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Nellie Winfield Owens Kirry
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Birth: Aug. 2, 1869
Walnut Grove
Redwood County
Minnesota, USA
Death: Nov. 2, 1949
Washington County
Oregon, USA

She was the Nellie Oleson of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder



The first girl, Nellie Owens, was a year younger than Laura and had a younger brother named Willie, just as the character of Nellie Oleson did in the books. Her parents, William and Margaret Owens (renamed Nels and Harriet Oleson in the book and television series), did, as Laura describes, run the local mercantile in Walnut Grove. Nellie Owens is the main basis for Nellie Oleson in On the Banks of Plum Creek. Later in her life, Owens moved to California and then on to Oregon, where she married Henry Kirry and had three children, Zola, Lloyd, and Leslie. Her brother Willie went blind from a firecracker explosion, attended a school for the blind, married, and also had three children. There seems to be no indication that Laura ever saw Nellie Owens again after Laura's family left Walnut Grove in 1879.

Nellie died in 1949.


The Oregonian
November 4, 1949
FUNERAL NOTICES

KIRRY - Nellie W., Nov. 2, 8610 NE Beech; mother of Mrs. Reginald Sheard, Lloyd Kirry; grandmother of Robert and Prescott Kirry; 4 great-granchildren. Service Saturday, 9:30 am, at The House of Holman, Hawthorne at 27th. Friends invited. Interment Forest View Cemetery, Forest Grove, at 11 am.

-----------------------

Nellie Owens was one of the ones that Laura Ingalls Wilder based her Nellie Owens character on. It is said that Nellie was a composite of three people that Laura knew. Nellie's parents did run a mercantile in Walnut Grove, Minnesota like Laura wrote about in her books. As an adult she moved to California and then to Oregon where she met her futher husband Henry Kirry and had three children. Her father and her brother are buried at the same cemetery as she is in Forest Grove, Oregon.


Father: William Henry Owens
Mother: Margaret H. (Gibson) Owens
Brother: William B. Owens
Husband: Henry Frank Kirry (married July 26, 1893 in Tillamook County, Oregon) (he died Nov 1951 in Portland, OR)
Sons:
Lloyd Prescott Kirry (b. July 12, 1896, d. Oct 12, 1961 in Eugene, OR)
and
Leslie Henry Kirry (b. Apr 1, 1900, d. Mar 2, 1931 in Seattle, King County, Washington)
Daughter: Zola Margaret Sheard (b. Aug 1, 1894, d. Sept 28, 1986 in Portland, OR)


The Oregonian
November 4, 1949
FUNERAL NOTICES

KIRRY - Nellie W., Nov. 2, 8610 NE Beech; mother of Mrs. Reginald Sheard, Lloyd Kirry; grandmother of Robert and Prescott Kirry; 4 great-granchildren. Service Saturday, 9:30 am, at The House of Holman, Hawthorne at 27th. Friends invited. Interment Forest View Cemetery, Forest Grove, at 11 am.

Information was provided by Tracy Kuloneli-Hanchett 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Henry Owens (1836 - 1920)
  Margaret H. Gibson Owens (1836 - 1908)
 
 Spouse:
  Henry Francis Kirry (1869 - 1951)
 
 Children:
  Zola Margaret Kirry Sheard (1894 - 1986)*
  Lloyd Prescott Kirry (1896 - 1961)*
  Leslie Henry Kirry (1900 - 1931)*
 
 Sibling:
  William B. Owens (1869 - 1934)*
  Nellie Winfield Owens Kirry (1869 - 1949)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Buried next to her father and her brother.
 
Burial:
Forest View Cemetery
Forest Grove
Washington County
Oregon, USA
Plot: Lot 417, Gr. 6
 
Created by: Laurie
Record added: Sep 19, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29922997
Nellie Winfield <i>Owens</i> Kirry
Added by: Laurie
 
Nellie Winfield <i>Owens</i> Kirry
Added by: Fred
 
Nellie Winfield <i>Owens</i> Kirry
Added by: Loren Hiatt
 
 
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- Jeannie
 Added: Aug. 17, 2016
The real Nellie Oleson. Rest in peace
- Luca Bonini
 Added: May. 20, 2016

- Kathryn
 Added: May. 11, 2016
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