Nels Nelson married Margaret Merriam in South Dakota in 1904. The couple just didn't hit it off. Four years later, Nels filed for divorce in Washington State, saying he hadn't seen Mrs. Nelson in 18 months. A witness at the divorce proceeding said that Mrs. Nelson had visited her every day for three years just to talk about her husband's numerous shortcomings. Mrs. Nelson told this lady that she'd "gotten even" with Nelson by whistling ragtime tunes whenever he was trying to get to sleep. Mrs. Nelson was quoted as having said, "Nels don't like anything except folk songs of the Vikings, and that's why I whistled good old ragtime."
The above anecdote was discovered in the Adair Historian 5:2 (Spring 2008). The same publication also notes that the Adair County Historical Society is selling Troubled State: the Civil War Journals of Franklin Archibald Dick, for $35.95 plus $5 postage. Need a copy? Send a check payable to ACHS to:
211 South Elson
Kirksville, MO 63501