Monday, January 6, 2014

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: #1 ~ The "Pretty Miss Eickelberg”

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog)


First, just the facts:

Name: Nelle Eickelberg
Relationship: Great-Grandmother
Born: March 25 or April 1, 1885 in Carbon, Clay Co, Indiana 
Married first: William Nissen 26-Sep-1901
Married second: John H Quick 1910
Married third: Richard Hefin 26-Aug-1920
Died: 15-Aug-1970 Denver, Colorado



It was easy to pick my first ancestor to feature in this challenge. Nelle was the subject of my very first blog post in 2009. In some ways she inspired the name for this blog.

The little girl in this picture is Nelle and this is the earliest picture I have of her. The picture was taken in Denver at Foreman Studio about 1887 as the little boy, her brother William, was born on February 15, 1887.

The reason I have Nelle's birth as March 25 OR April 1st is that the birth information from Indiana indicates April 1st, but that also happens to be the date the record was created - the date the birth was REPORTED by the father.  Nelle always used March 25th as her birthday and if that's the date her mother gave her, I tend to trust that more.
This is probably my favorite picture of Nelle and I think it goes well with a story I found recently.   I always said that I never found fun things about my ancestors - they all seemed to keep a low profile.  Turns out I just needed to look a little harder.  When I originally started working on my family history, I knew about Nelle's first husband but somehow I always had the impression that he had died,as her second husband, my great-grandfather, had.  I later found out that she had divorced him - oh the scandal!!  And then, this past August, I found this gem which was published in the Denver Post on November 11, 1901. :


I even have a picture of the restaurant that is mentioned.  Nelle is the young girl in the middle but the man to her right was an employee there, not her future (first) husband.




 One of my favorite stories that my Grandpa Quick told about his mother had to do with his first day at school.  His name is Jack H Quick - the H does not stand for anything and so that is his full name.  Well, the teacher didn't see it that way.  She told him that "Jack" was just a nickname and that his real name must be John and she proceeded to call him that all day.  She also insisted that the "H" had to stand for something and kept quizzing him on what his middle name "really" was.  When he got home that day he apparently asked his mother why she hadn't told him that his real name was John and also asked her what his middle name was as his teacher demanded that he know the answer the next day.  Well, apparently Nelle accompanied Jack to school, swept into the classroom and proceeded to set that teacher straight!  "I named him Jack and this IS what you will call him from now on."  I can just picture it all from my Grandpa's telling of it.

In the picture to the right, the baby on her lap is my Grandpa, Jack and the older boy is her first son Harry whose father is the "disgusting" young son-in-law mentioned above.

I was very fortunate to actually know my great-grandmother.  She had a cabin in the mountains above Denver and we stayed there when I was about 9.  That was definitely a family tradition as here is my Mom (in the front with the floppy hat) at that same cabin with her cousins when she was young.  The thing I remember about the cabin was that while there was no indoor bathroom, there was a player piano and the outhouse had a pearl green toilet seat. 

My Mom was very close to her grandmother as she lived with Nelle after her own parents divorced.  I have many wonderful studio portrait pictures of my Mom because of Nelle.   Each year on Mom's birthday Nelle would get her all dressed up and take her to have a picture taken.


My Mom had twin cousins - Harry's daughters - that were very close to her in age.  Nelle would buy all the girls matching outfits.


 Although Nelle stayed in Colorado, she stayed close to her youngest son's family even after they left Denver and would come out to Ohio to visit from time to time.  Here is a picture taken at the time of my Mom's graduation.

I remember her visiting when I was maybe 7 or 8.  I had just gotten a camera for my birthday and I remember so clearly taking her picture - I even can see the picture (it was a little overexposed!) but I can't seem to lay my hands on it at the moment.  [And this is why I have trouble blogging - an hour later and I've finally found the picture.  I just couldn't rest until I sorted through the box where it should be.  The good news is it was there.  The bad news is that now I feel the need to organize the whole box of pictures.]

I do remember her coming to stay at our house about that time and she let me look through her magnifying glass.  I was always just a little in awe of her.

I have many more stories and pictures, but I think I'll end with this series.  



While several of my great-grandparents were alive when I was born, Nelle is the only one that I really remember.  I'm so happy to have those memories!

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful, wonderful job, Diana. The illustrated version of her life is even better than the stories you've told. She was a blessing!

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    1. Thanks Susan! You know me, I'm all about the pictures.

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  2. Lovely post about your great-grandmother!

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  3. Wonderful post, Diane. I love the story about Nellie setting the teacher straight. You're lucky to have so many awesome photos. The little girls with their muffs are adorable!

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    1. I just found that picture recently Shelley. At first I mis-identified which one was my Mom!! She always told me that people thought she and Barbara (the blonde twin) looked more like twin that the twins did....if that makes any sense. :-)

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  4. Those are fantastic photos! She sounds like quite a woman to have in your corner. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Jen! Yes, I LOVE the pictures too - it's what got me interesting in genealogy. I actually have more pictures of Nelle...I'll have to work them into some other posts. :-)

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    2. What an eventful life Nellie led and her personality came across so well in your post. I especially liked the press cutting relating to her and the photographs, particularly the beautiful colour one of you mother and the little girls with their muffs. i look forward to reading more about Nellie.

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    3. Thanks Sue - Nelle was quite a character...with a personality bigger than life! I really need to compile all the stories and pictures in a book.

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  5. Wonderful photos! How lucky you are to have those! I especially love the 3rd photo in the bottom series - looks like something that could have been taken today! You've inspired me to take the 52 week challenge as well - thank you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by - and so glad you will be joining the challenge!! And I agree about the bottom series - the one you mention has always been one of my favorite pictures of Nelle.

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  6. See sometimes it pays to be SOOOO much older than me! You got to know Nelle

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    1. Well, Anonymous, you can rest assured that even though you don't remember her, SHE knew you! She got to meet your ornery little self when we went out to Colorado and stayed at the cabin. :-)

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