Woodbury County

Virgil Marvin Nicolls



Virgil Marvin Nicolls was born near Homer, Nebraska, in Dakota County, on 3 December 1914, to George Henry and Minnie (Holbrook) Nicolls.

Minnie worked at the old Pelletier Department store before her marriage. Virgil’s grandfather, Sylvester Nicolls, was a Civil War veteran and an early contractor in Sioux City. There were five sons born to George and Minnie. They were Harold, Theodore ‘Ted’, Virgil, Orville, and Elgie.

Virgil grew up on a farm near Homer, Nebraska. When he was a young boy on the farm, he milked cows and cut wood. Times were hard for this family. He remembered only once getting a Christmas present and that was when his dad made a wagon for all five boys to play with. At the age of 16, the family moved to South Sioux City, Nebraska. They lived there 2-3 years and then moved to Sioux City, locating on the city’s west side. There he met Louise Jensen, and they were married in Elk Point, South Dakota, on 28 April 1936. They had two children, a son and daughter. Earl is married and lives in Omaha; and Hazel ‘Cookie’ is married to Bob Hoffman and they live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virgil and Louise have four grandchildren. Virgil worked as a machinist and truck driver in those early years.

At the time of his enlistment, Virgil had been working at the Sioux City Bomber Base since November 1942. Their home address was 526 West 1st Street. He enlisted on 1 April 1944, and served one year, eight months, and nine days. He served aboard the troop transport, USS Sibley- APA-206 out of San Francisco. The ship had a company of 500 men. His job aboard ship included shipfitting, metalsmith work, electric, gas welding, and plumbing work. The ratings that he held were AS, S2/c, S1/c, M3/c (T). He served aboard ship in the American Area, Asiatic Pacific, and his ship received three battle stars. Virgil received the WWII Victory medal and points. His honorable discharge came at the U.S. Personnel Center in Shoemaker, California, on 9 December 1945. His total pay on discharge was $94.05.

Virgil returned to Sioux City after the war and lived at 418 West 15th Street. He was employed by the city as a mechanic for the Sioux City Police Department until 1951. He then moved to 2211 Isabella Street. He then was employed by the city as a Grade 2 Operator until 1977. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in South Sioux City.

After his retirement, he enjoyed repairing lawn mowers and going on fishing trips in his motor home. On 18 August 1984, his wife died of a heart attack at age 68. The following spring, he married Marge Girard in Elk Point, South Dakota. They were married eight years when he passed away due to complications from diabetes on 6 December 1993. He is buried in Logan Park cemetery next to his first wife, Louise.

Written and submitted by Donna Fritch Fuller, his niece.