Hazel Blanche (Eilenstine) Dotson
October 3, 1914 – February 27, 2011
Residence: Lebanon, MO
Formerly of: Lebanon, MO
HAZEL (EILENSTINE) DOTSON, was born Oct 3, 1914 in Afton, OK. When she was about 3 months old her family moved back to Lebanon less than 2 miles from her current home on Hwy MM. She was the fourth of 8 children born to Henry and Edith (Conner) Eilenstine. Her brothers and sisters were Floyd, Roy, Pearl (Rippy), Claude (Lebanon School Teacher-passed in 2003), Paul, Lee and Grace (Davis). The only surviving sibling is Grace who lives in TN.
As a young child she attended both school and church at Millcreek, graduating from the 8th grade. On Dec. 17, 1932 (at the age of 18) she married Paul A. Dotson. They got married in the home of Glen Jones. They paid him one days wage which was $1. The last time Hazel had her hair cut was also at the age of 18 and her brother Roy did it then. Paul and HazeI had been married 53 years when he passed away June 8, 1985.
They had 3 children Paul Lorane (passed Aug. 3, 2004), Lois (Smith) and Robert, 15 grandkids, 24 great grandkids, and 17 great-great grandkids.
All the grandkids are still living with the exception of 2 of Lois’s sons Dee and Terry.
Nearly all of her life has been spent on Hwy MM. Her current house was built in 1936 when Lois was a baby. The land was cleared off by hand using a cross cut saw and chopping axe. The wood was used to heat the house or to cook with. On the wood cook stove, Hazel would heat spring water that had been carried about 200 yds. The water was then put in a tub behind the stove and it was used to bathe in. For privacy they would hang up a sheet or quilt. At the spring, water was heated over an open fire in a big black kettle and the clothes were washed on a washboard then hung on wire between trees to dry. The spring was also used to keep milk and butter cool.
Paul and Hazel used team and horses on the farm. Everyone was involved in putting up hay, they would pitch fork the loose hay into the bailer and the kids would block, punch, wire and tie when told to do so. Paul also did a lot of custom hay bailing and she always packed his lunch if he wasn’t close enough to come in for dinner. Ring bologna, crackers and graham cracker cookies (filled with powder sugar icing) and a big jug of ice water was very common.
In 1948 the family made a road trip to Ca. to visit some of Paul’s family. They drove an old Ford pick-up and the kids rode in the back which had a tarp over it with the sides open. At night they slept in the bed of the truck and on the ground. Mosquitoes about ate them up before they got back home.
In 1952 they bought their first gas cook stove (Maytag) and it is still being used in the house today. She always cooked 3 meals a day and would feed the hired hands dinner during hay or harvest season.
They milked by hand until going Grade A and using pipeline milkers. When Paul would put the last cows in the barn he would go to the barn door and give his “WEAY WHOO” breakfast call. Hazel would reply back with her “HEE HAW” call. This ritual meant it was time to finish up the gravy and pit the eggs on because he would be in the house in 10 min so they could be sitting down and eating breakfast when the 7:00 o’clock news came on the radio. 7 days a week – 365 days a year this could be heard and seen.
They always had beef, hogs, chickens and a big garden and never had to buy meat, milk, eggs, butter, or fruit and vegetables. Hazel would can sausage, make headcheese and render lard from the hogs. The cows provided meat and milk/cream to churn for butter in a 1/2 gal jar and later a wooden paddle churn or sometimes used the cream to make homemade ice cream for a neighbor hood gathering. Nothing went to waste.
Hazel loved gardening. She had her first garden in 1933 and the last one in 2003 at the age of 89. She always grew plenty of food to eat fresh, give some away and still had plenty left over to can or freeze to have on hand for the upcoming winter. If they didn’t have peaches and apples from the orchard they would be sure to buy a couple of bushel in the fall and put them up. In addition to the food in the garden, Hazel always seemed to find room for a row of zinnias. The first time she ever had a store bought can of tomatoes, corn or green beans in her house was about 4 years ago. Hazel would tell you they sure don’t taste like the real thing but reckoned they would keep a person from starving to death.
In addition to gardening Hazel sewed, quilted and crocheted. Over the years she sewed hundreds of dish towels, sheets and pillow cases or quilt lining out of white feed sacks. The printed sacks were used to make her and Lois’s dresses. Hazel was able to make each of her grandkids a quilt and afghan before she got carpel tunnel in both hands. Eventually she had to have surgery on both hands and that all had to quit. The last quilt she made was given to her great granddaughter last year when she got married. It was a crazy quilt, none of the pieces were cut, only laid out and sewn together – it resembled stain glass and was very unique (the quilt is on display here today). Over the years, this quilt and several others won Blue Ribbons at the Laclede County Fair.
Hazel’s grocery money came from raising chickens and selling the eggs. Each Friday was her town day. She would sell eggs for .35 cent doz. For years Hazel delivered eggs to her regular customers that included Jewel and Mary Johnson, Jerry Sellers, Pee Wee and Blacky West, Andy and Ressa Shelton. After the eggs were delivered she would go buy her weekly groceries at Peter and Garrisons on west Commercial St and be home by noon.
Each year Hazel would buy young chicks to feed to the point of making good fryers. She would then get everyone together and they would kill and dress 50 fryers. Paul would do the killing and the women and kids would scold, pluck, clean and dress them. The chickens were frozen in 1/2 gal cardboard milk cartons that were tied with strips of rag. For a period of time in the 1950-1960’s her and Paul owned and operated the Laclede Hatchery on 2nd St.
Throughout the years Hazel made it a point to always mail each of her family members to include spouses a Birthday and Anniversary card. The cards seemed to ALWAYS arrive on the exact day.
Hazel drove for years and if you were to drive her car she would always tell you “the head lights don’t work” – meaning it needed to be back home by dark.
In 1986 Hazel had the desire and ambition to have a one time Millcreek-Cook School reunion. There was a great deal of time and hard work put in it getting all of the names and address but it was a huge success with 273 people attending the first one which was held at Nelson Community Center. It became an annual event for 22 years with the last was being held in 2008.
When health permitted Hazel would attend church regularly. In her early years it was Millcreek then Mt Olivet and 1st Assembly of God. When not being able to physically go to church she would always be in attendance by watching the Preacher on TV each Sunday Morning. I addition to the Preacher and good Ole Gospel Singing she enjoyed watching The Andy Griffith Show. Hazel really liked Aunt Bee, this may have been because they were so much alike.
To describe Hazel Dotson you must use the word NEVER. She never had on a pair of shorts and only occasionally wore slacks under her dress when it was extremely cold or she was working in the field. She never worn any make-up and the only jewelry was a watch or broche with her best dress. She never set foot in a movie theater. Never would allow a deck of cards in the house. Never rode an airplane. Never worked outside the home. Never paid a babysitter. Never had any known broken bones AND never had any crumbs left from her famous chocolate sheet cake, known as Grandma’s cake.
Though she lived a long time and seen a lot of changes in this old world it was still hard for her to understand how a person can talk on the phone (without a cord) while driving down the road, take a picture without a roll of film or e-mail someone without a street address, envelope or postage stamp.
Hazel (Eilenstine) Dotson can best be described as a very hard working, independent, witty and an outstanding wife, mother, grandmother, friend and neighbor who will be greatly missed and always remembered.
Hazel Blanche (Eilenstine) Dotson lived a long life of
96 years – 4 months – 25 days
Which equates to:
A life lived this long can only be contributed to having a strong faith in God, clean living, eating an apple a day, drinking her vinegar and honey, lots of water and no soda pop.
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Print Obituary: Share: Funeral Home InformationShadel’s Colonial Chapel
1001 N. Lynn
P.O. Box 948
Lebanon, MO 65536
Phone: (417) 532-6161
Visit WebsiteVisitation InformationLocation: Shadel’s Colonial Chapel
Date/Time: 6-7:00 P.M. Wednesday, March 2, 2011
1001 N. Lynn
P.O. Box 948
Phone: (417) 532-6161
Service InformationLocation: Shadel’s Colonial Chapel
Date/Time: Thursday, March 3, 2011 2:00 P.M.
Presiding Official: Rusty Shadel
1001 N. Lynn
P.O. Box 948
Phone: (417) 532-6161