Newspaper pioneer portrayed in museum lecture series Thursday

by Sharlene Irete

People Editor

The life and travels of Nevada newspaper pioneer Nellie Mighels Davis are chronicled in a Chautauqua-style presentation by Sue Ballew, past president of the Carson City Historical Society, 7 p.m. Thursday, at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center 1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville.

Ballew is the daughter of Bill Dolan who wrote for the Nevada Appeal from 1947 until his death in 2006. Ballew and her brother, Trent Dolan, have taken over the Past Pages feature and write weekly stories in the Nevada Appeal about Carson City's history in honor of the capital's sesquicentennial this year.

Ballew said although her father never knew Nellie Mighels Davis, her family was still involved in the Nevada Appeal when he came to work there.

"I chose to portray Nellie because my dad used to talk about these people," said Ballew. "I took a class and learned more about Nellie. After doing so much research, you almost feel like you're the character."

Nellie and her husband, H. R. Mighels, were the first owners of the Carson Morning Appeal. When Mighels passed away in 1879, Nellie became sole owner of the Appeal and ran it until her marriage to Samuel Post Davis. She died in 1945 at age 101.

"When Nellie ran the paper alone, she was a widow with four kids," said Ballew. "She reported for the Legislature and did church stories reporting on sermons. That's how she learned to write. She fought for women's rights. She was a woman ahead of her time."

The free lecture series is sponsored by the Douglas County Historical Society the second Thursday of the month. The museum and the Main Street Book Store will be open before and following the one-hour lecture. Information, 782-2555.


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