Sally Nickel Mein was born on January 30, 1916, the first great grandchild of the California Cattle King, Henry Miller.
A German emigrant, Henry Miller arrived in San Francisco in 1850 with $5 in his pocket. By trade a butcher, Henry soon began buying plots of land on which to fatten his cattle. Within 40 years he had become the largest private landowner in the United States, and by the time he died, nine months after his first great-granddaughter was born, he owned over one million acres of land.
Sally was a tall and graceful girl. After graduating from Palo Alto High School in 1933, she moved to San Francisco to pursue a career as a professional model. When Sally retired from modeling in 1935 to marry WW (Tommy) Mein, Jr, she remained active as president of the Woodside Atherton Garden Club, Menlo School Mothers Club, Woodside School PTA, and leader in many charitable organizations. Sally and Tommy entertained often at their home in Woodside, CA and travelled extensively, enjoying an apartment in San Francisco, a home on the shores of Lake Tahoe, and a bunkhouse on old Miller and Lux property in Los Banos
Sally and Tommy were parents to three sons and one daughter. They had eight grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren, all of whom still live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sally died in 1995 … a grand gal who passed away far too soon.
I have yet to find any pictures of Sally from her all too brief professional career. Fortunately however, her grace and her social prominence made Sally the perfect subject for a profile in a leading women’s magazine. It is in a picture from this profile that Sally made her 2001 debut as a “Taintorette”:
In 2002, Sally became a double-Taintorette when she appeared in this card, still a very popular piece of the Anne Taintor collection:
Sally Nickel Mein is as versatile as she is lovely… and she returns in her red cloak this January to star on a brand new coin purse: