Pages 278-280, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




GEORGE M. NELSON—Among the most energetic, reliable business men and entesprising,[sic] public-spirited citizens of Allen County is numbered George M. Nelson, who now resides in Brooklyn Park, Iola. Since his arrival in Kansas he has taken an active and commendable interest in public affairs and his labors have been of valuable benefit to the county.

A native of Ohio, Mr. Nelson was born in Highland County, on the 7th of April, 1846. His father, William A. Nelson, was born in Hillsboro, of the same county, while John M. Nelson, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Stanton, Virginia, whence he emigrated to Ohio in an early day on account of his views on the slavery question William A. Nelson spent his early life in Hillsboro, and acquired his education in its public schools. After his marriage to Katherine Kibler, a daughter of Joseph Kibler of Hillsboro, he developed and improved a farm in Highland County, the land having been granted to his grandfather, Captain Trimble, in recognition of his valued service in the American army during the war of the Revolution. The farm is still in possession of the family, by whom it has been owned for more than a century. Upon the homestead which he developed, William A. Nelson resided until his death, which occurred in 1883. By his first marriage he became the father of six children, the eldest of whom died in infancy. The others are; Cary L., who died in 1899, at Albia, Iowa; Jennie E., who is the widow of Robert Bishop and resides in Paris, Illinois; Joseph K., of Chelsea, Butler County, Kansas; George M., of this review, and Katherine A., wife of Henry Bishop, a journalist of Kansas City, Missouri. The mother of these children died in 1849, and Mr. Nelson afterward married Miss Margaret Kelley, of Rockbridge County, Virginia, daughter of John Kelley. To them were born six children, five of whom reached maturity, namely: William C., a practicing physician of Sycamore Springs, Kansas; Anna V., wife of Marion Meyers of Paris, Illinois, who removed to California where Mrs. Meyers died in 1898; Charles Q., a medical practitioner of Albia, Iowa; Lena, the second wife of Marion Myers, who is now in Pasadena, California, and is the State Secretary of


the Young Men's Christian Association, and Thomas H., who occupies the old homestead at Hillsboro, Ohio.

George M. Nelson, in whom the citizens in Allen County are especially interested, acquired his preliminary education in the schools of Hillsboro, Ohio, after which he pursued a classical course in the National Normal school in Lebanon, Ohio, where he was graduated in 1868. During the following year he served as deputy postmaster in Lebanon, and later he purchased and operated a farm in Brown County, that State. He also engaged in teaching in the common schools there. He was for a year a member of the faculty in the Harrisburg Academy at Harrisburg, Kentucky, after which he emigrated to Kansas in 1883, locating in Butler County, where for one year he was engaged in the stock business in connection with his brother, J. K. Nelson. In 1884 he purchased a farm a mile and a half north of Moran, Allen County, and took up his abode thereon in April of that year. For some time he successfully devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. His fellow townsmen recognizing his ability and trustworthiness have frequently called him to public office, his first service having been the discharge of the duties of trustee of Marmaton township. He remained in that office for a year, and in 1890 he was made census enumerator. In 1891 he was elected county treasurer, and so acceptably discharged his duties that he was re-elected for a second term. On his retirement he entered into partnership with J. M. Mason in the real estate business, in which he is now engaged. The firm has conducted a number of important realty transactions, handling considerable valuable property, and their business methods commend them to the confidence and pratonage[sic] of all. Mr. Nelson's fellow citizens, however, are not content that he should retire wholly from public office for his services have ever been of value, and at the present time he is acting as president of the board of education of Iola. He has always supported the Republican party, and for a number of years has been a member of the Republican central committee.

Mr. Nelson was married in 1869 to Miss Clara A. McFadden, of Brown County, Ohio, a daughter of Joseph McFadden, who was a native of Virginia. She was a graduate of the Lebanon Normal School of the class of 1868, and for some time followed teaching with excellent success. Four children were born of their marriage, but only one is now living, Wilfred W., who is now engaged in the furniture business in Iola with A. W. Beck. He enlisted as a private in Company D, Twentieth Kansas Infantry under Colonel, afterward General, Fred Funston, and served for eighteen months in the Philippines. He was promoted to the position of quartermaster sergeant, and as such was discharged. After the death of his wife in 1881 Mr. Nelson married Miss Phoebe E. Gilbert of Champaign County, Ohio. She died in 1886, survived by one of their two daughters—Grace G. Mr. Nelson's present wife bore the maiden name of Miss Elozia C. Strong, of Moran, Kansas a daughter of the late Dr. Henry Strong. Of four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Nelson two are yet living, Alfred and Lawrence.

Mr. Nelson's military service began through connection with the Ohio


State Militia, and with his regiment he was mustered into the United States service May 2, 1864, as a member of Company H, One Hundred Sixty-eighth Ohio Infantry. After assisting in repulsing Morgan on his last raid and engaging in the battle of Cynthiana, Kentucky, the regiment was mostly on guard and patrol duty until mustered out at Camp Dennison, Ohio, September 8, 1864. Socially Mr. Nelson has been connected with the Masonic fraternity since 1880 and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1893. He has been a life-long member of the Presbyterian church—a man of upright principles and of sterling worth, his character being such as commands respect and admiration in every land and clime.

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