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William H Nelson


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/20/2010 at 15:09:23

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 p 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 as afterward employed on the nation 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 advance form the ranks to the position of corporal. Twice he was wounded and because of his injuries he was honorably discharged June 9 1865. In April 1866 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 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 April 30, 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 1837,m 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, 1863 and is the wife of Robert Richard 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 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 period 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 devoted his entire attention to this business and for the products of his ship 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 Elizabeth MacFarlane, who was born July 30, 1856, in Princeton, New York, a daughter of John Alexander and Mary Jean (Hannay) MacFarlan, who was one of the last chiefs of the celebrated MacFarlane clan of the Scotch highlands. He as 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 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 most of all where is best known.

1914 Boone County History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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