William Edwin Nelson

WILLIAM EDWIN NELS0N, who became superintendent of the public schools of Sabetha in the fall of 1917, is a thoroughly experienced educator, a native of Kansas, and for five years before removing to Sabetha was superintendent of schools at Robinson.

Mr. Nelson has the qualification and training of a practical lawyer, which was the profession of his father. For many years one of the ablest attorneys of the Trego County bar was the late John A. Nelson. Born in Sweden, near Stockholm, in 1851, he was brought when an infant to the United States by his parents, who located in Illinois, where he grew up and acquired a liberal education. He was graduated from Knox College at Galesburg, Illinois, with the degree A. B., studied law in Galesburg, was admitted to the bar, and after some years of practice there moved out to Western Kansas in 1879 and was one of the pioneer lawyers at Wakeeney. He enjoyed a large and influential clientele in that section and was in active practice until a short time before his death, when he removed to Lawrence, Kansas, and died there in November, 1915. For many years he served as county attorney of Trego County, and was a member in good standing of the Trego County Bar Association, the State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Politically he was a republican, was an active supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church and belonged to the Masonic Fraternity, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

John A. Nelson married Lena M. Lokie, who was born in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1861, and is still living at Lawrence. Of their children William Edwin Nelson, who was born at Wakeeney, Kansas, January 5, 1883, is the oldest. The others in order of birth were: Earl, who died when nearly two years of age; Raymond A., who has been a school teacher for eight years and is now pursuing the higher studies in the University of Kansas at Lawrence; Allene, who lives at home with her mother.

William E. Nelson was educated in the public schools at Wakeeney, graduated from the Baldwin High School at Baldwin, Kansas, in 1900, and in 1903 took a course in Boyles Business College at Omaha, Nebraska. For several years Mr. Nelson found ample employment for his energies in his father's office, and while there picked up a practical as well as theoretical acquaintance with the law. In 1906 he entered Baker University and was graduated A. B. in 1910. For the following two years he was again in his father's office, and in 1912 became superintendent of the Robinson public schools. During the summers he has taken post graduate work in the University of Colorado, University of Kansas and the Chicago University. He made a splendid reputation as an educator, both as a teacher and as a school administrator, and in 1917 the schools of Sabetha, Nemaha County, called him to their management.

Mr. Nelson takes an independent stand in matters of politics. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married June 17, 1914, at Holton, Kansas, Miss Winifred Moorhead, of Holton, who is also a graduate of Baker University, as well as a graduate of the school of music of Campbell College.


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; transcribed 1997.
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