Biography of Charles F. Nickels
Charles Franklin Nickels was born December 26, 1881 at Long Hollow near Nickelsville in Scott County, VA and died April 15, 1948 in Scott County. He was the son of Henry Kane Nickels and Sarah Ann Marshall. Charles was educated by his older brother, Billy, who was a school teacher in Nickelsville.
About 1903, Charles established The Rural Studio, a photography business, at his parents' home. At that time, cameras used negatives made of glass and the glass would be treated in various chemicals to obtain the image. This was a rather tedious and dangerous procedure. He would travel as far as Georgia to take pictures. When he would return home, he would develop the negatives and print the photographs. The picture was then printed on a penny postcard and mailed to the individual. He did all of this for a dollar! I am indeed lucky to have many of the negatives from the photographs he took so long ago. I am in the process of putting the Charles F. Nickels Collection online.
Charles attended and became clerk of Point Truth Primitive Baptist Church near Nickelsville. It was there that he met and began courting Mary Louvinia "Lula" Burke. Lula lived on Grassy Creek just across the Russell County line. She was born March 31, 1887 in Russell County, VA and died June 17, 1962 in Scott County, VA. She was the daughter of Isaiah Nathaniel "Zur" Burke and Sarah Frances Salyer.
Charles and Lula were not allowed to be alone while they were courting. They had to sit in the room with her parents but occasionally managed to hold hands when they weren't looking. On a number of occasions, Charles rode up to Grassy Creek with the intention of asking for her hand in marriage. Having already figured this out, when Zur saw Charles coming, he would fain a headache or some other ailment so he could go in the house and avoid talking to Charles. After about the third try, Charles told him there was no use going inside because this was going to be the day he asked for her hand. Finally the old man relented and gave his permission for them to be married. Charles was so excited he wrecked his buggy on the way home. Charles and Lula were married on January 12, 1907 in Scott Co., VA.
The children of Charles Nickels and Lula Burke are:
1. Pearl Mae Nickels, born March 12, 1908 in Scott Co., VA; died November 17, 1971 in Scott Co., VA; married Ira Milburn Skeen August 21, 1926 in Scott Co., VA.
2. Gilbert Carnell Nickels, born February 24, 1910 in Scott Co., VA; died December 5, 1932 in Scott Co., VA; married Lillie Mae Compton August 12, 1929 in Scott Co., VA.
3. Blanche Gertrude Nickels, born March 11, 1913 in Scott Co., VA; died January 18, 1986 in Sullivan Co., TN; married William Patton Smith January 12, 1931 in Scott Co., VA.
4. Madge Eleanor Nickels, born (living) in Scott Co., VA; married William Olen Salyer in Scott Co., VA.
5. Mary Isabella Nickels, born (living) in Scott Co., VA; married Joseph Lloyd Waddell in Clintwood, Dickenson Co., VA.
6. Henry Kane Nichols, born June 26, 1921 in Scott Co., VA; died May 26, 1980 in Scott Co., VA; married Mildred Eva Hickam April 25, 1941 in Sullivan Co., TN.
7. James Warden "Jim" Nickels, born January 16, 1925 in Scott Co., VA; died February 1978 in Washington Co., VA; married Madge Hubble November 30, 1947 in Scott Co., VA.
8. Charles Harold Nickels, born January 28, 1928 in Scott Co., VA; died November 29, 1990; married (1) Ossie Lee Vicars (living) in Scott Co., VA; married (2) June Hopkins (living).
9. Mildred Louise Nickels, born June 23, 1930 in Scott Co., VA; died July 3, 1931 in Scott Co., VA.