William Alexander Nicholson
Proof of the success to be gained in the cultivation of land
in Allamakee county is found in the fact that so many of her
native sons remain within her borders and choose this vocation as
a life work. This is true of William Alexander Nicholson, who was
born in Fairview township, November 23, 1868, a son of William
and Mary (Galagher) Nicholson, both of whom were natives of
Ireland, the former born in County Galway, and the latter in West
Meath. In early life the father learned the tanner's trade, and
coming to America when a young man, worked in a tannery in
Amsterdam, New York, where he remained for a few years.
Eventually, in connection with his father-in-law, he purchased a
tannery near that city and operated the same until 1862. His
plant was destroyed by fire, and he subsequently came to Iowa, being for one year employed in McGregor. He then purchased land in Fairview township and made his home thereon until the time of his death, which occurred on February 6, 1894. The mother died September 26, 1909.
William Alexander Nicholson was reared on the home farm, assisting his father in the work of plowing, planting and harvesting during the spring and summer seasons, and in the winter months he pursued his education in the district schools. He remained under the parental roof until he had reached the age of twenty-eight years, when he purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which at that time was unimproved. As the years have passed he has not only increased the fertility of the soil, but has erected a modern home and outbuildings, and now has one of the valuable farms of this section of Allamakee county. He is engaged in general farming, following the most progressive methods in his work, and in connection with this he also engages in handling wood, shipping five thousand cords annually, supplying the excelsior companies of Guttenberg, Dubuque and Mason City, and he also ships to points in the Dakotas. He has engaged to some
extent in the real-estate business, one year negotiating deals for local land amounting to eighty-five thousand dollars. He is a capable and wide-awake business man and has met with success in his various undertakings.
Mr. Nicholson was married August 26, 1902, to Miss Katie Kelly, who was born in Linton township, October 8, 1875, a daughter of John F., and Bridget Kelly. This union has been blessed with five children: Hazel Marie, who was born June 28, 1903; John William, born January 26, 1905; Thomas Edward, born February 2, 1907; Mary M., born May 22, 1909; and Bridget E., whose birth occurred on the 5th of August 1911.
Mr. Nicholson is a democrat in his political belief and at one time served as constable, but has never aspired to political office. He is a member of the Roman Catholic church of Cherry Mound, and his fraternal relations
connect him with the Modern Brotherhood of America. His life has been one of continuous activity and the success which has come to him is well deserved, for he has ever followed the strictest business methods in all his business dealings with his fellowmen, and today he is numbered among the well-to-do and highly respected citizens of Allamakee county.
-trancribed by Cathy Joynt-Labath
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