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Nellie Olivia Burkhart Hall
Birth: Feb. 16, 1859
Albany
Linn County
Oregon, USA
Death: Dec. 4, 1948
Oakland
Alameda County
California, USA

The daughter of pioneers, Nellie Olivia Burkhart, born Feb 16, 1859 to Leander Columbus Burkhart (1823-1875) and Melissa Ann (Davidson) Burkhart (1835-1898) of Albany, Linn County, Oregon, would have to bury all three of her husbands and one of her children, and raise a son and daughter as well, which she did very successfully, although it pained her greatly to loose her husbands and baby boy.
She first married George Scott Royce, who was related to the Froman family (he was staying with his aunt & uncle, Strauder and Ophelia Froman); he had been lucky enough to meet her while visiting the Fromans, who were also related to the Burkharts, in 1880. Nellie and George married Sep 2, 1882 in Albany, Oregon. Nellie was 23 and George was a carriage maker, successful at his occupation in the now thriving town of Albany. The happy couple settled into their home and were blessed with a son they named Winfield Scott Royce on July 2, 1885. They were blessed with a 2nd son on Sept 12, 1889 who they named George F. Royce. But by now, her husband George had taken ill with consumption and could no longer work a full day. The medications didn't help and Nellie couldn't help but remember the younger sister she had lost back in 1879 to the same disease, her sister Frances Ann, who was affectionately known as "Fannie". Now her husband was quite ill and their only source of income was from crops raised on her share of her donation land claim left to her by her father upon his demise back in 1875 and she was grateful for it. All she could do was continue to pray and care for her husband as best she could; her parents had instilled in all of their children a strong faith in God for their forefathers had been exiled from Germany for being Lutheran back in 1767, arriving in the American Colonies on board a Dutch slave ship at Philadelphia, PA. Many Burkharts had fought in the American Revolutionary War and Nellie's grandfather, John Burkhart, had fought in the War of 1812. Nellie was grateful that she could worship as she chose, as were all of the Burkhart children. They were raised as Baptists. Her strong faith helped her as her loving husband passed from this world on May 14, 1890. Nellie was a widow with two little boys at the age of 31 and she mourned deeply for her beloved companion as they buried him at the Masonic Cemetery a few days later. She had to stay strong for her children; her mother and brothers & sisters tried to comfort her as best they could thru out the summer and into the Fall. But death reared it's ugly head again and this time took her little boy, George, just two months after his 1st birthday. I don't know the cause of his death - if he also had TB or if some other disease or an accident took his little life. I am sure, however, that she was devastated by his death. He was buried next to his father in the Masonic Cemetery, and Nellie mourned their losses deeply. I believe it was only her son, affectionately known as "Winnie" that kept her going sometimes in the end of 1890 and into early 1891.

Now I don't know when William Thomas Baker, originally from Louisville, Kentucky, decided to make Albany, Oregon his home, or when he came to know the widow, Nellie Royce. But she found love for a 2nd time and William T. Baker and Nellie O. Royce were married on July 21, 1891, in Albany. He was also a carriage maker and was also building the new automobiles that were changing the modes of transportation forever. The couple and little Winnie were blessed on March 2, 1895 with a daughter, a sister for Winnie, a little girl they named Pearl Laura, (who would one day become my grandmother). I am so glad they had family portraits taken in about 1900 when William Baker was still alive, because he, too, passed from Consumption (TB) just as George Royce had 10 years before. William Thomas Baker died on March 14th, 1900, just 12 days after little Pearl's 5th birthday. His parents were well-to-do in Louisville, Kentucky and wanted their son buried in the family plot at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky, on no uncertain terms. They sent family members to Albany to retrieve William Baker's remains upon learning of his demise. Poor Nellie. She had again lost a man she had loved and married and now she would have no place nearby to visit him, and what was she to tell her little girl about her daddy? {I am one of Pearl's granddaughters and in all of the 24 years I knew her I never heard her speak of either her father or her mother, nor her brother. I think it was just too painful. Can you imagine being a little girl, watching your daddy die and then seeing some men coming and taking him away?) Now Nellie became known as the "Rich Widow Baker" because she and her husband had invested their money wisely, and she owned rental property in addition to the donation land claims that were never fallow. She wasn't rich, she just spent her money wisely. She and the children lived at 915 Maple St. (from Winnie's wedding on 7/7/1923) and certainly surprised everyone in town when she bought one of the 1st cars ever owned by a woman in Albany and learned how to drive it. Winnie operated the Western Union telegraph at the train station in Albany. He was even on duty on Apr 18, 1906 when the San Francisco earthquake occured and word of it came over the telegraph. When Pearl came to his job to see him, he told her about the quake & sent her to spread the word. Young Pearl ran down the main streets shouting out the news but said, recalling the story once for her daughters, noone believed her because she was "just a child of 11 yrs." She was vindicated later that day when more news stories came out over the telegraph. Nellie remained at her home in Albany thruout her daughter's school age years which ended in June, 1913 with Pearl graduating at the top of her class, (yes, she was #1!) & being awarded a 4 year scholarship to Albany College {which later became Lewis & Clark College and relocated to Portland, Oregon). Her daughter had been seeing Harry Hoyt Taylor for many years. They were childhood sweethearts which wasn't a problem for Nellie as long as Pearl finished college and married well. She had another suitor who later became a jeweler, but her heart belonged to Harry Taylor. Pearl and Harry were deeply in love and, on July 14th, 1914, they married at Newport, Oregon in a small ceremony. This did not bode well with Nellie, and she let the couple know this upon their return from the Coast. They made their 1st home in Marshfield, now known as Coos Bay, in a home that Harry built himself. He continued to work for the railroad in Coos County until after their 1st daughter, Helen Louise, was born in 1918. Nellie and Winnie continued to live together in Albany for many years. In 1923, Winnie married Deanna Marie Franke, and, later that year they were blessed with the birth of a daughter whom they named Mary Lucille. They returned to California (where Deanna was originally from) but came back to Oregon for the Burkhart Reunion in 1926. (I believe it was a reunion of all of Leander Columbus Burkhart's children and their children, as well, from who I've seen in the picture.) By 1926, Nellie was 67 years of age, but continued on in good health.

In 1929, Benjamin Franklin Hall of the Woodburn area met Nellie, although I don't know how or exactly when. He was a widower, his loving wife, Sarah Ellen (Bonney) Hall, of over 50 years having passed away in Feb., 1929. From what I understand, neither of them had planned to remarry, they were both just good friends with alot in common from the beginning of their relationship. They did marry eventually, although I am uncertain of the exact date, but it was some time in the early 1930's, from what Nellie's granddaughter, my mother, could remember. She said he was a nice, gentle, humorous man who she enjoyed being around when she was a child. He had taken up the hobby of collecting all of the different types of wood that grew in Oregon during his adult life and identifying them. He also collected sea shells from the Oregon Coast, including the bees wax that he recovered from a Spanish Galleon that sank off coast of Oregon back in either 1693 or 1705, (depending upon which ship it was) and the wax had made it's way on the ocean currents to Oregon*. It was a large block with carvings on it identifying the owner, etc. He also had purchased baskets from the Calapooya Indians who lived in the Willamette Valley near Albany and collected different types of rocks from both Western and Eastern Oregon. (All of these items were donated to Champoeg State Park upon his death. Some of the items are still there. Some were thrown away (the wood!) and the beeswax was donated to the museum in Newport, Oregon, per the park ranger with whom I dealt with in 2011, attempting to locate these different items. The wood collection used to encircle the old museum ceiling at Champoeg State Park.) They were married until his death on May 3rd, 1940 where upon he was buried with his 1st wife, Sarah Ellen, which he and Nellie had been agreed upon before they had married.
After the death of her 3rd husband, Nellie, who was now 81 yrs. of age, went to live with her daughter, Pearl L. Taylor, and son-in-law, Harry Hoyt Taylor, who were now living in Oakland, California. Harry H. Taylor was the Supervisor of the Interstate Commerce Commission's West Coast Region, following the impressive work he had done in the South Carolina area of the East Coast Region before & during World War II, making determinations regarding sabotage of train wrecks in the area. Both Pearl and Harry wanted Nellie to stay with them until her days had ended as they felt she should not be alone and Pearl wanted to care for her mother as her mother had cared for her when she was growing up. Nellie lived with them, with one of her three grandchildren (my mother, Patricia Jean Taylor) living nearby until the time came at last for her to take her last breath here on Earth. She passed from this life on Dec 1st, 1948. She had lived 89 years and her remains were taken back to Albany to be buried with her 1st husband, George Scott Royce, and her baby boy, George F. Royce, at the Masonic Cemetery. She is buried there, under the name "Nellie Burkhart Hall", at Peace.

*For further information regarding the beeswax and the Spanish Galleon, go to OPBS & type in "Oregon shipwreck beeswax". It will bring up the story that gave me the information I was seeking, written by Scott Williams of Portland State University. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Leander Columbus Burkhart (1823 - 1875)
  Melissa Ann Davidson Burkhart (1835 - 1898)
 
 Spouses:
  George Scott Royce (1860 - 1890)
  William Thomas Baker (1844 - 1900)
  Benjamin Franklin Hall (1851 - 1940)
 
 Children:
  Winfield Scott Royce (1885 - 1957)*
  George F Royce (1889 - 1890)*
  Pearl Laura Baker Taylor (1895 - 1975)*
 
 Siblings:
  Hezekiah Davidson Burkhart (1853 - 1924)*
  Frances Ann Burkhart (1856 - 1879)*
  Nellie Olivia Burkhart Hall (1859 - 1948)
  Robert Lee Burkhart (1864 - 1946)*
  William Chester Burkhart (1871 - 1936)*
  Bessie Beatrice Burkhart Daring (1874 - 1906)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Buried under the name "Nellie Burkhart Hall" next to her 1st husband, George Scott Royce and her baby, George F. Royce. "Mother" is inscribed above her name and dates.
 
Note: Age 89
 
Burial:
Masonic Cemetery
Albany
Linn County
Oregon, USA
 
Maintained by: Kathie L. Webb Blair
Originally Created by: David J Bollman
Record added: Aug 04, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28786209
Nellie Olivia <i>Burkhart</i> Hall
Added by: Bill Kapaun
 
Nellie Olivia <i>Burkhart</i> Hall
Added by: SSBJ💔
 
Nellie Olivia <i>Burkhart</i> Hall
Added by: SSBJ💔
 
 
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Thinking of you, my dear great grandmother. I wish I knew more about you aside from just the facts about your life and the sorrows you endured, loosing your son and the two men you loved and chose to marry so early in your life. Happy Mother's Day from Pe...(Read more)
- Kathie Lynn
 Added: May. 10, 2015

- Gary Bonney
 Added: Mar. 29, 2015
Dearest Great Grandmother, tomorrow is the 166th Anniversary of your birth. "If not for thee, there would be no me". I'm grateful you were born, am sorry for all of the losses you endured, but am proud that you were such a strong woman, taking care of gra...(Read more)
- Kathie L. Webb Blair
 Added: Feb. 15, 2015
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