California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
JOSEPH A. NELSON is one of the men of Riverside who is finding it profitable to grow oranges, and he owns a fine grove of five acres at 1253 Kansas Avenue. Here he raises oranges, all of his land being in navels with the exception of a quarter of an acre which is in Valencia oranges. He gained his practical experience of horticulture working for others, and, therefore, when he commenced operating his own land he had a wide and varied knowledge of all of the details of the business.
Mr. Nelson is a native of Sweden, where he was born August 27, 1866, a son of Nels and Inger (Pernella) Nelson. Nels Nelson was a scholar and notary public, and was prominent in the community in which he lived. Both he and his wife are now deceased. Joseph A. Nelson attended school in Sweden, and when he was eighteen years old he immigrated to the United States. Coming as far West as Iowa after landing in this country, he worked at farming for a time, leaving that state for Klickitat County, Washington, and for a time worked in a saw-mill near Vancouver, across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. On January 11, 1891, Mr. Nelson came to California, and, locating at Riverside, began taking contracts for caring for various orange groves, including those of E. R. Shelley, Mr. Winterbottom and E. C. Love. After five years of contract work Mr. Nelson bought five acres of land on Blaine Street, near the grove of L. C. Waite. After seven years he sold it and moved to West Riverside, where he bought land and built a fine residence, and there he raised oranges, grapes and general farm products, including some of the finest sweet potatoes ever grown in the county. In 1910 he sold this property and bought his present grove, which he has improved, and made his home one of the most desirable in his part of the city. Mr. Nelson is a member of the California Fruit Exchange, and takes his fruit to the Sierra Vista packing house. He is also engaged in poultry raising to some extent, and has always made a success of all his undertakings. In politics a republican, he is active in his party and stands very high in his community as a man of solid worth and high character.
On June 20, 1900, Mr. Nelson married at Long Beach, California, Miss Lottie E. Benedict, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of W. W. Benedict, a farmer and dairyman of that state and of Kansas. He came of an old American family of Revolutionary stock and English descent. Mrs. Nelson's mother, Mrs. Mary F. Benedict, survives her husband and is residing at Long Beach. Mrs. Nelson came to California with her parents in 1887, and from then until her marriage resided at Pasadena, where she was educated, and at Long Beach. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have one child, Frances Pernella, who is a student in the Riverside High School, class of 1925. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are consistent members of Calvary Presbyterian Church of Riverside, and Mr. Nelson has served it as elder for four years, while Mrs. Nelson has long been a teacher in its Sunday School. While residing at West Riverside she had charge of the primary class of the Sunday School. For many years Mr. Nelson has worked in behalf of the Young Men's Christian Association, and still maintains his connection with this organization at Riverside. Both he and Mrs. Nelson are earnest in their work for moral uplift, and are recognized among the worth-while people of the county.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011