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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Erick P. Nisson

The ocean-girt kingdom of Denmark was the childhood home of Erick P. Nisson, who then became familiar with a language and customs widely different from those which he has become more accustomed in his later years. Born April 3, 1850, he is the son of Erick and Magdelina (Nickolson) Nisson, both natives of Denmark, born respectively in 1810 and 1818. In the old country the father followed his trade of dyer, and thereby secured a fairly good income with which to maintain his family. However, the attractions of the new world found him an immigrant on these shore in 1866, and from that time until labor was no longer possible he followed ranching in Sonoma county, Ca. A large family blessed the marriage of this worthy coup[le, but of the number only six are now living. The eldest son, Nicholas, was at one time a midshipman on the battleship Pensacola; he was married and made his home in Petaluma until death.

Erick P. Nisson was the youngest son born to his parents, and with the other children received his education in the schools near the family home in Denmark. Although the father had come to the United States in 1866, it was not until three years later that Erick P. followed the father and other members of the family hither. He was then nineteen years of age, a strong, robust youth, ready to undertake anything that would give him a start in the new land that was henceforth to be his home. Joining his father in Sonoma county, he too became interested in ranching, settling on a ranch which lies on the line dividing Sonoma and Marin counties. Here he has built up a splendid dairy and ranch enterprise, in addition to raising chickens on a large scale, and taken all in all, he has one of the most thrifty ranches, both in appearance and in reality, that one will see in the country round about. The ranch is on Rural Route No. 4 from Petaluma, and comprises two hundred and ninety-two acres, well located for the purposes to which the land is devoted. Besides carrying on general farming, the owner is also interested in dairying, and each year finds him increasing the size of his herd. At present he has forty head of fine Durham cattle, and also a bull of the same breed, besides eight head of horses. A no less important feature of the ranch is the raising of chickens, of which he has two thousand of the Leghorn breed. A small orchard supplies the family with a variety of fruit, and the land not otherwise in use is used as pasture and hay land. Everything about the ranch indicates that Mr. Nisson understands thoroughly the work that he has undertaken, and his associates and neighbors are watching his progress with interest.

In Santa Rosa Erick P. Nisson was united in marriage with Miss Claudina Moltzan, who was born in Denmark in 1857, the daughter of Claus Moltzan, a coo[per by trade, who in 1878 immigrated to this country with his wife and family. Coming direct to California, he settled on a ranch located on the dividing line between Sonoma and Marin counties. Six children were born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Moltzan (the latter of whom was before her marriage Miss Catherine Jessen) three sons and three daughters, Christ, Charles, Axel, Loretta, Claudina and Hannah. Eight children have been born to Mr. Nisson and his wife, as follows: Christian, Henry, Lena, Mary, Clara, Anna, Loretta and Elinor. Two of the daughters are married and established in homes of their own. Lena, the wife of Theodore Anderson and the mother of two children, Erick and Clyde; and Anna, who married William Linebaugh, of Marin county, and has two children, Willma Rose and Ross A.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011