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Nissen family



Helen Wilma Parker Nissen (1898-1957), a farmer, teacher, and clubwoman, was born in Essex, Iowa on May 18, 1898. She graduated from Shenandoah High School and attended Coe College and the University of Iowa. In 1918 she moved to Walnut, Iowa, where she taught English and Music in the high school for three years. Parker, who was known as Wilma, married Harold Nissen of Walnut, Iowa in 1921 and continued teaching for one more year while her husband helped on his father's farm. When Harold Nissen's father died, the Nissens moved onto the farm. They had five children: Phyllis,Eleanor, Joan, Wallace, and Trudy.

Wilma Nissen was active in 4-H, the Farm Bureau, the YWCA, the State Red Cross, Eastern Star, and the State World Fellowship Committee. She was the state president of the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs from 1953 to 1955. When Harold Nissen died of a brain tumor in 1951, Wilma Nissen continued to manage the 240-acre farm and raise her two small children until her arthritis forced her to retire from farming. Wilma Nissen died on January 18, 1957. Phyllis Nissen (1923-1967) graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in sociology. In 1944 she married Miles Chenault. Phyllis Nissen was president of the League of Women Voters in Mason City, and after the family moved to Florida she became president of the local League there. She was also active in various women's literary, civic, and social clubs.

Eleanor Nissen was born in 1925, on a farm near Walnut, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1948 witha B.A. in Sociology. She married Bob Bell in 1948, and lives in Munster, Indiana where she remains active in P.E.O.

Trudy Nissen (1943-1991) worked in the film and travel industries in Rome, Italy in 1967 and as a realtor. She was married and divorced twice; first to Rocky Lubin and second to Clark Marks. She died of cancer in 1991.

Helen Joan Nissen, "Joan," was born in 1927 near Walnut, Iowa. She attended the University of Iowa for one year before she married Bob Kreideman in 1948. They moved to Wisconsin where she worked for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. They divorced in 1980,and she continued working at the university until her retirement in 1993.

Ewald Anton Nissen and Anna Justine (Bossen) Nissen, great-great grandparents of Harold Nissen, were born in the early 1830s in Germany and immigrated to Lyons, Iowa in 1857. William Price and Lydia Ann (Smith) Price, great-great grandparents of Wilma (Parker) Nissen, were born in the early 1800s. Their story begins in 1827 in Moundsville,Virginia.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Nissen Family papers

Identifier: IWA0073

Biographical materials relate to Walnut, Iowa clubwoman Wilma Parker Nissen and her daughters.

Dates: 1936-1996