Hazel Miner legacy gains new life in ‘Angel of the Prairie'
By Annette Tait
Weather-related loss of a single life in a small rural county doesn’t often garner widespread attention. At the time of 16-year-old Hazel Miner’s death in 1920, the community mourned with Hazel’s family. Despite the tragic nature of her passing her legend remained local, a reminder passed down throughout the region as one generation cautioned the next to respect North Dakota’s unpredictable -- and potentially deadly -- winter weather.
So how did the story of a heroic North Dakota teenager, who protected her younger siblings during a sudden March blizzard at the cost of her own life, become the subject of a book published in Florida?
There were a number of twists and turns involved. Mandan native and former-teacher-turned-author Kevin Kremer now lives in Sarasota, Fla., where he owns a small publishing company. Kremer was getting ready to write a book about a professional golfer, a story about as far from the Hazel Miner historical narrative as a person could get. Until an email piqued his curiosity.
“My nephew, Drake Roush, wanted to know more about the Hazel Miner story,” Kremer said. “I’d heard about it over the years and thought it was just maybe a short story. So I started exploring Hazel Miner.”
Kremer called Oliver County Historical Society President Penny Pulver, looking for more information.