Nels Nelson, Jr., was a son of the late Reverend Nels Nelson of the preceding sketch. He was a native of Denmark, born in 1838, and served a military school term in the Danish regular army. But after the death of Frederick VII, rather than take sides with the militia arrayed in battle against his own country, he left the Kingdom of Denmark in 1863 and came to America, "The land of the free." After a residence of about five years in St. Louis he emigrated to Kansas where his home was devastated by the Indians and where for several years afterward he with his family spent many a sleepless might keeping watch lest the savages should suddenly swoop down and exterminate them. Under the head of "Indian Raids" appears an account of the attack made June 2, 1869, as told the author in a very graphic way by the subject of this sketch, a short time prior to his demise. After the memorable raid of the above date, the Nelsons had a struggle to keep above actual want, as their clothing was all confiscated, not even having shoes to wear; but during the tide of emigration that flooded the country at that time, the incoming settlers all had flour and Mrs. Nelson baked much of their bread. This may seem a trivial circumstance in this day of peace and plenty, but to the anxious pioneer those opportunities were golden. Mr. Nelson was married in 1866 to Christine Anderson, also a native of the Kingdom of Denmark and a very estimable woman. She came with her parents to America in 1862 and settled in Wisconsin. They later removed to Minnesota and subsequently came to Kansas where they both died, and are buried in the church yard at Saron.
Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were the parents of six children and reared an adopted son, Daniel Peterson, who came to live with them when five weeks old. He is now sixteen and a young man of exemplary character. Their two sons, Foster T. and Christ W. live near Ames and are prosperous young farmers. Anna, their eldest daughter, is the wife of N.C. Nelson, manager for the Continental Creamery Company at Scottsville. Carrie, before her marriage to Frank Fickle, was a teacher in the district schools. Mr. Fickle is a farmer of Republic county. Lillie is the wife of Bert Morehouse, a farmer near Hollis. Ida, the youngest daughter, is the wife of Charles Cooke.
In 1898 Mr. Nelson sold his old homestead and bought the William Poole farm near the Danish Church. Prior to this, however, he lived in Clyde and conducted the Iowa Hotel for one year.
In February, 1902, Mr. Nelson laid down the burdens of an arduous life find passed to his eternal home. By his death, the community lost one of its most highly respected citizens whose memory will be cherished more especially among his own countrymen, as one of the pioneers along with his revered father, who was instrumental in bringing them into this prosperous country. Mr. Nelson was buried in the Saron cemetery where the body of his father rests and which to them was a hallowed spot.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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