Etowah Historical Society

since 1954

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Hazel Louise Pierce Oliver

One of Gadsden's finest ladies is Hazel Oliver. No one can keep up with her because she stays extremely active and involved in many things. This physically fit lady drives and walks every day and few can keep up with her. Her mind is sharp as a tack and she will give you an answer at a moment notice.

Hazel was born in Walsenburg, Colorado, August 11, 1915 to Lawrence and Louise Christopher Pierce. When five years, old her mother moved the family back to her ancestral home of Gadsden. The Christopher family was pioneers of Gadsden and played a major role in its founding. Hazel's great grandfather William Christopher's home and farm adjoined the Original Survey of the City of Gadsden. He later sold the house to R. B. Kyle.

Her grandfather was Abihue Christopher, a veteran of the Confederate Army who lived until 1935. Hazel grew up hearing the stories her grandfather told of the war, and of her mother's activities in the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Hazel attended the old Eleventh Street School , and graduated from Gadsden High School at the age of 17. She was in the first Gadsden Symphony Orchestra where she was first seat in violin. Hazel was also an avid swimmer and diver. She later attended Gadsden Business College, and attended the Alabama School of Trades as well as the Gadsden Center of The University of Alabama .

On Christmas day 1947, Hazel became the bride of Clarence Elwood Oliver. He unfortunately died five years later on July 20, 1952.

Hazel became a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy at the age of 18. Along with her mother and aunt, she was soon involved in its many activates, including the placing of the Emma Sansom marker on Black Creek in 1954. She has served faithfully in the chapter as president, in the state division, as 2nd vice president, and on many committees in that organization.

She was a charter member of The Etowah Historical Society where she served as Secretary-Treasurer for 35 years. The second meeting of the society was held in her home and throughout its history, has missed very few of its monthly meetings.

From 1938 until 1955 she was employed at Ross-Gramling Furniture as the bookkeeper. She also was on the staff of The Gadsden Business College. In 1955 she took a position with The Life Insurance Company of Alabama where she worked until her retirement.

Hazel is a long time member of the First United Methodist Church where she has served as a member of the Administrator Board, the Wesleyan Circle , President of United Methodist Women. Staff Parish Relation Committee and lay delegate to their annual conferences. She also taught the Junior Department as a Sunday school teacher to the 12 year old girls for 30 years.

Hazel was a charter member, and past president of Beta Sigma Phi. She also has served as treasurer of the Etowah County Fund for Indigent Children.

She is a member and past president of the Gadsden Music Club, an affiliate of the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs, the National Federation of Music Clubs. She was a member of the Northeast Alabama Symphony, violin.

In 1960 The Friends of the Gadsden Public Library was organized and she was a charter member and Treasurer, as well as doing volunteer work in the library. She presently is on the Board of Director at the Gadsden Public Library.

In 1962 Hazel was one of charter member of the General John H. Forney Historical Society, where she has served as Treasurer and as a Director. This group has placed many historical markers.

Hazel Oliver has a very vast knowledge of local and area history. If you can ever catch up with Hazel, be sure to ask her about her wonderful life and historical knowledge.



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ducational Programs- Presentations of historical interest. Current programs of history in the making.

istorical Markers - Markings of historical homes, cemeteries, schools, rivers, trails, public buildings

ignificant Preservations - Preservation of historical buildings, homes & landmarks







The Etowah

Historical Society

 P.O. Box 8131

Gadsden, AL 35902

(Physical address at

2829 W. Meighan Blvd.)


Danny Crownover






Officers & Board Members

President ...........................Danny Crownover

1st Vice President ..................Traci Pondick

2nd Vice President ............Sharyon Ramsey

Recording Secretary ...........John McFarland

Corresponding Secretary ..Molly Cheatwood

Treasurer ............................Gorden Maddox

Historian .................................Patsy Hanvey

Devotional ...........Gennie McDaniel Dawson




The Society meets every 2nd Friday night each month at Elliott Community Center, corner of 29th Street & Meighan Blvd. at 6:00pm.

Each month we have an enjoyable presentation and refreshments.

Come and enjoy!!!


Total visitors since 11/1/09



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