Thanks, Daphelba. It was a last minute decision to make Nannie “based” on a real person. I was trying to get a feel for the time period in Chicago, and the World’s Fair and Marshall Fields department stores were two things that I found that worked for the story. I only found a couple of things about Nannie Field in my very short research:
In 1863, Field married Nannie Douglas Scott of Ironton, Ohio. They had two sons and a daughter, but one son, Louis, died in 1866 as an infant. After the death of his first wife Nannie in 1896, Field married longtime friend Delia Spencer, widow Caton. They had no children together.
I decided to make Nannie a strong-willed, no-nonsense woman with a soft heart underneath. It is all pure fiction on my part. I would be interested to know if you find out the real story of Nannie. : )