Dorthea Johanna Nissen was born in Cedar County, Nebraska, on May 12, 1893, the daughter of Peter Nissen and Hansene Tidemann. She lived her entire life in the vicinity of Laurel, Nebraska. She was married to Chris Dahl on August 11, 1914. They farmed near Laurel and became the parents of four children.
Chris died in 1966. Dora died December 13, 1993. Chris and Dora are buried at the Laurel (Nebraska) Cemetery.