Interview with Hazel Thompson by Margery Mysak
Contributed by, Russ Jenkins


Hazel Thompson was born August 27, 1897, at Paris, Iowa. Her parents were Frank O. and Lena O. (Harriott) Thompson. Hazel attended the Elmont School and graduated from the Central City High School. She moved from the farm west of Paris to live with her aunt and uncle, William and Alice Hall, in Central City, where she worked at the Post Office for $90.00 a month. She worked from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and couldn't leave until the mail was all hand stamped and ready for the train when it came. About that time a stamp for a basic letter was two cents.
On December 4, 1922, Hazel was married to John Kearns. He was born June 1, 1887, at Mascot, Nebraska. He was the son of Will and Hattie (Tanner) Kearns of Atlanta, Nebraska. Will and Thomas Kearns of Central City were brothers. John Kearns was an interior decorator. John died November 4, 1959, and is buried at the Blodgett Cemetery west of town. John served in France with the US Army in World War I.
On June 5, 1961, Hazel was married to Manning Thomas. He was born November 11, 1899, at Dwight, Illinois, the son of Cyrus and Mary (Hekel) Thomas. Manning was a farmer. he died July 13, 1972, and is buried at Mt. Clark Cemetery.
Hazel was a seamstress for many years, when she was paid $1.50 to make a housedress and $1.00 to hem a dress. She had the first automatic buttonholer, the first pair of pinking shears and the first steam iron in Central City. She was paid five cents each to make buttonholes for customers.
Hazel's sister, Pearl Thompson, was born March 4, 1895. She married Homer Siever. Pearl died in 1947. Hazel's brother, Roy Thompson, was born May 7, 1892. He married Mabel Rech. Hazel is a member of the Methodist Church, Wymadosis, Philetha, Eastern Star, American Legion Auxillary, Women's Literary and Musical Club and the Central City Historical Society.