Nelda Hunt was born on February 23, 1908 to William (Harry) and Flora Hunt, in their house, on Oak Run road, She had four sisters and one brother, Annie, Esther, Hattie, Helen and Clemons (died as a child) Nelda also had three half-brothers and two half-sisters, Dan, Roy, George, Elsie and Martha (died young). Nelda grew up on the Oak Run ranch. Growing up on the ranch there were always chores to do and the children stayed busy doing their chores or playing with their pets. Nelda and her sisters had pet goats, and they liked to take them upstairs and let them jump out the window and run around on the roof. The girls liked to play on the roof with the goats. Nelda had a pet pig that she raised, his name was Misery Pig; he grew to be a very large pig Nelda rode on his back all over the ranch, One day Misery Pig decided to go under a barbed wire fence. She had a scar on her back the rest of her life, but she still loved Misery Pig. Once a year a circus would come to Redding, this was something the family looked forward to. Harry and Flora would load up the wagon with the children and plenty of food. A trip to Redding by wagon took several hours. They would leave at four A.M. and arrive home at midnight.

The Hunt children all attended the Wilkinson School. After Nelda graduated from the 8th grade she went to Shasta High School. She boarded with a family in Redding during the week and went home for the weekend. Nelda graduated from High School in 1926.

Nelda married Lloyd Macaulay in 1927. They had one daughter. Elaine Frances.

After two years of marriage Nelda and Lloyd were divorced. Nelda decided to go to the Stanford School of Nursing in Palo Alto, she graduated as a registered nurse in 1933. Nelda returned to Redding and became the first head nurse at the new Shasta County Hospital. The hospital was quite different from her Stanford training. There was only one doctor in surgery and Nelda helped him; she also delivered babies. Nelda went to work for Dr. O. J. Hansen in 1935 and worked for him until World War II started.

Nelda and S. J. (Stoney) Denham were married August 19, 1934. They had one son. Randy Jay.

Stoney served in the Army and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. There was a critical shortage of nurses at this time. Nelda was the first civil service nurse to work in the army hospital. She really enjoyed being a nurse and especially liked maternity duty. Nelda felt that compassion for the sick and poor was the key to good nursing. She worked in nursing for seventeen years. When her husband was discharged from the army in 1944 they returned to Redding to their house at 1826 Sonoma Street.

Nelda belonged to many organizations: District 41 Calif. State Nursing Association, Millville Rebekah Lodge#3, Parent Teacher's Association, Redding Business and Professional Women, the Riverview Golf and Country Club, and a member and Sunday School Superintendent of the First Baptist Church. She served as president in many of these organizations.

Nelda enjoyed her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren; she often had family gatherings so they could all be together. Nelda liked to work in her yard and spent many hours tending her garden.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - Feb. 2002

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