Mrs. Blanche M. Nelson

Blanche Fidelia Miles, daughter of Charles Noble and Ellen Boynton Miles, was born on February 9, 1875 in Elgin, Illinois. Her early childhood was spent in Illinois, Michigan, and in Chicago. Later, she moved with her parents to Iowa Falls, Iowa, and she graduated from the Iowa Falls High School, and later from the Cedar Falls Normal School, where she received a teaching certificate.

She taught at Dolliver, Williams and Estherville, Iowa, and, after her marriage, she worked as a substitute teacher when vacancies occurred in the Granville school.

In the fall of 1902, she and William Hoyt Nelson both filed on homesteads which joined Deering on the west and east sides, respectively. She established her residence, and proved up her claim.

Her marriage to William Hoyt Nelson took place in Minneapolis on August 15, 1905, after which they came to Granville, North Dakota to make their home.

Mr. Nelson had established a jewelry store and watch repair shop in connection with a general store owned by his father, J.R. Nelson. Upon the death of his father, his son and Mrs. Nelson carried on the business.

Later, Mrs. Nelson clerked at the Ole Johnson general store and continued in the same store when it was sold to the Muus Brothers.

Mr. Nelson passed away in 1937, and Mrs. Nelson continued in her home in Granville. They had no children.

Mrs. Blanche Nelson loved music, and was an avid listener at the Opera House each week, urging young people in Granville to study music. She was also an avid reader, and took part in organizing a library for the Hope Congregational Sunday School.

Although Mrs. Nelson was a Baptist, she chose to associate with the Congregational Sunday School for several years. In 1922, she assisted the Rev. and Mrs. Crellin in he organization and supervision of the Una Jean Minte Missionary Society, whose members were high school girls of any denomination, and whose mission to the Indians of Fort Berthold Agency was carried on for many years, until it was taken over by the different churches.

Mrs. Nelson taught women's and junior girl's Bible school classes for nearly thirty-five years, and was still teaching a junior girl's class on the Sunday before her death. She was local chairman and one of the county committee of the Bible Reading Course for many years.

She was a charter member of the Granville Study Club, which changed its name to the Blanche M. Nelson Study Club in her honor following her death.

Mrs. Nelson was also interested in politics, serving during political campaigns, particularly  the one for Women Franchise. She was the first woman to be elected to the State Electoral Board, and was one of four who carried North Dakota for Hoover.

Her death came suddenly, and as a result of a concussion suffered when she fell down her basement steps. She was unconscious when she was discovered by her neighbor, Mrs. Deibler. She had died by the time the doctor arrived. The date of her death was June 11, 1953. She was buried next to her husband in the Granville Cemetery.

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