Select Page


RG1297.AM:  Helen “Nell” M. (O’Rourke) Parmele, 1876-1956

Letters: 1882-1930; mostly 1897-1901

Size: One folder


Born at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, on September 22, 1876, Helen “Nell” O’Rourke was the daughter of John and Annie O’Rourke.  Between 1897 and 1900 Helen did secretarial work for the Democratic State Committee, as well as wrote news items for the Denver Post.  She married Thomas Parmele, a local banker, rancher and mayor of Plattsmouth, in May of 1901.  The couple had one son and two daughters.

After Thomas Parmele’s death in 1922, Helen went to work as a secretary for a local mortician.  From 1925 to 1928 she worked as a researcher for the Omaha World Herald in Omaha, Nebraska, and also did secretarial work for the Democratic Party in Nebraska.  Helen then worked as a housekeeper for the Eppley Hotel Company in Omaha before moving to Chicago towards the end of 1929 to live with her daughter.  Helen “Nell” Parmele was still living in Illinois as of the 1940 census.  She later moved back to Nebraska, and died at her home in Rushville on November 10, 1956.  She is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery at Plattsmouth, Nebraska.


The collection consists of one folder containing letters from Dick Waugh describing a trip south, military training, and service during the Spanish American War in the Philippines.  Also included are letters from Gilmore O’Rourke (Helen’s brother) and Clarence Furay and biographical material on Helen Parmele and John O’Rourke.


Subject headings:

Furay, Clarence M., 1876-1902

O’Rourke, John Gilmore, 1878-1914

O’Rourke, John, 1836-1882

Parmele, Helen “Nell” M. (O’Rourke), 1876-1956

Philippine Insurrection

Spanish-American War

Waugh, Richard “Dick”


Revised TMM      03-29-2018; 08-14-2020