Jeannine Nelson
Interview by Larsen Springer

Jeannine Nelsen

Larsen Springer: Where were you born?
Mrs. Nelsen said, “I was born in Lexington, Nebraska.”

What’s your first, most vivid memory?
“Playing on the farm,” she said.

Tell me about where you grew up.
Mrs. Nelsen was the oldest child and had two brothers and two sisters. She lived 8 miles out of town. Mrs. Nelsen walked to country school which was through 8th grade. Sometimes she would get a ride from her family if it was raining or snowing. Mrs. Nelsen survived having to use the outhouse growing up! One of the chores was getting water out of the pump to the house. Mrs. Nelsen had to put cold water in the cooler to keep her sack lunch cold, because they didn’t have a fridge.

What good things do you remember about growing up there?
“Going outside to play and climbing trees,” she said. She would feed the chickens that her mom had running around. She was part of 4H and in 4H she sewed, cooked, and showed cattle. She brushed the cattle and gave them baths.

Tell me about your parents. Where were they born? What memories do you have of each of them from when you were growing up?
“Dad was born on the farm in the same house that we lived in. My mom was born in York, Nebraska and she died at the end of July. Mom was always working on sewing, gardening, and canning. Dad was busy farming, driving tractors and irrigating the crops.”

Did you have any heroes or role models when you were growing up?
Mrs. Nelsen said, “probably my Mom,” because she wanted to be like her and do all those things like cook and sew.

What dreams and goals did you have for your life when you graduated?
Mrs. Nelsen wanted to graduate from college. At first she wanted to be a nurse, but then she toured a hospital and an accident happened and there was a lot of blood so she decided to become a home teacher instead.

How long have you lived In Lyons?
Mrs. Nelsen said, “I’ve been here since 1970.” She came here for her first teaching job.

How did you and Mr. Nelsen meet for the first time?
“He was teaching at the same school for three years. He was a science teacher there,” she said.

How did you decide what you wanted to do with your life?
She wanted to be a nurse, but decided to go into teaching. Mrs. Nelsen moved to Omaha for a year, because she wanted to do something different. She moved back to teach in Bancroft for 7 years.

Mrs. Nelsen taught until 1985 in Lyons. She worked in the Special Education room as an aide. She drove to Omaha one night a week for 3 years so she could be a Special Education teacher.

What do you do with your free time?
Mrs. Nelsen gardens, likes to fish, camp, and sew.

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