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Asa Washington Nelson

     Asa Washington Nelson, son of Elisha Nelson Sr. and Eliza Jane Fulford Nelson was born 26 July 1839 in Marengo County, Alabama and moved to Baldwin County, with his parents in the early 1840s.

     During the Civil War Asa served as Private in E.T. Arrington's Co. A. Mobile Troops, Co. E 15th Confederate Cavalry Department of the Gulf, along with his brothers, Samuel, and Joseph. Their father was opposed to them joining but finally agreed to allow them to join to keep them from being conscripted and so they could stay close to home.

     Asa married Josephine Abigale Nelson, daughter of Joseph Nelson Jr. and his second wife Margaret Isabella Miller May 9, 1867 at Shell Banks. They had eleven children, six boys and five girls:

  1. James S. Nelson
  2. Joseph Drurey Nelson
  3. Hilary Asa Nelson
  4. Orah Dawson Nelson
  5. Horatio Nelson
  6. Elisha Washington Nelson
  7. Isabella Eliza Nelson
  8. Nancy Nelson
  9. Nora Nelson
  10. Alice Bell Nelson
  11. Agnes Nelson

     They had a four-hundred acre farm at Bon Secour where they raised cattle and fruits and vegetables as well as help work the family salt mines and ran their fishing boat the Nora Bell. The boys worked with Asa in the fields, running the fishing boat and with the salt mines. The girls worked beside their mother learning how to clean house, raise the family garden, how to preserve it for the winter months, cook for the family, how to sew and make clothing, as well as quilts, and of course how to take care of babies and sick people. Asa and the boys would take the extra beans, squash, tomatoes, onions, watermelons, and fish by boat to Mobile to sell. Since they did not have any ice they would take Spanish moss and wet it good and cover everything with it. This worked quite well too.

Asa Washington Nelson

     Since both Asa's and Josephine's fathers were Baptist ministers they had been raised very strict and religious and did the same with their children, as well as insist that all their children had a good education which was not as easy chore in those days because there were so few schools. They were known by their friends and neighbors as very friendly and were always helping their fellowman.

     Josephine died in 1917 and Asa died in 1925. Both are buried at Miller Memorial Cemetery at Gulf Shores near both of Asa's parents.

     Written 2001 for The Baldwin County Heritage Book.
Submitted by: great-granddaughter, Ann S. Harris, P.O. Box 563 Loxley, AL
Sources: Court records, Family Bible, Tradition.