Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hazel Jean Hayward Wessman, A Biography, Part 1

Hazel Jean Hayward Wessman did not like being called Hazel. As a result, she was called Jean. When she was growing up, she came from a large family but due to disease and illness such as diphtheria, only three children lived. Fortunately, she did not come down with any of it. There were never more than four living at the same time and it was the youngest children who reached adulthood, namely, Hazel Jean Hayward Wessman, Elizabeth (Bess) Cripps Hayward Edwards, and John Ewing Hayward.

Jean Hayward

Bess Hayward

John Hayward

Some have said that the reason Jean was dignified, cultured and a righteous young lady was the influence of the home where she was raised. She was a little taller or about the same height (5'7" - 5'8") as her husband. In her younger years, she had dark hair that she used to wear in a bun. Her eyes were a dark hazel color. She had a full figure but not really heavy. Jean was an easygoing person and never seemed to have a temper. She was quite the gentle, sweet and sensitive woman. She had the ability to love everyone the same. However, her feelings would get hurt easy if she were ever slighted. But she would never say anything. In her later years, she seemed to draw into herself. She was even quieter than she had been throughout her life.

The 1900 census showing Henry and Elizabeth Hayward with children Jean, Leah Merle, Elizabeth, and John Ewing. They were living at 341 West Fourth North (R.3) in Salt Lake City. Also living in their home was 20-year-old niece Elizabeth Hayward from Idaho. Other homes at 341 West Fourth North include Jean's grandparents Philip and Martha Pugsley (R.1), and her aunt and uncle Adelbert and Adelaide Pugsley Beesley (R.2).

Some may suspect that Jean and her husband, Henry Richard Emanuel Wessman, a Swedish immigrant, met at a church function but no one knows for sure. They went together for quite a while. Jean's parents didn't think it was a good idea for her to get interested in a guy so they thought sending her away to Germany to study music would help solve that problem. However, it did not make them forget each other for the time that she was gone. They married sometime after she returned to America.

Jean loved being in Germany. When Jean came back, she was quite the good pianist. She could read music and play about anything but she could not play by ear. She had to have music to play. She associated with many friends and with the missionaries over there. She wrote to someone in her family quite often while she was away. It was usually on postcards with pictures of where she had been or things she had seen.

The Jean Hayward postcard collection can be found here.

Jean spent three months with her father, Henry Hayward, and sister Elizabeth (Bess) traveling in Europe in 1908. Her father and Bess went over to Berlin to pick up Jean who had been studying music there for a year. They traveled to places such as Holland, Switzerland, France and England. Then they sailed home. At one point in their European travels, they were checking into a hotel during a mighty rainstorm. The clerk asked if they wanted the American plan or the European (you’re a peein!) (meaning that breakfast came with the lodging). Henry Hayward with his sly sense of humor told the clerk, "It's just the rain dripping off of my umbrella." Henry kept a straight face until the clerk started to laugh. Jean and Bess were embarrassed. This was just one example of his sense of humor. He was quite the tease.

Jean’s husband adored her. They were a close couple. There was always a sparkle of romance in their eyes for each other. Jean liked it when Henry would bring her little special things. He would bring things like seafood dishes, desserts and nippy cheeses. Of course, these were some of the things that he liked but he wanted to share with this spouse.

 Henry and Jean Hayward Wessman

Henry took very good care of Hazel. Her father also took good care of her while growing up. Therefore, she always was taken care of. Henry taught his sons mainly through example that they should reverence womanhood. He did this in many ways. For example, when Jean was sick, had a baby or anything like that, a woman would come into the home and help out. Many times, it was a strain on the budget, but he felt that it was important for his wife to have that help. He would also make breakfast and the lunches for the kids. This was a great support to her.

Henry believed that cleaning the woodwork in the home was not woman's work. Therefore, he had his sons do that type of chore so his wife and daughters didn't have to do it.

To be continued...

[This history is by Toni Wyeth from interviews with family members. The photos of the Hayward children were sent by cousin Emily, the image of the postcard was sent by Toni and the photo of Henry and Jean is from my mother's collection.]

No comments:

Post a Comment