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Denton, Hazel Baker, 1887-1962


Hazel Baker Denton (1887-1962) was a prolific writer, educator, active community member, and elected to serve the Nevada State Assembly in the early 1950s.

Hazel Baker was born in Monroe, Utah on June 25, 1887. She graduated from Ogden High School in 1907 and also received her Teaching Certificate that same year. Baker moved to Prince Mine, Nevada in 1914 to teach in a one-room all-grade school house until 1916, when she moved to Caliente, Nevada to teach first and second grade. The same year, Hazel Baker met and married Floyd Howard Denton, a saloon owner from Nebraska. They had four children together: Lewis, Henrietta Marie, Betty Jeanne, and Ralph.

In addition to being an educator, Denton was also a writer, publishing books including Ironing Day (1955) and newspaper columns such as “Caliente All the Time” (1937-1939) and “While the Toast Burns” (1948-1953). She often published under her pen name “JMR,” which honored her grandmother, Jeanne Marie Rio. Denton served in many educational organizations including as the President of the Lincoln County Board of Education, the director of the National Education Association of Nevada (1933-1936), and on the Lincoln County Classroom Teachers Association (1948-1949). Outside of education organizations, Denton served as the president of the Nevada Federation of Women’s Clubs (1944-1946) and was elected to the Nevada State Assembly in 1952 and 1954. During her tenure as an assemblywoman, Denton focused on bills related to public library access and state parks. Hazel Baker Denton died in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 30, 1962.


Vincent, Bill. "The Dentons and Lincoln County," Nevadan, May 1, 1977.

"Hazel Baker Denton," Nevada Women's History Project. Accessed August 2019.

"Hazel Baker Denton," Women in Nevada History. Accessed August 2019.