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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Colorado: Arapahoe County

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Hazel R. H. m. James Alfred Merritt 1917
Posted by: Mark A. Merritt Date: May 17, 2001 at 20:37:30
  of 179

Fact 1
James Alfred Merritt, US Army, was posted at Fort Bayard, NM between 1912-1917, and was ordered to Boulder, CO to command the R.O.T.C. program at the University of Colorado in Dec 1917.
{Letters from James in the Virginia Military Institute archives}

Fact 2
A wedding band in my father's possession is engraved "H.R.H" and "27 Dec 1917". This concerns his second marriage.
{family heirloom}

Fact 3
In 1920, James Alfred Merritt was m. to a Hazel R. [?] from Kansas who was b. ca 1899. They were living at Fort Logan.
{1920 Arapahoe Census}

Fact 4
Hazel was from Topeka, Kansas
{Letters from James in the Virginia Military Institute archives}

Fact 5
James' only surviving son (from his third marriage) remembers visiting her grave as a youngster, but cannot recall where. He was raised in Colorado Springs, Boulder and Denver.
{Oral testimony}

Fact 6
James Alfred Merritt m3. Leah Rose Bassett 27 May 1921, Littleton, Arapahoe Co., CO.
{State of Colorado Vital Statistics Marriage Record Report #5740}

Fact 7
James d. 24 Feb 1929 at St. Luke's Hospital, Denver, Denver Co., CO while in surgery. He was buried at St. Paul's Cemetery, Kent Co., MD.
{The Transcript, Chestertown, Kent Co., MD}

Fact 8
Leah Rose Bassett, James' third wife d. 29 Aug 1937 at Fitzsimmons Hospital, Denver, Denver Co., CO from complications due to TB contracted from her husband. Her burial place is unknown.
{Oral testimony of her only surviving son}

Conclusions
James' posting at Fort Bayard, NM and his orders to head up the ROTC in Boulder, CO in Dec 1917 coincide with his marriage to Hazel on 27 Dec 1917. This suggests that she probably knew James when he was in NM.

James was ill with TB from his prior posting in the Philippenes, and was in and out of hospitals between 1910 and his death in 1929. Fort Bayard had been re-commissioned as a US Army medical experiment - individuals posted there were generally ill with "tropical diseases". Hazel may have been a nurse, just like James' third wife was.

Facts 3 & 6 suggests that Hazel d. 1920-1921, in Littleton, Arapahoe Co., CO.

Miscellaneous
The University of Colorado at Boulder archives has informed me that they have several boxes of material relating to Capt. Merritt's stay at the university, but the cost of having them go through this material is prohibitive. Apparently I will have to do this work myself when I have an opportunity to be in Boulder.

Any ideas as to how I could learn more about Hazel would be appreciated.


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