Hazel Dulcie Miner (April 11, 1904 – March 16, 1920), a student at a rural Great Plains one-room school, died while protecting her 10-year-old brother, Emmet, and 8-year-old sister, Myrdith, from the spring blizzard of 1920 in Center, Oliver County, North Dakota.
[…]Using the overturned sleigh as a shelter, Hazel spread two blankets, told Emmet and Myrdith to lie down, and placed a third blanket atop them. The children tried to keep moving to stay warm. Hazel huddled beside her brother and sister and used her body heat to warm them. She told them stories to keep them awake. The children sang all four verses of “America the Beautiful,” a song they had sung during opening exercises at the country school that morning, and repeated the Lord’s Prayer. Hazel advised her siblings, “Remember, you mustn’t go to sleep — even if I do. Promise me you won’t, no matter how sleepy you get. Keep each other awake! Promise?” Her brother and sister promised.:128
Throughout the night, the children could hear a dog barking somewhere nearby, but no one came to their aid. As the night wore on, Hazel talked less and less, until she finally became silent.
Her brother Emmet later recalled the blizzard for an article in the March 15, 1963 issue of The Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune:
The robe kept blowing down and Hazel kept pulling it up until she got so she couldn’t put it up any more. Then she covered us up with the robe and lay down on top of it. I told Hazel to get under the covers too, but she said she had to keep us children warm, and she wouldn’t do it … I tried to get out to put the cover over Hazel, but I could not move because she was lying on the cover. The snow would get in around our feet, we couldn’t move them, then Hazel would break the crust for us. After awhile she could not break the crust anymore, she just lay still and groaned. I thought she must be dead, then I kept talking to Myrdith so she wouldn’t go to sleep.