Hazel Gawley Ledbetter, daughter of Julian Hawkins and Irene (Harbuck) Gawley, was born in Houston, Texas, on September 25, 1902. She was educated in the public schools of Houston and at the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Woman's University) in Denton. She married Dr. Paul Veal Ledbetter, grandson of Dr. A. A. Ledbetter, on June 10, 1924. They were the parents of three children.
She was active in civic affairs as an early member of River Oaks Garden Club and as president of the Women's Committee of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. During World War II she was in charge of the Camp and Hospital program at Camp Swift. As a longtime friend of Ima Hogg, she participated in the preparation of Bayou Bend and its collection to become a part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Her interest in architecture and restoration led her to Round Top in 1959. She purchased several farms, houses, and old buildings and began a significant restoration program. In 1961 she purchased the property that is now known as the Winedale Historical Center. She offered the original stagecoach inn structure to the Museum of Fine Arts. When it could not be moved to Bayou Bend she sold the entire property to Ima Hogg who gave it to the University of Texas at Austin. In the late 1960s she sold all her remaining Round Top properties to Charles L. Bybee and his wife Faith.
She died in Houston on October 6, 1992, and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. In 1993 she was awarded, posthumously, the Ima Hogg Award in recognition of her work at Round Top.