[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

Nels Henry "Hank" Nelson 1889-1961


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 11/21/2010 at 16:39:45

Nels Henry Nelson
Nels Henry (Hank) Nelson was born in DeKalb County near Sterling, Illinois, May 12, 1889, and died Friday, August 4, of a heart attack at the Spencer Municipal Hospital at the age of 72 years.

When Hank was three years old, his mother died and his father remarried moving the family in 1895 to a farm four miles west of Pocahontas, Iowa.

Hank joined the Navy when he was 17 years and went around the world with Teddy Roosevelt and the White Way Fleet. In the Navy he learned the trade of a coppersmith which he followed all of his life.

His inventive genius was inherited from his grandfather Nelson in Denmark, who invented the first steam engine in that country. Hank’s first invention when he was 13 was the steel chicken coop and the sale of that patent paid the mortgage on his father’s farm.

He has been granted about 50 patents by the U.S. Patent Office. The two most important ones being the rolscreen, now located in Pella, Iowa; and the Drop-M-Lit smoking stand manufactured in Spirit Lake.

In 1912 he was united in marriage to Ethel Hudson in Estherville. She was the daughter of a Methodist minister and died in 1950. In 1952 he married Beatrice Ruff of Spencer.

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson joined the Union Memorial Church in Milford in 1957 by transfer form the Grace Methodist Church in Spencer.

Hank loved the outdoors and was a wild life enthusiast. For several years he operated a speed boat line on West Okoboji and also built and operated an excursion passenger boat which he later sold to Robert Buhrow.

Mr. Nelson’s favorite indoor pastime was bowling. He was a member of a professional bowling team in Des Moines and also gave bowling lessons.

Survivors include his wife and a brother, Charles J. Nelson of Sarasota, Florida. Two brothers preceded him in death. (Milford Mail and Terril Record, Milford, IA, August 10, 1961)

Services Monday for “Hank” Nelson

Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at the Union Memorial Church for Nels Henry (Hank) Nelson, 72, a lakes region resident since 1927.

Mr. Nelson died late Friday at the Spencer Hospital after suffering an apparent heart attack at his home on Pocahontas Point.

The Rev. Kirby officiated at the 2 p.m. services. Pallbearers were Ronnie Guerttman, Spencer, Jim Endicott, Dickens, John Juza, Comfrey, Minn., Roy Cook, Spirit Lake, Verne Hansen and Gene Reynolds, Milford. W. E. Taber, Spencer, Ned Henrich, Spencer Beach, and Bob Thompson, Spencer were honorary pallbearers.

Mrs. Dwight Hemphill and Mrs. Hubert Sternberg, accompanied by Mrs. Frank Fellows, sang “Beyond the Sunset” and “In the Sweet Bye and Bye.”

Burial was in Oakhill cemetery Estherville. The Leyson Funeral Home was in charge.

A widely-known inventor, Mr. Nelson had been granted nearly 50 patents by the United States Patent Office. The two most important, a type of screen, and a smoking stand, are now being manufactured by firms in Pella and Spirit Lake.

For several years Mr. Nelson operated a speed boat line on West Okoboji and combining his inventive talents with his boating business, he built and later operated an excursion boat which he later sold to Robert Buhrow.

Survivors include his wife, Beatrice, and a brother, Charles, of Sarasota, Fla.

The family requests any memorial be given to the chimes fund at the Union Memorial Church. (Milford Mail and Terril Record, Milford, IA, August 10, 1961)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]