances that I met Lou (Louie Overton Young). He and Lura's husband both played at these dances. They were both real good. I was only sixteen when we got married on the 22 Nov, 1910. After we were married, I was allowed to participate in the dances. I learned how to play the violin so that I could relieve Lou from playing while he went out on the dance floor. Luther (Lura's husband) played the mandolin and I soon learned to play it also. I eventually learned to play the violin, guitar, piano and mandolin.
On April 16th, approximately 1915, we packed up Joy and Pauline and traveled to Vernal, Utah , with Lou's father Gresham and mother Sarah (Sarah (Hillman) Young), to see Lou's sister Grace and her husband Robert Gardener. We had come up there with the intentions of staying. We waited for Grace and Robert for three days. Gresham decided he was going to head back home, because he was homesick. Gresham was driving a team of high-spirited mules and Lou didn't want him to drive back alone, so we all came back together. On our way back, we stopped to do some fishing. We had some willow poles with line and hooks. Lou made a hole in the sand and filled it with water to put our catch in. After some time a man came up and asked how we were doing. Lou showed him their catch and then the man introduced himself as the warden and said that they were fishing in a 'No Fishing' area. The man made a deal with Lou that if he'd release the catch, there would be no fine. So they released them and we packed up and moved on. Down the trail a ways, we stopped at a windmill to water the horses. Gresham had a stubborn mule he had named Halie after the comet, because she was born when Halie's comet came over. Halie was being quite spunky and difficult to handle, so Gresham told Lou that when they reached home, he was going to harness her up and work her until she had no spunk left in her. Just then she kicked him making him land in a pool of black mud. Sarah tried to convince him to go change his pants, but he was to mad and kept them on. So Sarah, being a small lady, grabbed a gunny sack and followed him around the rest of the day taking a swipe at the mud on him every chance she could get. Gresham wouldn't allow anyone other then Lou, to laugh at him, so everyone else, went around covering up there mouths to hide there laughter. They returned home on July 18 of the same year.
Lou had a nephew named Jack who was strictly a city kid. He had come to the farm for a visit when he was eight years of age. During his visit they were de-horning the cattle. They had de-horned all but a few of the cows and had stopped to tend to other things. Jack sat out there and watched those cows all day until one of the de-horned cows mooed. He jumped up and ran to his Uncle Lou saying "They don't need horns to moo?" Some how he thought that the horns were what made them moo.