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Hazel Onerheim - Part 1


On July 1st of 1901, Hazel Josephine Onerheim was born near St. John, North Dakota. The following story is taken from Hazel's personal notes and diaries, which she dutifully kept until her death at age 99.

In her own words, Hazel writes," About the first I remember is my father sitting in our log cabin, having his leg bandaged. He had cut it while cutting trees in the woods. This was in the Turtle Mountains. Then I remember my sister, Anna, sitting in a chair with a wash dish on another chair. My father was sewing up a gash in her head. My brother, Oswald, had been chopping wood with a double bitted axe with Anna standing behind him. The axe was heavy and as he raised it, it fell back on Anna's head."

Hazel continues her life story by saying," We had a fire in the mountains when I was around two years old. I had wandered away while everyone was busy with other things. It was a warm day and I fell asleep in the road where they found me. I remember laying there, picking up little stones and putting them in a horse's hoof print."

Hazel's story continues with," We moved to Minneapolis when I was five years old. My father wanted better things for his children. When he had us settled he went to Montana and worked in a saw mill where he earned $8 a day. We lived in a tenement in Minneapolis. We had six rooms and there were four apartments in the building. I remember an Anderson family lived below us. Frances Anderson was my age and my friend. I went to school there in the first grade."

The journal continues ... "Our brother and sister, who were twins, were born in Minneapolis and died there. Louis was three days old when he died. We were visiting some friends in Eau Claire, Wisconsin when Lenore became ill and died at age three months."

"My brother Oliver was 12, brother Oswald was 10, sister Anna was 8, I was six, and my brother Sam was 4 when our father died. My father died in Montana of typhoid fever."

Tune into to "Dakota Datebook" on Friday, July 3rd, to hear the continuing story of Hazel Onerheim.

Dakota Datebook written by Jill Whitcomb

Source: notes and diaries of Hazel Josephine Onerheim Schmid