Pages 273-275, 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.




ROBERT NELSON.—One of the successful farmers and well known citizens of Deer Creek township is Robert Nelson whose residence in Allen county has spanned a period of almost a score of years. He located


upon section 16, township 24, range 20, a raw and unimproved piece of school land in 1882, and since that date he has devoted his time and energies, not only to the proper care and support of his family but to the development and improvement of a farm and to the task of reaching a condition of financial independence, both warrantable and creditable. The place of his first settlement he made sale of as did he of the settlement made in section seventeen where he repeated, on a larger scale, his efforts upon the first farm.

Mr. Nelson was born in Adams county, Illinois, September 18, 1846. His father, Zenas B. Nelson, was born near Louisville, Kentucky, in 1819 and, in 1832, left that state and became a citizen of Illinois. He accompanied his father, James Nelson, whose origin, or birth, occurred in Virginia. The latter died in Illinois in 1846 at the age of seventy years. His military experience was gained as a soldier in the war of 1812 and, as a civilian, he was devoted to agriculture. He married Elizabeth Allen and was the father of fifteen children, fourteen of whom lived to grow up and marry.

Zenas B. Nelson's military service consisted of a connection with the Illinois militia when called out for the purpose of suppressing the disturbances with the Mormons at Nauvoo. He was married in 1843 to Delilah Hopson, a daughter of Robert Hopson who was a Scotchman, kidnapped in boyhood by some sailors, while hauling logs in the wood near the seashore. While the ship of his master was in harbor at New York he stole away and made his way to Ohio. He was married in that state to Narcissa Pierce, which union was productive of fourteen children.

The children of Zenas and Deliah Nelson were: Alfred and Robert Nelson, of Allen county; Olive, wife of Martin Cray, of Woodward county, Oklahoma; Harriet, wife of Edward Wade, deceased, of Clark county, Missouri, Ann, who married Thomas Lowry, of Adams county, Illinois; Ida, wife of Chauncey Owens, of the same county; Deliah, wife of Sanford Graham; Charles and Philip, all of Illinois. Philip Nelson is one of the leading architects of the state. He is widely known throughout the state and has done much work of a high character and received the plaudits and commendations of architects and builders alike.

Robert Nelson passed his childhood and early manhood with the family home. He left the parental roof at twenty-four years of age and was married and engaged in farming. His wife died soon thereafter and centennial year he was again married and, with scarce an intermission, has continued his connection with the farm.

Mr. Nelson was first married February 3, 1870, to Sarah Seals, who died in 1873, leaving a son, Alpha, who is married to Catherine Mills and resides in Allen county. January 26, 1876, Mr. Nelson was married to Mary O. Treatch, a daughter of George W. Treatch, a German and from Darmstadt. The latter came to America with his family in 1840 and settled in Illinois about 1841. He was a miller by trade and was the father of ten children. Those living are: George Treatch, Catherine, wife of George Randolph, both of Illinois, Mrs. Robert Nelson; Kate, wife of Wil-


liam Crabtree, of Adams county; Matilda, wife of Wilson Jones; Fred Treatch, who married Maggie Seals and resides in the home county; Henry, who married Rosa Hill, residing in Adams county, Illinois.

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson's children are: Gertrude, who is the wife of George Myers, of Iola; Ona, wife of Lindsey T. Gillenwater, of Allen county, and Cora, Jessie and Clark, about the domestic hearthstone.

In politics the early Nelsons were Whigs. Later on the voters of the family were divided as to parties and our subject became a Greenbacker, then a Union Labor man and finally a supporter of the Peoples Party.

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