Plate 6


Nellie Miller
(Donald's maternal aunt)

Top left: Nellie Miller. Born May 13, 1886, in Otter Tail County, was graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1906, taught first grade for seven years, and later lived in Austin, Minnesota. Her needlework was extremely fine. This post card photo, addressed to her aunt Ella Neller Noble, was postmarked 1908.

Top right: Nellie Miller. (no date)

Bottom left: Nellie Miller. Taught school with Amelia in Dalton, Minnesota, until Amelia quit to get married. Nellie died of pneumonia following surgery for a ruptured appendix May 8, 1918, age 32. She was buried at Oakwood cemetery in Austin, Minnesota.

Bottom right: Nellie and Amelia Miller. (no date)

"[From] The Dalton School -- Argument to show the wisdom of a long term: With the approach of the close of the school year, plans are being made for the next year. The term has been very successful in more ways than one. Misses Amelia and Nellie Miller came here highly recommended, and have amply demonstrated that the recommendation was merited. At no time have our schools been on a more efficent basis than at present, and it is sincerely to be regretted that the Misses Miller have decided not to remain another year." [clipping from The Dalton News, April 13, 1911]

"Miss Nellie Miller, daughter of Mrs. Emma Miller, died Wednesday afternoon about 3:30 after an illness of ten days with pneumonia.... [Nellie] taught seven years as a first grade teacher and she loved her profession. Her health gave out and she was obliged to give up her school work, having suffered a nervous breakdown. She made her home at Ashby until the summer of 1915 when she came to Austin to live and be near relatives.... [Nellie and her mother bought or built] a home [at 905] Park Avenue where Mrs. Miller and Nellie resided and where the daughter died.

"Miss Miller resumed her teaching for a time but was unable to continue and the past year has been a student at high school, taking up the commercial course." [excerpts from obituary].

Excerpt from Donald B. Johnson manuscript:

"I don't remember ever seeing my Aunt Nellie. She died in Rochester from a ruptured appendix before I was old enough to remember her." [2.53-3]

"Nellie died when Marj was a baby. [May 8, 1918; Donald was 4-1/2 years old.] Ma took us two on the train to Austin [Minnesota] for the funeral. I don't remember much about that trip, just a faint memory of the red, plush seats on the train at night. I think we were tended by one of Ma's cousins during the funeral."

"I remember getting on the train in the night and my grandmother and a couple of Ma's aunts being there. They all looked ancient to me. Some of them had whiskers and I got special attention like, 'Have you got a kiss for Auntie?' Ugh! Who were they kidding? They had to settle for a kiss on my cheek, and not with my blessing. All I got out of it was a wet spot, which I promptly wiped off on my sleeve." [2.53-1]