It’s frustrating to not have identification beyond “Indian Nellie”, but that was very common on this era (1910s).  This photo was from Alma Howe’s personal collection, bearing notes in her handwriting on the reverse.  Alma Howe kept “guest cottages” up near Belmont Street, and knew Nellie well enough to write this tribute in the Hood River Glacier on her passing in 1914.

Indian Nellie, aged 75 years, died Friday, November 14, at the home of Joe Aleck, two miles east of Hood River. She was buried from the Bartmess under-taking parlors. Rev. Parsons conducted the service which was simple yet very impressive.
Nellie was a devoted member of the United Brethren church and a regular attendant when she was well. Indian Nellie was a woman of rare attainments, being very refined and clean, one of the few of her race who looked forward and made preparations for “cold winter time.’ She did washing and ironing among the pioneers. Mollie, the daughter, would go with her and play with the white children. Many a time as Nellie ironed some of the children’s clothes she did so in memory of her own little ones, three of whom had passed on in infancy. When Mollie was sixteen years old she married Peter, but only lived a year after, dying with her first child.
Nellie grieved for her as few do among their people. She went into deep mourning for several years. About fourteen years ago she became afflicted with rheumatism and was a helpless invalid as well as a great sufferer. Her kind neighbors and friends would go in and help her and try to make her comfortable. At one time several of us met and cleaned and papered her little living room. As we lifted her back into the house in the evening, she raised her hand and said, “Tank you, tank you ladies”. I asked her one day what she had said when she said Grace, as she always did in her own language before eating. She answered, “Nellie asks God to bless the food and the hands that gave it to her.” Some way I always felt as if I had been to church when I went to see her. She lived so close to the Great Spirit of Light that she could not help shedding forth its glory. About so seven years ago the boundary line was shifted between the Adams and Coe tracts and it brought the street through Nellie’s little home. She was ordered to vacate as the street was to be opened. I was sent for and found her in a state of despair over losing her little home. Some suggested that she be sent to the poor farm at The Dalles, others thought that she should go to the Pendleton reservation, where she as a Umatilla Indian had a right.
She begged us not to let her go a “These are my mountains, this is my country, these are my people,” she said. Her friends rallied, collected enough to build her a little room out on Mrs. Alma Howe’s place where she spent two happy years. Then the old love of roaming got possession of her and she decided to visit some of her “tilicums” near The Dalles. I will not record all the hard-ships she endured during her two years of wandering among her own people, but she returned to Hood River with the same sweet spirit, full of thankfulness for every visit and every favor. Nellie lived the last years of her life with Joe and Martha Aleck in their home about two miles east of town, the county paying for her care.
As I sat and listened to the beautiful funeral service, saw the many pretty flowers placed there by loving hands and so many white people, representing almost all the pioneer families, I thought what a saintly life had passed on. Not one of us regretted being called her friend.

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