Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918
LEWIS C. NELSON. The large industries in and about Coffeyville have naturally drawn to that city many of the expert technical men as well as business executives, and one of these is Lewis C. Nelson, superintendent of the Ludowici-Celadon Company, manufacturers of hollow roofing tile. Mr. Nelson as a young man became an expert wood worker, later developed a proficiency and familiarity with the pottery industry and for a number of years has been one of the trusted officials of the present company.
His birth occurred in Glasgow, Scotland, July 15, 1871. His father Charles W. Nelson, who was born in the vicinity of Glasgow in 1842 was a weaver in the woolen mills, and died at Glasgow in 1884. He was a conservative in politics and an active member of the Episcopal Church. He received military training as a soldier in the English army. Charles W. Nelson married Ida Froley, who was born near Glasgow in 1847 and died there in 1877.
L. C. Nelson, the only child of his parents, was six years old when his mother died, and thereafter he received a rudimentary training in the public schools of Glasgow. At the age of twelve he was brought to the United States by his uncle John Nelson, who established his home at Boston. Since that time Mr. Nelson has been largely dependent upon his own resources for advancement. For two years he found such work as was fitted for his strength and ability in Boston, and he then began an apprenticeship in ornamental wood carving and modeling. He served a five year's apprenticeship at Boston, and continued with the same firm until he was twenty-one. In the meantime he had supplemented his early education by courses in the night schools, particularly in drawing and other technical subjects.
As a journeyman worker Mr. Nelson went to St. Louis in 1892. During that and the following year he also followed his trade at Chicago when the World's Fair was in progress, and alternated back and forth between those two cities for six years. In 1898 he moved to Chicago, and spent a year in the Pullman car shops.
In 1899 his services were called to Zanesville, Ohio, as a modeller and designer in the potteries around that city. He spent two years there, and in 1902 became identified with the roofing tile business as a pattern maker. His first employment in that line was at New Lexington, Ohio, and he was soon promoted to foreman of the shops and continued there until 1909. In that year he was transferred to Ludowici, Georgia, as superintendent of the company's plant for two years. In January, 1911, the company sent him to Coffeyville as superintendent of the Ludowici-Celadon Company.
The Coffeyville plant of this well known concern is located in the southwest corner of the city. Its output is exclusively roofing tile. At the present time the company operates two plants, one at Coffeyville and one at New Lexington, Ohio, having abandoned the plant at Ludowici, Georgia. The company officials, all Chicago men, are: A. W. Brown, president; J. M. Williams, vice president; C. C. Weiland, secretary; and R. C. Sturdevant, treasurer.
Mr. Nelson since coming to Coffeyville has become one of the genial and popular citizens of that town. He is a member of the Business Men's Accident Association, and is a republican and a member of the Episcopal Church, and fraternally is affiliated with Coffeyville Lodge, No. 775, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, with Lodge No. 250, Free and Accepted Masons at New Lexington, Ohio, Chapter No. 149, Royal Arch Masons, and Lochinvar Commandery, No. 52, Knights Templar, at Coffeyville.
In 1898 at St. Louis he married Miss Lillian Stanton, daughter of Charles and Catherine (Burgoon) Stanton. Both her parents are now deceased and her father was a carpenter and builder. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have four children: William S., born in Chicago, April 16, 1900, and now a sophomore in the Coffeyville High School; Virginia, born in March, 1903, at New Lexington, Ohio, and a pupil in the public schools; Mildred, born in November, 1906, at New Lexington, Ohio, and also in school; Louise, born June 19, 1909, at New Lexington and now in the primary grades of the Coffeyville schools.
Transcribed from volume 4, page 2021 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed by students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, March, 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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