I never knew my Hazel personally-only through my mother’s memories and Hazel’s own words and pictures. Hazel was interested in her genealogy. She wrote down her lineage as she knew it in scribble-in books in 1936. These scribble-in books, as well as her diaries, have helped many people to trace their own lines. Certainly she did not have access to the records that we have now and yet she was remarkably accurate.
Novicki March 23, 2000
Hazel Belle Allen was born on her parent’s farm on December 7, 1899. The 28 acre farm was located on the south east side of Happy Valley Road. This farm was located in the Albion Township side of the community Happy Valley or Fracheur in Oswego County, NY. Her parents were William Henry Allen and Sada E. Jacobson. Her grandparents were Joseph and Hannah Sylyea Allen; and Abraham and Catherine Bain Jacobson.
Hazel’s parents were so happy when she was born. They had almost given up hope when Sada became pregnant at thirty after 12 years of marriage. They could not even hope that this child would live past childbirth since they had experienced grief when two previous children died at birth. Being their only child, they doted on Hazel and she was very close to them both.
Tragedy struck when her mother came down with pneumonia two days before Christmas. Then just four days after the start of the new year, she died on January 4, 1908. Hazel was only eight years old. Hazel and her father buried Sada in the Happy Valley Cemetery. They could not afford a tombstone. But Hazel would visit her mothers grave often for the rest of her life. She missed her mother very much. She would write in her diary: Sat January 4, 1919: 11 years ago today my darling mother left us. Makes me lonesome.
Her father William would never remarry but did not send Hazel away to live with relatives as other fathers did during that period of time, when left without a wife. Instead, he lovingly raised Hazel on his own with the help of relatives and friends who lived nearby in the tightknit community of Happy Valley. She wrote in her diary: January 12, 1910: Aunt Nett Loness (Antoinette Loness) and Ilah came down to keep house for us. They stayed until middle of August. When Aunt Nett was taken sick and had to go home. Aunt Till and Uncle Abe came back about first of Sept. and they stayed with us.
During Antoinette’s stay, she also brought along Ruth Benway who was only 8 months younger than Hazel. Ruth and Hazel became best of friends. Ruth had two sisters, Hazel and Gladys. All four girls played together on the farm in Happy Valley. They would swim in the lake at Altmar in their shower cap style bathing caps and dresses set aside for swimming. Hazel had received a camera so they enjoyed getting dressed up to model. Another favorite past time was riding her horse “Bucky”(short for Buckskin, a Palamino) She liked to call herself “Trix”.
As she grew older Hazel enjoyed socializing. She wrote of box socials where she talked of having her dance card filled. She wrote about taking drives to Kasoag lake for dances and to Pulaski for the movies. Hazel and her father had people over for dinner often, playing cards or playing music after dinner. Hazel and her father frequently attended social functions together showing a close bond between father and daughter.
Hazel met her husband,
Lee Bud H in 1925. They fell quickly in love, and secretly planned to marry
on the fourth of July. Hazel Allen diary entry: Saturday July 4,
1925: "Our day". Got up at 6 o'clock. Lee went to church.
Came up to our house about 8:30. We didn't have to go to Syracuse.
Went to Mexico Motor-saw Everette- we were married at 11:30. Everrette
and Florence and Dad were there- Afterwards we beat it for Pulaski.
Waited over there for the fam-Elizabeth-Tom-Everette and Florence.
Went as far as Boonville and had our supper. Then on to McKeever
where we stayed all night. Rained all day only while we were getting
married. I guess we sure fooled them all.
Hazel learned to drive as soon as she had the opportunity, despite her husband’s concerns. Hazel entry: Thur May 27, 1926: First time I ever drove the car alone. Lee had a hemmorrhage of fits but he survived.
Lee and his family were
Roman Catholic. Hazel and her father were not members of any religious
denomination. Hazel would go on to become a very committed to the Catholic
faith as shown in her Novenas and her insistence of a Catholic school upbringing
for her daughter. Sunday July 12, 1925: Lee and I went to church.
I suppose lots would hold up their hands in holy horror if they knew I
went to Catholic Church. Hazel became interested in the Catholic
faith, took classes and on December 18th, 1926, she was baptized into the
Roman Catholic faith. Hazel diary entry:
Hazel experienced the
Depression. Hazel diary entry: Sunday May 28, 1933 My off day I guess.
I had a scrap with Lee in the morning and another one with Roy up to his
folks and they are probably all sore at me now. I can't help it.
Everything is all wrong. We owe so many bills and no money coming
in I just feel as if life isn't worth living sometimes.
Hazel and Lee moved often. Lee would buy a “handy man special”, fix it up then sell it for a profit. They lived in several homes in Pulaski, Mexico, and finally Syracuse. Because of this, she lost contact with many of her friends and relatives that were so close to her in the Happy Valley area. However, she remained very close to her father. He at times would move in with Hazel and Lee when times were bad.
As a hobby, she loved to knit and crochet, making beautiful tablecloths and doilies.
At 33 years of age Hazel
became the mother of Allen Leo (Corky) on February 11, 1933.
Again Tragedy struck Hazel’s life. Hazel diary: Saturday May 25, 1935, Corky passed away this morning at 6:45 AM. Bert and Ethel were with us. The Dr's performed an autopsy on him and his body was taken to undertaker Hollon's on South Ave. We saw him at 1:30 and Claude came about 6 o'clock. Ethel helped me all day and her and Bert and Harold and Gertie stayed while we went down to pick out a casket. I rode out with Claude with Corky in the car. Got to Mother's about 10:30. Were terribly tired.
They buried him in Mexico Village Cemetery. In Hazel diary: Tuesday May 28, 1935: My little boy has gone and we can never see him again in this world. If it wasn't the fact I was going to have another child I wouldn't care how soon I followed him. There isn't much to live for anyhow. But I hope I live for this child's sake and if it goes then I am ready to go too.
So, at 35 years of age Hazel became the mother of MaryLee on September 5, 1935 in Syracuse General Hospital. Hazel diary: Thursday September 5, 1935: Lovely day. Didn't do much. I went down and visited with Mrs. Kelly and sit on porch and about 5 o'clock I started having pains. Lee came home and we got ready for Syracuse. Left here at 6 and was at Syracuse General at 7. Get room at 8 and Lena just about fell out of bed when we came in. (Herb and Beatrice was there and Florence Pratt) Found Dr. Lorgers parking his car to go to Loews. But he got to Hospital in time and I was back from Delivery Room 10 minutes to 9. The mother of a 7 lb 9 oz baby girl.
Hazel loved her daughter very much. She wrote often of being worried about her health and safety. She enrolled her in a Catholic School in Syracuse and insisted that they only move to homes that would allow her daughter to remain enrolled in the same school.
Hazel’s father passed away in the Oswego County Home on December 12, 1939 at the age of 88 due to old age and arteriosclerosis. Hazel buried him next to his wife in the Happy Valley Cemetery.
Hazel was a loving wife
and mother. She lovingly raised her daughter to the age of 18 when
tragedy struck a final blow to Hazel’s life. Just a few days before
Christmas, December 14, 1953, the family was sitting down to eat dinner
when Hazel began to choke on a piece of her steak. She died the next
afternoon at Crouse-Irving Hospital in Syracuse, NY. Lee and MaryLee
lovingly gave her a Requiem Mass at Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
and buried her next to her son, Allen Leo in Mexico Village Cemetery.
2000 Kathleen Novicki
/ Laura Perkins