Women in Union Cemetery: Nellie Bosworth Dormody

The women featured in this series of articles are part of the Women in Union Cemetery Tour conducted by Mike Roberts in 2024.

Nellie Bosworth Dormody 1863-1953

Buried in Placerville Union Cemetery, Section 6 Block 18 Plot H

Nellie Bosworth Dormody was born in Placerville on Cedar Hill Farm. At age 16 she opened a private school in her parents’ parlor. Nellie became a private tutor in Nevada and qualified for a teaching certificate there.  She returned to California, and taught for eight years at Salmon Falls, Green Valley, and Pilot Hill schools. Nellie then taught at the Upper Placerville school with 61 students, first grade through ninth grade.

In 1891 Nellie married Leonard J. Dormody. While raising three children she opened a private school and taught for 11 years.

Nellie was a trustee of Placerville Grammar School, treasurer of the Old Presbyterian Church, a member of County Council of Defense and sugar administrator during World War I. She worked with the State Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Shakespeare Club, Agricultural Club, Christian Endeavor Society, and the El Dorado County Historical Society.

Her husband Leonard had as many careers as his wife had causes and clubs. He worked for the railroads for a time, then operated a butcher business at Mills Station, ran a grocery business in Placerville, then turned to mining.

All that was a warmup for eighteen years as a deputy sheriff, after which he operated a feed and fuel business before returning to mining, this time with his sons.

The infamous highgrading mining scandal led to Leonard Dormody’s appointment as a special deputy to assist in the investigation. He suffered a fatal stroke during that final effort.

Nellie died of a heart attack at the age of 89.

Interpretation by Mike Roberts, 2024