Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nels Oleson [Richard Bull] closes the Mercantile

J. Mark Lowe


I've enjoyed watching the show, Little House on the Prairie for years.  I learned this morning, Richard Bull,  known to most of us as Nels Oleson,  passed away. Obituary  Remembering
It is amazing how a show that originally aired in my youth still speaks to so many people today. The story of homesteaders and others surviving as they sought a better life for their family speaks especially to those of us who research families.  It makes me laugh to watch the interaction with his wife, Harriett, on the show and remember my years of growing up.


A quick glances showed Richard Bull, born 26 June 1924 in Zion, Lake County, Illinois to Ralph W. and Pearl, both also from Illinois [Enumeration of Ralph W. Bull, Dwelling 134, Household 150, 1930 US Census, Zion, Lake, Illinois; NARA T626,Roll: 528; ED 9, Page: 12A; Stamped 89,  FHL microfilm: 2340263.]  His father, Ralph W. was a compositor in an Office Supply Business. Although I'm drawn to learn more about his family, I know that I have other stories to tell. If you have access, check out Find-a-Grave and other basic records and news reports.

His father and grandparents were buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.  His father's gravestone shares Ralph W. Bull, 1903-1944.  The simple design of this stone reminds me of a stone Nels Oleson might place on a family member's grave. Our ability to collect so many details about our family should lead us to learn more.  Thanks to Richard Bull for keeping the story alive of the folks of Walnut Grove, etc found in the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

What story can you build today?

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Thanks Mark!! I still watch Little House on the Prairie every chance I get. Watching that show allows me to think about my ancestors and how they lived during that same time frame. A Classic!

J. Mark Lowe
J. Mark Lowe Reviews
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