Nellie J. Wilson ’15

Full name:  Nellie Jane Wilson White (Argue)



+++++21 April 1883, in Dane County, Wisconsin


+++++(Judge) Thomas Wilson and Nettie Belfour

Legal Education:

+++++Silver Bow Law School

Admitted to Bar:

+++++Montana 1915


  • Edward White on 21 November 1918   (E. White died in 1923)
  • Henry Wesley Argue in June 1929.  They divorced in 1937.   They had no children. Nellie and Wesley were second cousins once removed.


+++++One daughter — Pearl Charlotte White


  • Montana
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin


+++++18 August 1963, in Libby, MT

19 May 1911 — Caldwell Tribune

+++++“Miss Nellie J. Wilson of Butte, Mont., was in Caldwell Monday and Tuesday, leaving Tuesday evening for Boise where she made a homestead filing. Miss Wilson states that she is perfectly delighted with Caldwell and Boise. She returned to Butte to make preparations to move to Idaho. ‘You may say,’ said Miss Wilson, ‘that I am in love with Idaho, her climate and her people. I think this is the grandest country in the world. I will return from Butte as quick as I can.'”

July 1, 1915 — Anaconda Standard — “A Woman School Teacher Passes Bar Examination; Miss Nellie Jane Wilson barrister.”

+++++“Miss Wilson is the only woman who was in the class of aspirants for entrance to the Montana bar at the examination held early this month by the supreme court. She has been teaching in the Greeley school and is one of the 18 successful candidates whose names were printed in the Standard yesterday. Miss Wilson is at present taking a summer course at the University of Minnesota. She studied law in the school conducted by I. G. Denny.”

September 7, 1915 — Montana Standard

+++++“Miss Nellie Jane Wilson, the Butte young woman who passed the bar examination this year with signal distinction to herself, as well as the Denny law school, of which she is a graduate, has returned from Madison, Wis. Miss Wilson will not practice law at once, but will again teach at the Monroe school. She states that the corn crops in the middle west have been damaged by rains.

January 8, 1916 — Anaconda Standard — “Silver Bow Law School.”

+++++“The second annual anniversary banquet of the students of the Silver Bow law school will be held at the Thornton hotel this evening at 8 o’clock. The class has two graduates who will be admitted to the bar this year, Miss Nellie Wilson and William Sullivan. Both will respond to short addresses. Dean I. G. Denny, founder of the school, will preside and a most interesting program has been arranged.”

January 14, 1916 — Anaconda Standard — “Miss Wilson Ill.”

+++++Miss Nellie Jane Wilson, a member of the Silver Bow law school, has gone to Boulder to recover from an illness. She was accompanied by I. G. Denny, dean of the school. Mrs. Elsa Fasel Gillette will have charge of the school until Mr. Denny returns.”

January 10, 1916 — Anaconda Standard — “Woman Lawyers Talk on Nation’s Program”

+++++ The feature of the anniversary banquet of the Silver Bow law school on Saturday night was the debate on the subject of Wilson program for ‘preparedness.’ Miss Nellie Jane Wilson took strong exception to the plan of the president while Mrs. Elsa Fasel Gillett put forward in very pointed terms the need of the United States in preparing for any emergency that may arise.
+++++These two women lawyers, both graduates of the school and both practicing attorneys of the Silver Bow county bar, handled the discussion in a masterly manner. . .”

13 December 1921 — Anaconda Standard — “Miss Fanny Neyman Successful in Passing Examinations at Helena”

+++++ Four of her [Fanney Neyman] predecessors to the bar are women who graduated from the Silver Bow law school. In 1914 Miss Elsie Fasel Gillette was admitted and now is a successful practitioner in Portland, Ore. Mrs. Nellie Wilson White was teaching school in 1915 when admitted to practice and was subsequently chosen by the teachers to represent them in Helena in their fight against the Belden bill, a substitute for the present teachers’ pension law. She was successful in carrying the fight before a joint committee of the house and senate and caused the defeat of the bill.

19 June 1923 — Great Falls Tribune — “Woman’s Pleas Soften Heart of Prosecutor”

+++++“Edward White, Alleged Rum Dealer, Will Be Released. A woman’s plea triumphed Monday and induced County Attorney F.A. Ewald to ask for dismissal of charges against Edward White, arrested in Neihart last fall on charges of violating prohibition laws. White, who is dying at his home in Basin, near Butte will be notified today, providing the county attorney’s request for dismissal of his case is granted, that he is a free man.
+++++White will owe his liberty to his wife, Mrs. Nellie White, a school teacher at Basin. Mrs. White wrote a pitiful letter to the county attorney, telling of the difficulties she had met in supporting her invalid husband and a small child.
+++++‘I know my husband may have done wrong in the past but he is dying now,’ Mrs. White wrote the county prosecutor, ‘and if you can dismiss the case you will bring great relief to my family.’
+++++Mrs. White explained that she had more than $400 in a bank in Neihart, where she formerly resided and where her husband was arrested for selling intoxicating liquors; this money, the mother said, was being held up by her husband’s bondsmen. If the case was dismissed, she wrote, the money would be released, and she would be able to live through the summer in addition to paying a number of bills contracted during her husband’s illness.
+++++‘Physicians have presented affidavits to me that White is dying,’ said the county attorney. ‘His wife is evidently an honest, deserving woman. I shall ask for dismissal of the charges against White.'”

2 June 1932 — Independent-Observer (Conrad, Montana) — “For County Superintendent of Schools”

+++++“The candidacy of Nellie W. Argue for County Superintendent of Schools on the Democratic ticket in the primary election, is hereby announced. I hold a diploma from a Normal school, have a Montana Life Certificate and teaching experience in Montana’s city and rural schools. I have also been admitted to the Montana Bar Association. I know that I can save taxpayer’s money and the support of the voters in the primary will be appreciate. — Nellie W. Argue”

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