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1906 Biographies


Among the most industrious, intelligent and prosperous farmers of that nationality which is noted in America for its industry, intelligence and prosperity, is Frank Nelson, who has been a valued citizen of Cass county for more than thirty years. He is a native of Sweden, born August 10, 1849, the son of Ole and Cecilia (Johnson) Nelson. His parents were also both born in his fatherland, where his father was among the most highly respected members of the home community, his profession of a teacher, which he faithfully followed for forty years, giving him both a livelihood and substantial standing.

Mr. and Mrs. Ole Nelson were the parents of five sons and four daughters, of whom four emigrated to the United States. Two of the children are dead, as are the father, who passed away in 1902, and the mother, in 1900.

Frank Nelson reached a substantial and respected manhood in his native country, with his mature years having not only acquired a thorough education but the ever useful trade of a shoemaker. As he was an apprentice for five years, working without pay, and was apt to learn besides, it is quite evident that he had become thorough master of his trade, although fate had another career in store for him.

In 1871 our subject came to the United States, and first settled at Richwood, Ill., but after a short time removed to Rock Island. There, as well as at different places in Iowa, he worked at his trade for two years; but he had already determined that the life of comfort and independence could be reached through the farm rather than the work bench. In 1873 he therefore located in Cass county and farmed on rented land for about five years.

Mr. Nelson purchased his present farm in 1878, the land being partly broken and having as one of its improvements, a small house. This was also the year of his marriage, since which time he has enlarged and improved his residence, built good barns and changed a virtually wild tract of land into an attractive and comfortable homestead.

Frank Nelson was married in this county to Malena Hansen, a native of Sweden who came to the United States in 1875, her parents -- Nels and Hannah (Troulles) Hansen following her to this country three years later. The father died here; the mother is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have had five children: Anna M., now Mrs. L. R. Adams; Fred A., Ella M., Hulda O., and Clara L. The family are members of the Christian Church.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 451-452.

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