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Boone County >> 1914 Index

History of Boone County, Iowa
N. E. Goldthwait, supervising editor. 
Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Company, 1914. 2v.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Albert F. Nelson

Business enterprise finds an exponent in Albert F. Nelson, who is a  member of the Nelson Dairy Company at Boone.  He was born in Fillmore  county, Nebraska, May 8, 1885, a son of Peter P. and Alexandria (Benson)  Nelson.  His education was acquired in the schools of his native town to  the age of sixteen years, when he accompanied his parents on their  removal from Nebraska to Boone. 

His grandfather, Peter P. Nelson, was a farmer of Sweden and came to the  United States in 1854.  He followed farming near Knoxville, Illinois,  and there passed away.  He married Ellen Nelson, who died in Sweden. 

Their son, Peter P. Nelson, Jr., the father of Albert F. Nelson, was for  many years engaged in farming in Worth township, but is now living  retired.  He was born in Sweden, May 2, 1852, and attended school until  fourteen years of age, after which he began work upon farms, being thus  engaged until he came to the United States.  He was married in Sweden to  Miss Hannah Abrahamson and in 1873 they arrived in New York.  They made  their way direct to Knoxville, Knox county, Illinois.  In the following  spring Mr. Nelson returned to his native land but in the meantime had  purchased forty acres in Knox county.  In October, of the same year, he  once more came to America and settled upon his farm in Illinois, where  he lived for four years.  On the expiration of that period he sold his  land and removed to Chase county, Nebraska, where he took up a homestead  claim, upon which he lived for seventeen years, being quite successful  in its development and management.  He then sold that property and  brought his family to Boone county, Iowa, where he purchased one hundred  and seventy-four acres of land in Worth township.  With characteristic  energy he began the development and improvement of the place and lived  there until his retirement from active business life when he took up his  abode in Boone, trading his farm for his town property.  In addition to  cultivating the cereals best adapted to soil and climate, he also  conducted a dairy business, and the products of his dairy found a ready  sale upon the market.  In 1880 he and his first wife returned to their  native land upon a visit and while there Mrs. Nelson passed away.  On  the 15th of November, 1881, in Chicago, Mr. Nelson was united in  marriage to the mother of our subject, who was born in Copenhagen, April  23, 1864.  She came to the United States in 1881 and was living in  Chicago at the time of her marriage.  The children born unto Peter P.  and Alexandria Nelson were eight in number: Lillie, now the wife of Levi  Wells, of Columbus, Ohio; Albert F., whose name introduces this review;  Henry H., of Boone; Ernest W., who follows farming; Chester V.; Edith  H.; Floyd V.; and Glenn, all at home.  The parents are members of the  Swedish Mission church and Mr. Nelson gives his political support to the  republican party.  Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen.   He has gained many warm friends during the period of his residence in  this county and his many substantial qualities have won for him the  respect and goodwill of all with whom he has been brought in contact. 

Albert F. Nelson, following the removal of the family to Boone county,  began work upon the home farm in the employ of his father and spent five  years in that way, at the end of which time he purchased his father's  farm and continued its cultivation and development alone until the  spring of 1914, when he admitted his brothers, Ernest W. and Henry h.,  to a partnership in what is now known as the Nelson Dairy Company.  In  this connection they are doing a good business.  They keep a large  number of cows for dairy purposes and the product of their dairy finds a  ready sale on the market.  Neatness and sanitation are characteristic  features of the place and the results achieved indicate careful  management and unfaltering enterprise. 

On the 14th of December, 1911, Mr. Nelson was united in marriage to Miss  Melle M. Nelson, and they have a daughter, Irma Elizabeth.  The parents  hold membership in the Swedish Evangelical Mission church and Mr. Nelson  has acted as a teacher in the Sunday school.  He contributes generously  to the support of the church and does all in his power to further the  moral progress of the community.  He was one of the organizers of the C.  B. C., the largest in the state, and was its first president.  He votes  with the republican party and is unfaltering in his support of its  principles which he deems best qualified to promote good government.   His life has been well spent, his actions manly and sincere, and the  sterling traits of his character are attested in the high regard in  which he is uniformly held.  

Carl O. Nelson, M. D. C.

Dr. Carl O. Nelson, of Ogden, Iowa, is not only very successful in the  field of veterinary surgery but also conducts a profitable livery  business.  Dr. Nelson is yet a comparatively young man and stands but on  the threshold of a successful career.  He was born in Des Moines, Iowa,  July 23, 1880, and is a son of Peter and Mary (Anderson) Nelson, natives  of Sweden, who after crossing the ocean located in Des Moines, Iowa, at  an early day in that city's history.  The father was a grading  contractor and also gave considerable attention to farming, following  both occupations to the end of his days.  He passed away March 15, 1905,  being survived by his wife. 

Dr. Nelson was reared and educated in Des Moines.  After completing his  preliminary education he entered the Chicago Veterinary College, from  which he graduated with the class of 1908, on April 1 of that year.   Shortly thereafter he came to Ogden, where he established himself in  practice.  He has ever since been located in this city and has built up  a large and profitable patronage.  He is well versed in the scientific  branches of veterinary surgery and in the years that have passed has  gained in experience.  Some time after locating here Dr. Nelson acquired  a livery barn, which he is now conducting and which is the only barn in  Ogden.  He buys and sells horses and mules and his judgment of these  animals is entirely to be relied upon.  In all his business pursuits he  has proven himself a man of honorable principles and in full measure  enjoys the confidence of those who have business relations with him. 

In March, 1910, Dr. Nelson was united in marriage to Miss Effie Olson, a  daughter of Carl and Mary Olson, natives of Sweden, who were pioneers of  Sac county, this state.  Both father and mother are now living retired  at Odebolt, Iowa.  Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are popular in social circles of  Ogden.  Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd  Fellows and gives his political allegiance to the republican party,  although he has no aspirations for public office.  He takes a lively  interest in the development of his section and is ever ready to give his  support to beneficial measures.  Although yet young in years, he owns a  valuable business and a handsome residence.  Along professional lines he  is connected with the Iowa and Missouri Valley Veterinary Associations  and in exchanging views with the brethren of his profession keeps in  touch with the latest scientific developments in veterinary science.   His religious faith is that of the Swedish Lutheran church.  Dr. Nelson  is a valuable citizen of Ogden, who through his activities contributes  toward the advancement of this city.  

George W. Nelson is to be numbered among the enterprising younger  business men of Boone, where he now is the owner of the Boone Bottling  Works, a prosperous establishment the ownership of which he acquired  only about a year age.  Mr. Nelson was born in Boone, September 7, 1877,  and is a son of Andrew and Ellen Nelson, natives of Sweden.  They came  to America soon after their marriage, settling in Rockford, Illinois.   In that city they remained for a time, the father following the trade of  tailor.  In 1868 they came to Boone, Andrew Nelson becoming one of the  earlier settlers of that city.  He was the first tailor of Boone,  working for his brother, John T., who came to that city about the same  time.  He continued in that association for a number of years and then  retired, passing away June 17, 1912.  His widow survived him until May  27, 1913.  The father was one of the organizers and a trustee of the  Swedish Mission church, of which both he and his wife were members.  He  was a republican and stanchly upheld the principles of that party.  To  him and his wife were born the following children:  Oscar A., of Boone;  Theodore E., who is a business man of that city; Charles, who passed  away at the age of fifteen; George W., of this review; and three who  died in infancy. 

George W. Nelson attended the public schools of Boone until fifteen  years of age, receiving his first instruction under a Mrs. Joseph  Whittaker.  After laying aside his text-books he became a clerk in the  shoe store of C. A. McCune, so remaining until Mr. McCune sold out his  interest to Oscar A. Nelson and George W. Nelson.  Mr. Nelson of this  review a few years later sold out to his brother and bought the  Westerberg Bottling Works, changing the name to the Boone Bottling  Works.  Although Mr. Nelson has conducted this business only a short  time, he has already laid the foundations of a decided success.  There  is great credit due him for what he has achieved, as his success has  come to him entirely through his own efforts. 

On May 3, 1911, Mr. Nelson married Miss Theresa A. Anderson, of  Minneapolis, Minnesota, a daughter of Gustave A. Anderson.  Mr. and Mrs.  Nelson reside in a handsome home at No. 427 South Boone street, where  they often entertain their many friends.  They are members of the  Swedish Lutheran church and interested in its work.  Politically Mr.  Nelson preserves independence, giving his vote to the candidates whom he  considers best fitted for the office irrespective of party affiliation.   Fraternally he is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks  and popular in that organization.  He is a public-spirited citizen who  promotes enterprise wherever and whenever possible and who in a quiet  way has done his share for the development of his city.   

Oscar A. Nelson, who controls most of the stock of the McCune Shoe  Company of Boone, is one of the city's most successful merchants,  serving at present as secretary and treasurer of this firm.  He was born  in Rockford, Illinois, November 3, 1868, and is a son of Andrew and Elna  (Anderson) Nelson.  The paternal grandfather was Nels Torkelson, whose  wife died when the father of our subject was in his infancy.  The  grandfather, a widower, came to the United States, landing in New York,  whither his son Andrew had preceded him one year before, locating  shortly afterward in Rockford, Illinois.  In 1868 Andrew Nelson came to  Montana City, as it was then called - now Boone - and there he was  joined by his father and his four other children.  The grandfather was a  tailor by trade and already well along in years when he came to this  country.  After locating in Boone he followed his trade to some extent  and died there in 1880. 

Andrew Nelson learned the trade of a tailor in Sweden, where he attended  the common schools in the acquirement of an education.  He remained  throughout his life in the tailoring business and died July 17, 1912.   He married in Sweden Miss Elna Anderson, who came to the United States  with him and who passed away in Boone, May 27, 1913.  All of their  children were born in this country.  The parents were members of the  Swedish Evangelical Mission church, of which the father was a charter  member and in which he served as deacon and trustee.  He was an adherent  of the republican party until a few years prior to his death, when he  became an independent, giving his support to such candidates as he  considered best adapted for the office to which they aspired without  regard to party dictates. 

Oscar A. Nelson attended the public schools of Boone until fifteen years  of age, completing his education by two years' attendance in high  school.  He entered upon his business career as clerk in the book store  of F. A. Bolt, later accepting a position in a grocery store which was  conducted by G. F. Miller.  After severing this connection he entered  the shoe store of C. a. McCune, the business being incorporated in 1890  as the McCune Shoe Company.  At that time Mr. Nelson acquired stock in  the concern, continuing as clerk therein, and was made vice president of  the company, serving as such until 1900.  He then was elected president,  in which capacity he continued until 1907, when he acquired the  controlling interest in the firm and has since served as secretary- treasurer.  The McCune Shoe Company conduct a prosperous retail business  at No. 721 Story street and enjoy a high reputation for carrying a most  reliable and up-to-date stock.  The success of the firm is largely due  to the methods and policy instituted by Oscar A. Nelson, its secretary- treasurer, who is considered one of the most shrewd and able business  men in the town.  Personally he is courteous and affable, having  attracted many customers to his store by his pleasing personality. 

On August 12, 1896, Mr. Nelson married Miss Agnes G. Zandell of Boone, a  daughter of Alfred and Ida (Blomberg) Zandell.  Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have  two children:  Eloise G. and Myron A.  The parents are devout members of  the Swedish Evangelical Mission, in which the father has served as a  trustee for ten years.  Politically he is a member of the progressive  party, completely in sympathy with the ideals which that party has set  out to realize.  Mr. Nelson has ever been interested in educational  matters and served on the town board of education for six years,  rendering valuable help in making possible the erection of a beautiful  new schoolhouse, which was opened in January, 1914, and is one of the  most practical, sanitary and best equipped in the state.  Mr. Nelson is  a public-spirited and patriotic citizen who by his activities has  contributed toward the development of his city and who is ever ready to  sacrifice personal interest in order to promote community welfare.  He  is justly entitled to the predicate of self-made man, for he has  succeeded through his own efforts only, efforts which have been based  upon ambition, industry, determination and honesty.   

Peter T. Nelson, a resident of Boone for the past forty-five years, has  been actively engaged in the lumber business here for three decades and  is now at the head of the well known firm of P. T. Nelson & Sons.  His  birth occurred in Sweden on the 28th of March, 1845, his parents being  Thorkel and Ellen (Peterson) Nelson, who were likewise natives of that  country and have passed away.  To them were born six children, as  follows: Nelse, Andrew T. and Olaf, all of whom are deceased; Peter T.,  of this review; John T., a resident of Los Angeles, California; and Hans  T., living in Boone, Iowa. 

Peter T. Nelson became identified with the milling business when a youth  of sixteen and was thus engaged until he had attained the age of twenty- three.  In 1869 he emigrated to the United States and took up his abode  in Boone, Iowa, being here employed at railroad work for three years.   Subsequently he spent twelve years at the tailor's trade and on the  expiration of that period embarked in the lumber business, in which he  has been engaged continuously and successfully since.  He purchased as  interest in the Farrow Lumber Company and in 1905 bought out his  associates and admitted his two sons, Emil L. and Alfred E., to a  partnership.  The firm has since conducted business under the style of  P. t. Nelson & Sons and is a successful enterprise, its members being  widely recognized as men of excellent executive ability, sound judgment  and unassailable integrity. 

On the 26th of November, 1872, Mr. Nelson was united in marriage to Miss  Lizzie Norlin, who passed away in 1893 and who bore him six children,  namely: Charles and Edward, both of whom are deceased; Emil L. and  Alfred E., who are associated with their father in business; Nellie, the  wife of A. F. Nelson, of Boone; and Arthur, who has passed away.  On the  6th of January, 1897, Mr. Nelson was again married, his second union  being with Miss Augusta Gustafson. 

In his political views Mr. Nelson is independent, supporting men and  measures rather than party.  He has never sought nor desired the honors  and emoluments of office, preferring to devote his entire attention to  his business interests, which have brought him well merited prosperity.   He is now the only surviving organizer of the Swedish Mission church and  still resides on the same lot where he was first married more than four  decades ago.  Coming to the new world in early manhood, he eagerly  availed himself of the opportunities here afforded and worked his way  steadily upward to a foremost place among the substantial and respected  citizens of Boone county.   

William H. Nelson

Through enterprising methods, William H. Nelson has built up a good  business in the marble and granite monument trade at Boone.   Determination and energy have constituted the salient features of his  success, bringing him to a position where the consensus of public  opinion places him among the foremost and representative business men of  his city.  His parents are Benjamin R. and Nancy (Forsythe) Nelson.  The  paternal grandfather, Benjamin Nelson, born at Redstone, Pennsylvania,  in 1786, served throughout the War of 1812 in the Second Ohio Militia  and when his military duties were over took up the occupation of  farming, which he made his life work, passing away in Ohio. 

The father was born December 21, 1830, in Harrison county, Ohio, where  he learned and followed the blacksmith's trade.  He was afterward  employed on the national turnpike in shoeing government horses.  With  the outbreak of the Civil war his patriotic spirit was aroused and he  enlisted at Zanesville, Ohio, in the One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio  Infantry, with which he served throughout the war, being advanced from  the ranks to the position of corporal.  Twice he was wounded, and  because of his injuries he was honorably discharged on the 9th of June,  1865.  In April, 1866, he removed to Cambridge, Ohio, and was made  gatekeeper on the national turnpike, continuing in that position until  1872, when he went to Zanesville.  He was afterward at St. Clairsville  and finally returned to Cambridge, where he passed away May 22, 1890.   On the 1st of April, 1851, Benjamin R. Nelson was united in marriage to  Miss Nancy Forsythe, a daughter of Thomas Forsythe, who was born in  Ireland, March 14, 1808, and passed away on the 30th of April, 1881.  He  was but three years of age when brought to the new world and after  living in Pennsylvania for a number of years became a resident of Ohio  in 1837 and there engaged in the dry-goods business.  He was married  February 2, 1832, and it was his daughter Nancy who became the wife of  Benjamin R. Nelson.  Of this marriage there were born eight children:   Thomas Forsythe, who was born March 31, 1852, and is now in Washington,  D. C.; Mary Jane, who was born March 25, 1854, and is the wife of Levi  D. Anker of Cambridge, Ohio; William H., of this review, born March 1,  1857; John Anderson, who was born November 25, 1859, and is living in  Cambridge, Ohio; Clara Margaret, who was born October 24, 1862, and is  the wife of Robert Rickard of Goldfield, Iowa; James McFarland, who was  born September 12, 1868, and is living in Cleveland, Ohio; Anna Belle,  who was born February 17, 1871, and is the wife of Charles Carnes of  Cambridge, Ohio, and Bertha Rosella, who was born May 21, 1873, and is  with her mother in Cambridge. 

William H. Nelson acquired his early education in the country schools  and also continued his studies in Cambridge and in the St. Clairsville  (Ohio) high school.  He was connected with the optical business in  Chicago from 1876 until 1878 and on the expiration of that period went  to Des Moines.  He afterward engaged in the abstract business in various  places in Iowa, including Des Moines, Indianola and Nevada.   Subsequently he removed to Cedar Rapids and there began the publication  of Nelson's Railway Guide, which is now known as Russell's Railway  Guide.  At a later period he went to Marshalltown, where he was engaged  in the oil business for thirteen years.  He likewise became prominent in  local politics and during his residence there served as a member of the  city council for several terms and also as justice of the peace.  In  fact, he was one of the leading and influential residents of that  locality. 

When Mr. Nelson had disposed of his interests at Marshalltown he turned  his attention to farming, but after a year entered the hotel business at  Gilbert, Iowa, whence he went to Ames and from that point came to Boone.   This was in the year 1905 and for a brief period he conducted a hotel in  this city.  He then sold out and is now engaged in the marble monument  business in Boone, in which he has been accorded a liberal patronage.   He devotes his entire attention to this business and for the products of  his shop finds a ready sale.  His enterprise is unfaltering and his  energy places him among those who are most active and progressive in the  business circles of the city. 

Mr. Nelson was married in Gilbert, Iowa, to Miss Sarah Elizabeth  MacFarlane, who was born July 30, 1856, in Princeton, New York, a  daughter of John Alexander and Mary Jean (Hannay) MacFarlane, natives of  Scotland.  The great-grandfather of Mrs. Nelson was Parlan MacFarlane,  who was one of the last chiefs of the celebrated MacFarlane clan of the  Scotch highlands.  He was born in Scotland in 1769 and passed away  August 12, 1814.  The grandfather, John MacFarlane, born May 19, 1796,  left his native Scotland to become a resident of the new world and  passed away in the state of New York in 1867.  The father, John  Alexander MacFarlane, arrived in the United States in his youthful days  and during the period of the Civil war, from 1861 to 1865, was on active  duty with the Thirteenth New York Heavy Artillery.  He made farming his  life occupation and thus provided for his family of eight children, of  whom four are yet living.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have been born five  children: Alice M., born May 28, 1882; John Archibald, born November 20,  1883; Anna Richmond, who was born May 18, 1888, and passed away July 24,  1893; Ethelyn Marie, who was born September 28, 1890; and Ruth  MacFarlane, born January 16, 1894. 

The family attend the Presbyterian church, in which the parents hold  membership.  Mr. Nelson is also a Mason, an Odd Fellow, a Knight of  Pythias and a Modern Woodman, and he belongs to the grand lodge of I. O.  O. F. of Des Moines.  His wife is a past president of the Rebekah  assembly of the state of Iowa and a past grand chief of the Pythian  Sisters of Iowa.  In his political views Mr. Nelson is a stalwart  republican, but the honors and emoluments of office have no attraction  for him.  He is a man of notable energy in business affairs, of fidelity  in friendship and of trustworthiness in every relation of life. Wherever  known he is held in high esteem and most of all where he is best known.