Harry Sylvester Hazel was born on 19 Dec 1900 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the only child of Minnie Phillips. She married Arthur Hazel on 22 Jan 1905. He graduated from Arsenal High School in 1918. During the 1920 census, he lived with his grandmother, Sallie Phillips.
Although his transcript does not indicate prior military service, he did not participate in the mandatory ROTC classes. Frank Marshall Davis, in his book Livin' the Blues (pg. 85), mentions that Harry Hazel had been discharged from the cavalry at Fort Riley and was working his way through college.
On 10 Sep 1923, he entered K-State studying agriculture. His nearest relative is his mother, Mrs. Minnie Bledse, a caterer in Detroit, Michigan. He attended for two years.
He lived at 1131 Thurston during his time at K-State, working for S. L. Watson, who owned a shoe store.
"Hazel was sent alone to the cemetery, and the entire campus heard about it the following day. He was to pick up his instructions in a culvert on the far side of the graveyard. Purely by amazing coincidence, a white frat had a similar assignment for one of its pledges. At roughly the same time, both freshmen sallied forth alone and, by chance, began crawling through the opposite ends of the pitch black culvert, each thinking he was the only live human within blocks. Feeling their way quietly and cautiously, their hands suddenly came in contact with moving flesh.
"Although they were both college men, in one fraction of a second they lost all traces of cumulative culture and reverted to the primitive. They yelled. They swore. They grabbed. And it was fortunate for both that the culvert was too small for full physical action, or they'd have nursed more than minor contusions when they returned to the twentieth century. Still, the experience had one bright result. For the rest of the year, they became good personal friends."
Livin' the Blues, pg 89
To earn extra money, Harry Hazel took a service job with Union Pacific in Kansas City as a dining car waiter to work on the Oregon Short Line Branch. He traveled from Kansas City to Ogden, Utah at the railroad's expense and was housed in the Porters and Waiters Club near the Ogden Union Station. He left on an assignment the next day and never returned to KSAC. (Livin' the Blues, pgs. 90-93)
The 1930 census shows H. S. Hazel living in Indianapolis, Indiana, as a lodger at the YMCA. He lists his occupation as flunkey at anything.
Harry Hazel died in Sep of 1981 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
K-State Directory, 1923-1924
Royal Purple, 1925
1910 Census: Indiana - Warrick County - Boon - District 161
1920 Census: Indiana - Marion County - Indianapolis Ward 7 - District 125
1930 Census: Indiana - Marion County - Indianapolis - District 93
Social Security Death Index
World War 1 Draft Registration
Davis, Frank Marshall. Livin' the Blues (1992)