Nellie Oleson was spoiled throughout her childhood, particularly by her mother Harriet, who wanted to indulge Nellie’s every whim. And Nellie tried t manipulate everyone to get whatever she wanted, whether it was friends, a boy, a toy, or just about anything else. She well earned her reputation of being “Nasty Nellie”. Nellie even went off and eloped, although the marriage only lasted a matter of hours.
Her father was one of the few people who could keep her in line. That is until she met her match in Percival Dalton. Percival was hired by her parents to teach her the restaurant business. Percival went far beyond the call of duty in trying to keep his temper controlled, but when Nellie goes too far, Percival tells her off. Shocked, Nellie realizes she loves him, and decides she can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Nellie makes an effort to learn what Percival is teaching her, and hopes to attract his affections in return. Before Percival leaves town, she reveals her love for him, and Percival does the same, and asks Nellie to marry him.
When Percival and Nellie are expecting their first child, Percival’s parents arrive in Walnut Grove for a visit. To much surprise, it is revealed that Percival Dalton is actually Isaac Cohen, and that he is Jewish. Nellie’s mother and Percival’s father are both strong willed and there is a major culture clash when the Oleson’s want the baby raised as a Christian and the Cohen’s want the baby raised in the Jewish faith. After much arguing, they all decide a girl will be raised Christian and a boy will be raised Jewish. In the end the families realize that they just wish the baby is healthy, and Nellie gives birth twins – a girl and a boy. When Percival’s father dies, Nellie and Percival move to New York to take over his business. Nellie returns for a visit to Walnut Grove the following year.
Nasty Nellie’s Greatest Moments
Over the years, Nellie created huge schemes to get attention, to get what she wanted, or to just be plain nasty. Here are some of her greatest moments of “Nasty Nellie”.
Recording Laura declaring her love for Jason, then playing it back in front of the whole class at school (“The Talking Machine”)
Pretending to be paralyzed after being thrown by Laura’s horse, then forcing Laura to wait on her hand and foot (“Bunny”)
Eloping with Adam Simms (“Here Come the Brides”)
Tells the schoolteacher’s son, Andy, that she cheats and then blackmails him into keeping her secret. (“The Cheaters”)
Scheming to get the attention of Almanzo Wilder (“Back to School”)