Hazel Baker Denton Papers (1907-1957) contain correspondence, family artifacts, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and family biographical information. Included are journals that chronicle the years Denton served as an Assemblywoman for the Nevada State Legislature and a copy of her book, Ironing Day, her newspaper columns, and speeches.
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Scope and Contents Note
Hazel Baker Denton Papers (1907-1957) contain correspondence, family mementos, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and family biographical information. Included are journals that chronicle the years Denton served as an Assemblywoman for the Nevada State Legislature and a copy of her book, her newspaper columns, and speeches.
Denton's columns appeared in several Lincoln County newspapers from approximately 1937 to 1953. Most of this work is in the society columns "Caliente All the Time" and "While the Toast Burns." She also wrote "The Tidewater Sketches," a column that tells of her summer in Washington, D.C. attending Wilson Teachers College. Denton's book Ironing Day is included along with correspondence from the publisher and handwritten drafts of the book.
This collection is open for research.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
The Hazel Baker Denton collection consists of two series:
Series 1. Writings;
Series 2. Personal papers.
Materials remain in original order.
Biographical / Historical Note
Writer, educator, and Nevada State Assemblywoman Hazel Baker Denton was born in Monroe, Utah on June 25, 1887. She graduated from Ogden High School in 1907, at which time she was given her Teachers Certificate. Denton moved to Prince Mine in Nevada in 1914 to teach in a one-room all-grade school, then to Caliente, Nevada, in 1916, to teach the first and second grades. It was here that she met Floyd Howard Denton of Nebraska, a saloon owner and future under-sheriff of Caliente. They married in 1916 and had four children: Lewis, Henrietta Marie, Betty Jeanne and Ralph.
Denton's love of education was rewarded in 1931 when she received a Nevada Life Diploma. After more than forty years of service, she retired from teaching in 1952. In addition to her achievements in the classroom, Denton was an accomplished writer. Her published work is comprised of several newspaper columns including "Caliente all the Time" (1937-1939) and "While the Toast Burns" (1948-1953). In 1955, she published her book, Ironing Day, a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories. To honor her grandmother, Jeanne Marie Rio, Denton used the initials "JMR" as a pen name on much of her work.
Denton's civic and professional activities were considerable. She served as President of the Lincoln County Board of Education for twelve years and as Director for the National Education Association of Nevada from 1933 to 1936. She also served as President of the Nevada Federation of Women's Clubs (1944-1946) and the Lincoln County Classroom Teacher's Association (1948-1949). She was elected as a Democrat to the Nevada State Assembly in 1952 and was re-elected in 1954. During her time in the Assembly, she introduced bills and resolutions that were intended to improve free public libraries and state parks.
Hazel Denton died in Las Vegas on January 30, 1962 at the age of 74.
Hazel Baker Denton Papers, 1907-1957. MS-00387. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 1997 by Ralph Denton; accession number 97-3.
Materials were pocessed by Alexis Rajnoor in August, 1998. In 2017 Joyce Moore revised and enhanced the collection descripton to bring it up to current professional standards.
Some of the photographs in this acquisition were removed from the collection and placed in Hazel Baker Denton Photographs, 1907-1957. PH-00312. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.