From Gilchrist Studios:
The comic strip we now know as Nancy was originally named Fritzi Ritz and was created by Larry Whittington in 1922. It was all about the exploits of a New York "flapper" and promising movie starlet. In 1925 Ernie Bushmiller was brought in to do the strip. Ernie modeled Fritzi after the women he loved, Abby Bohnet. Five years later, in 1930, Ernie and Abby were married.(via the BKO Lounge)
The comic strip followed Fritzi Ritz's romantic adventures & the situations she encountered as a free spirited, independant women of the 1920's. After winning a beauty contest, Fritzi worked as an actress in a small studio in New York. Fritzi, being the beautiful women that she was, and still is today, had many suitors and led quite an exciting life. It wasn't until 1933 that Nancy was introduced as Fritzi's orphaned niece.