Days Gone By - stories from the past

Have you ever heard of the strange story of Hazel the Mummy?

Hazel Farris b.1880 in Louisville Ky is one of the  most notorious female outlaws of the early 1900s and Alabama history. After a night of drinking and a argument over a new hat she shot her husband dead and also killed the police officers that responded after hearing the gun play.
With a $500 bounty on her head she fled south in the fall of 1905 to the mill and mining town of Bessemer Alabama to start a new life.

Hazel the mummy

Hazel “shacked “up with a new man( some say a Bessemer police officer) who after hearing of her bounty turns her in, before she is captured she commits suicide by drinking a cocktail of gasoline and arsenic(12/20/1906)

hazel the mummy Marvel city saloon

Marvel City Saloon Bessemer Ala.(Public domain/ Bessemer Hall of History)

Hazels body was taken to Adams furniture store who also made and sold caskets, but no one ever claimed her body nor did her body decompose, so she was put on display and could be viewed for 10 cents.

For over the next 40 years Hazel the Mummy would travel the south as a part of O.C. Brooks traveling show raising money for charity and helping build churches in Tennessee.


ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)

About Shannon Hollon

Shannon Hollon lives in McCalla Alabama graduated from McAdory High School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Served 9 years in the US Navy Seabees with one tour in Afghanistan.Currently employed with US Steel and serving on the board of directors for the West Jefferson County Historical Society.

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  1. Bruce L Patterson

    I met Hazel in the basement of the Bessemer Library about 35 years ago.

  2. Kristy Patterson

    I remember hearing about this when I was young.

  3. I am so happy about finding your website. I look forward to the daily emails with interesting stories. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Steve!

  4. Is she still in the Bessemer Library where is she now?

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