Biography of Nels H. Nelson
Saunders County, NE Biographies





NELS H. NELSON.
At the time of his death in 1902 Nels H. Nelson had gained a place among the well to do and progressive agriculturists of Rock Creek precinct and had brought his homestead, Orchard Hill Farm, on section 11, to a high state of development. He was a public spirited citizen and a man of many admirable qualities, and his demise was recognized as a loss to his community as well as to his family and personal friends. He was born in Sweden on the 12th of August, 1847, and remained in that country until he reached the age of seventeen, when he accompanied his parents, Nels and Hannah (Hanson) Pierson, on their emigration to the United States. The family, which included five other children, three sons and two daughters, first located at Moline, Illinois, whence they removed to Princeton, that state, where both parents died.

Mr. Nelson was employed in a fanning mill shop at Moline, Illinois, and after removing to Princeton engaged in the livery business and also conducted a bus line in partnership with Claus Anderson. The business proved very profitable but at length, desiring to remove farther west, Mr. Nelson sold his interest to his partner. In February, 1881, he came to Saunders county, Nebraska, and located on one hundred and sixty acres on section 11, Rock Creek precinct. He had saved about eleven hundred dollars and used the greater part of this capital in paying for his land, which cost six dollars per acre. He at once began the improvement of his farm, which he named Orchard Hill Farm, and as the years passed he brought it to a higher and higher state of development. He devoted the greater part of his time to agricultural pursuits and his labors returned to him a good income. He bought additional land from time to time and owned four hundred and eighty acres in Rock Creek precinct at the time of his death.

Mr. Nelson was married in Princeton, Illinois, on the 22d of October, 1878, to Miss Matilda Swedenborg, who was born in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, on the 15th of November, 1856. Her parents, Magnus and Margaret (Johnson) Swedenborg, were natives of Sweden but were married in Indiana. To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were born nine children. Hattie M:, whose birth occurred on the 30th of April, 1880, was married on the 14th of March, 1906, to J. T. Madigan, who resides near Weston. They have a daughter, Lois. Henry B., born July 27, 1881, is a traveling salesman for a hardware house. Hannah C., whose birth occurred on the 22d of June, 1884, was married on the 25th of March, 1908, to Matthew Carlisle, of Wahoo, by whom she has three children, Gertrude, Dorothy and Janet. Walter M., born August 5, 1886, died on the 7th of June, 1895. Irven P., born on the 28d of September, 1888, is operating the home farm in connection with his mother. Edna M., born July 6, 1891, was married on the 14th of April, 1915, to Ferd Tornblom and they reside in Wahoo. Nels Oliver was born March 10, 1894. Anna R., whose natal day was February 16, 1895, passed away on the 2d of September of that year. Darling, the youngest of the family, was born on the 18th of July, 1896, and died on the 11th of the following month.

Mr. Nelson supported the candidates and measures of the democratic party at the polls but never cared to take an active part in politics. He was one of the best known men in Saunders county and was held in the highest esteem by all who came in contact with him in any relation of life. He gained success by hard work and good management and was recognized as one of the leading farmers of his township. He not only won a gratifying measure of prosperity but also left to his children the heritage of an honored name.

Mrs. Nelson has continued to reside upon Orchard Hill Farm, which she has still further improved, erecting a horse barn, a cow barn, a milk house and a garage. She has also remodeled the house, making it as modern as any city residence, for she has installed an acetylene lighting plant, a furnace and a bath, and in addition to making all of these improvements she has paid off all of the indebtedness against the estate. With the assistance of her three sons, Henry; Jrven and Oliver, she operates not only Orchard Hill Farm but also the other farms belonging to the estate and has manifested a high order of business ability and a thorough knowledge of farming For a third of a century the Nelson home has been noted for its hospitality and strangers passing through the country have always found there a welcome and lodging. for twenty years neighborhood school teachers boarded there, and there is no family which is held in higher esteem than the Nelsons.

From:
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
Vol. II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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