Mrs. Hazel Cowan, Webster, South Dakota, a 54-year Extension Homemaker, is a lady who “puts her all into what she does.” She was honored as a 1978 Eminent Homemaker by the Board of Regents and South Dakota State University.
Hazel Crisman was born in 1899 in Lyons, Nebraska. After graduating from South Dakota State University School of Agriculture, she married Joseph Cowan, her husband of 55 years. They moved to their farm in Crandall, where they began farming in 1923.
Mrs. Cowan served as vice chairman for the Day County American Cancer Society for nine years and was chairman of the District “Make It With Wool” contest for three years when her husband was director of the South Dakota Wool Grower’s Association.
She also served as County Farm Bureau Federation secretary for two years, during which she was named Outstanding Farm Bureau Woman of the Year in Day County.
She spearheaded drives for cancer and heart funds, was an officer of the Anna Olson Hospital Auxiliary and was a “pink lady” at the Day County Hospital.
A member of the United Methodist Church, she held the post of president of UMW for four years and was both a Sunday School teacher and a church officer for several years.
Coming from a family of nine children, Mrs. Cowan is the mother of four daughters, two of whom are twins. When the twins were born, she remembers saying to a relative, “One of them could have been a boy.” But now she added, “But it worked out better this way; the boys came into our family after we raised the girls.”
The couple has 15 grandchildren, nine of whom are married. From those marriages, they also have the joy of seven great grandchildren.
Mrs. Cowan served as a 4-H club leader for 12 years. “Four-H was a good thing for my four daughters,” she said. “It gave them something to do in the summer and they learned by doing, as the motto says.”
The couple’s four daughters are Mrs. Delores Hanson, Cuero, Texas, homemaker and Medicare secretary; Mrs. Olive Kading, Webster, South Dakota, homemaker and church secretary; Mrs. Orlynn Anderson, St. Cloud, Minnesota, homemaker and floor supervisor for J.C. Penney; and Mrs. Carol Walker, Dayton, Ohio, homemaker and art education teacher.