HAZEL MARETT EARL
Hazel Francis Marett was born on July 27th, 1900 at Lorain, Ohio, the daughter of Francis Henry and Flora Pearl Marett. Hazel's father first worked in the Lorain Steel Mills but then moved the family to a farm in Huron County. Hazel had two sisters, Elsie, who died of whooping cough in her first year, and Irene, who married Thor Chandler and preceded Hazel in death by one month.
Hazel started her schooling at Ripley. Her first teacher was Myrtle Kaiser. Later they moved to Hartland Township where she walked a mile a day to a one room school where she finished the eighth grade. She passed the Boxwell exam given by the county and this entitled her to go to any county high school tuition free.
Hartland Township had no high school so her father contracted to drive the horse drawn school wagon so thirteen year old Hazel could attend Fitchville High School about three miles from home. He kept this route until Hazel and Irene both finished high school. Hazel graduated from the three year Fitchville High School. For her fourth year she went to New London where she lived with her Uncle Phil and paid $3.00 a week for board and room. She graduated in 1917. The graduation was above the Wight Jewelry Store and Ten Cent Store in the old Opera Hall, which later became the Grange Hall during the 1930s and 40s.
Hazel's public school education was now completed and she passed the teacher's exam but could not get her certificate because she was only seventeen. Therefore she attended County Normal School in Monroeville and the next year she was hired by the Fitchville Township Schools to teach in the same school that she had attended.
This started her professional career, one of the great loves of her life. In her first position Hazel taught the seventh and eighth grades for the first six months. She taught the first, second and third grades for the last two months. Her salary was $60.00 per month and she rode her father's bus. The second year she taught grades one through eight at $80.00 a month in another Fitchville School only one and a half miles from her home. Her third and fourth years of teaching were at Egypt Schools near Willard, Ohio. This was in a one room school grades one through eight. During those summer months she attended Kent University in northeastern Ohio. The fifth year of teaching was at the Crawford School in Bucyrus, Ohio where she was a special art, mathematics and history teacher. Her sixth year of teaching was spent at New London where she taught grades one and two under Supt. Ira L. Landis. She took a salary loss but her father was not well and she wanted to be closer to home. She taught at New London for five years until she married Robert Clark Earl in 1927. She received her Life Certificate in Elementary Education from Kent State. She then gave up teaching to raise her family.
Hazel and Robert spent all of their married life on a farm in Fitchville Township where they raised five girls and a boy. Their six children are Edna Smith of Steuben, Elsie Righter of Birmingham, Michigan, Betty Schreck of Galion, Roberta Gray, Irene Merrilees and Robert Earl Junior, all of Fitchville. Four of the five girls followed their mother's career and became teachers and Robert Jr. is presently serving on a school board as his father did for many years. Hazel was very proud of her 6 children, 23 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren. Hazel was a charter member of the Fitchville Grange and served as Juvenile Matron for many years. Both were members of the Fitchville Methodist Church with Robert serving as Sunday School Supt. and Hazel as classroom teacher and worker in the Women's Society. Her efforts in the Fitchville PTA led to serving hot lunches there. She was President of the PTA while her children were in high schooL She also was involved with the Red Cross, the County TB Society and the Farm Women's Club, and the River Road Club benefited from her services for many years. Many friends remember her talents such as musical readings and entertaining dialogues as well as her delicious cakes. The death of her husband in 1955 did not stop Hazel from pursuing her many interests. After her children were all in school Hazel returned to teaching first grade at the League Street School in Norwalk. When her husband became ill she accepted a position at the Fitchville Elementary School where she stayed until 1972 teaching the first grade.
Although she was a fully certfied teacher, she wanted that full college degree so she attended night classes and summers at Ashland College until 1966 getting a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education at the age of 66. A distinguished honor was bestowed upon her in 1967 whe she was selected as an outstanding teacher and made a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar by that Foundation. She retired in 1972 but continued to substitute in the area. In retirement she started researching her family history and joined the Huron County Genealogical Society and made many trips to trace her maternal ancestors to their Puritan origins. She enjoyed visiting with her family, fellow teachers, and her many friends and students. The local Girl Scouts chose her "Woman of the Year" in 1976. The New London FFA Group made her an Honorary Member of their Chapter! She was often interviewed for her views on teaching by the area newspapers.
She died on October 9th, 1991, at the age of 91. Because of her interest in education and the love of children, a Memorial Library Fund has been established at the Fitchville Methodist Church.