Historical Room Portraits
Two large oil portraits in the Historical room depict the members of the Hazen family for whom the library is named. They were probably done as wedding portraits.
Samuel Hazen was the first child born to Samuel Hazen and Lovey (Parker) Hazen in Shirley, Massachusetts on June 19, 1797. Lovey Parker was the daughter of James Parker who wrote the James Parker Diaries 1770-1829. The elder Samuel Hazen died in 1810 at the age of 38. On the same day his father died, his sister Sarah Parker Hazen was born. When he died he left six children behind:
Samuel married Betsy Davis Pollard on February 16, 1837 in Groton, Massachusetts. Betsy Davis Pollard was born in Groton on September 18, 1813. Betsy was 23 years old when she married Samuel Hazen who was about 40 years old in 1837. Betsy Davis Pollard was the daughter of Jacob Pollard of Boston and his wife Betsy Davis of Groton. Betsy Davis was one of 12 brothers and sisters and was their oldest child. These are her brothers and sisters:
How the Hazen Memorial Library Was Named
In 1892 esteemed townswoman, Mrs. Betsy Hazen, bequeathed the town of Shirley the sum of three thousand dollars, to erect a suitable building to be called “The Hazen Memorial Library,” and the gift was augmented by the presentation of one-fourth of an acre of land by Mr. Thomas L. Hazen, as a building lot. The proviso declared that the building must be completed two years after the will was probated.
According to the Trustees in the 1892 Annual Report, generous friends have expressed themselves willing to contribute sums of money, labor and material to assist in meeting the expense of the foundation.
The new library building was completed and ready for occupancy in 1893. Named the Hazen Memorial Library, it stands in tribute to the generosity of Mrs. Betsy Hazen to the people of Shirley.