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Reunion: Nelson Clan 1936


Posted By: Jennifer "Punchiepal"
Date: 7/10/2005 at 19:13:05

From a newspaper clipping published in Iowa on July 14, 1936.

Nelson Clan In Annual Reunion at Kinsman Home
A group of seventy, consisting of sons, daughters, "in-laws", grandchildren and great grandchildren of Paul Nelson, a pioneer Danish resident of the Grant township neighborhood, held their annual reunion on Sunday, July 5, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kinsman, the old Nelson homestead.
In spite of the boiling hot sun, which boiled down upon the earth, registering a temperature for the day of 105, the group enjoyed the day with refreshments, a brief program of stunts, games and visiting.

Among those here were H. P. Hansen and Peter Hansen and their families from Mankato, Minn., members of another branch of the original Nelson family.

The following very interesting history of the family was prepared and read by Mildred Kinsman-McConnell, granddaughter of the venerable pioneer.

"Nearly a centery ago, in far away Denmark, young Nels Nelson took unto himself a bride, Anna. They established their home in Haastrup in Fyen. This was a village made up of agricultural people who built their homes in a central place and had their farm land in the surrounding countryside, going out each day from the village to farm their land.

"To this union of Nels and Anna Nelson were born eleven children, two of whom died in infancy. The oldest of the others who survived and grew to young manhood was Christian, who married and settled in Oregon and had one child, Marie Patton, now of Oregon. Of the remaining children, Peter, Andrew and Hendrith stayed in Denmark. Nothing is known of Andrew but Peter is the father of Josephine Hansen and Ann Lenahan, who live now in Mankato, and four other children who did not coue to this country. One son of Nels and Anna, by the name of Pierre, went as a youth to Australia and was not heard from. Hans came to America but went back to Denmark and died there son afterwards. Hendrik, who stayed in Denmark, was the father of Marn Christine, whose daughters Rose Duncan and Anna Hughes and son Hans, live in Marshalltown.

"Paul, who was the youngest of the children, came to this country as a youth of nineteen to escape being drafted in the Danish army. He found work and made money enough to send back to Denmark for his sisters, Caroline and Christiana, to come to this county. His brother Christian came along and went to the state of Nevada, to the silver mines. He made money enough to buy land in Oregon and that has been the home ofhis branch of the Nelson family ever since. Paul's sisters came to Story County and worked at the just newly founded Iowa State college together with Karen Haughsted, who later married Paul. When the rush to the mines began, Paul and Karen and Christiana and her future husband, Nels Jorgen Nelson went to Nevada. There Christiana and Nels Jorgen Nelson were married. They stayed in Nevada nearly five years, and while they were there Paul's daughters, Martha and Nellie were born and Christiana's son, Henry.

"Paul brought his family back to Story county to buy land. A year later Nels Jorgen Nelson and his family returned and bought a farm directly adjoining the one purchased by Paul.
"It is thus that Story and Marshall counties have become the home of the Nelson family. The nucleus of the family is in and around Nevada and today the bigger percent of the original family live here. The fourth and fifth generation have scattered about over the United States considerably.

"There are no 107 living descendants of Nels and Anna Nelson, all residing in the United States. There are undoubtedly others living in Denmark and perhaps in Australia where Pierre went and possibly in New Zealand where Niels, son of Peter, went many many years ago.

"Some six or seven years ago, Guy Hardin, at first in a suggestive way, spoke of a Nelson family reunion. Because of his suggestions and finally through his efforts and the efforts of those whom he had interested in the idea, the first Nelson picnic was held at Toot's timber in August of 1926. It is fitting that we should give Mr. Hardin, now dead, the credit justly due him, for the first reunion of this large family. Since then there have been many willing shoulders put to the wheel each year to make the reunion of the Nelson's a success."


Story Documents maintained by Mark Christian.
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