Jonas Nickelson, proprietor of the foundry and machine shops of Gallatin, is a native of Rhode Island and was born in 1821. He is the son of John and Jane (Williston) Nickelson. The father was born in New England in 1782, and in his younger days was a baker by trade; the latter part of his life was passed in cotton manufacturing. He died in 1834. His wife was a native of the Eastern States and died at the age of seventy-two. They had eleven children, six of whom are living, our subject being the eighth child. He was educated in Massachusetts and when eleven years of age commenced working in a cotton factory. At the age of eighteen he was assistant superintendent, and at the age of twenty-one was superintendent or overseer, being very skillful in the adjustment of machinery. In 1849 he came to Lebanon, Tenn., as superintendent of the carding and spinning department in a cotton factory, returned north in 1857 [sic 1851], came to Gallatin in 1852 to take charge of adjusting the machinery in the carding and spinning department of Gallatin cotton factory; went to Gibson County, Tenn., in 1854, remained there until 1855, when he returned to Gallatin and took an interest in foundry and machine works at that place, and immediately entered upon the manufacturing of threshing machines, horse-power, fanning mills, corn shelters, chilled and cast plows and job work in general. He has been in the same business ever since and is one of the solid business men of Gallatin. He has added much to the prosperity of that city. The coming year he intends manufacturing hay presses. February 24, 1859, he married Levina M. Chase, a native of New Hampshire, born in 1828, and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Nickelson is a Democrat, a member of the Iron Hall Golden Cross, and has been alderman of Gallatin for several terms.