|Played by||Richard Bull|
|Debut||A Harvest of Friends|
|Occupation||Mercantile owner, Accountant|
Nels Oleson is the co-proprietor of Oleson's Mercantile with his wife, Harriet Oleson. In total they have three children: Nellie, Willie and an adopted daughter named Nancy. Harriet and Nels are the perfect example of a love/hate relationship, they argue and bicker often but only on a handful of times did they take it to the next level.
For example, when Caroline Ingalls brought in a basket of eggs to be put on their credit for the mercantile Harriet was in a snooty mood and said the eggs were not acceptable. After arguing, Harriet dumped the basket of eggs on Nels' head and left the room; he stayed, humiliated and payed Caroline the normal price for the eggs.
Soon the two separated for a bit but did manage to work out their problems and get back together.
After living in Walnut Grove for quite some time, the Oleson family had to move to Winoka because of Walnut Grove's blistering economic situation. Nels, and later Harriet both worked in the saloon; Nels kept the books and Harriet worked as a barmaid. One night, Nels won a large sum of money from gambling and they decided to return to Walnut Grove.
Behind the scenes
Nels was portrayed by actor Richard Bull throughout the series.