Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Fantastic Farm Wife's Centennial

On May 4, 1917 - 100 years ago this week - my great-grandmother was born.

Hazel Nevella (Benedick) Lumpkins

Her daughter, Marilyn, remembered that, "She was born Hazel Nevella Benedick in Rooks County, Kansas...three miles from the little town of Plainville. She was the second daughter of Ernest and Bessie (Bair) Benedick."

She was actually their third child. The Benedicks' first child, Della, was born in 1911 and followed by a second daughter, Alice Aretta, in 1913.

In September 1913, Alice passed away following a two-month long illness. She was only six months old when, as her parents wrote in the Plainville newspaper, "We could see by our darling child's weakness, that voices of angels were calling her home to the other shore to rest in the dear Saviour's arms for ever more."

The Benedick family in 1917: Ernest, Della
(standing middle), Bessie, and Hazel Nevella.

Nevella "was a fantastic farm wife," remembered her daughter Marilyn. "Mother had cooking skills and cleaning skills and canning. Everything that a farm woman needed she could do it and she could do it better than most."

Marilyn continued, "My dad was a farmer and to help supplement the income, mother was a professional at everything she did. She did wallpaper hanging. Everybody in town that had a job to be done wanted her to do it because she was such a perfectionist. She would hang it for a dollar a roll of wallpaper."

Nevella was indeed a fantastic farm wife. She was also a colorful personality who could be quite feisty.

Get a flavor for her character as we commemorate what would have been her 100th birthday with this oral history featuring remembrances from her daughter Marilyn and granddaughter Diane.


  1. So sad about their baby daughter.

    1. I think the loss hit them hard and they likely spoiled Nevella when she came along.