1896 Biography


James B. Nelson, county supervisor of Hall Township and a leading butcher and stock dealer of Spring Valley, is a native of Bureau County, born in Providence, July 12, 1863, but when six months old was taken by his parents, James and Mary (Barrett) Nelson, to Arlington, where he remained until coming to Spring “”Valley in 1886. His father, a native of Canada, came to the United States in 1852, and engaged in farming in Bureau County, but is now living a retired life in Spring Valley./ He has been a lifelong democrat, but takes no active part in politics. The birth of the mother occurred in Zanesville, Ohio.

Our subject is the oldest in the family of six children, the others being as follows: Lizzie is the wife of J. C. Sitterly, a liveryman of Spring Valley; George died in 1876, at the age of fourteen years; Charles married Emma Miley and is engaged in the butchering business at Ladd, Illinois. He has two children: May Belle and Marguerite. W. G. married Malissa Anderson, and is operating the old homestead farm. Martha is the wife of M. C. McWicks, private secretary for S. M. Dalzell, manager of the Spring Valley Coal company.

The education of James B. Nelson was obtained in the common schools of Arlington, and after its completing he devoted his time to agricultural pursuits until coming to Spring Valley in 1886, when he began his present business.

Since the age of fifteen he has handled stock, and has probably done a more extensive business along that line than any man of his years in this section of the state. He has been quite successful in his undertaking, and is now doing the largest butcher business in the place.

On the 8th of December, 1887, Mr. Nelson was united in marriage with Miss Olivia, only child of Abraham and Margaret *Martin) Lance, who are eastern people by birth. Two children grace this union, namely: Lance Adelbert, aged seven years, and George H., aged five. The parents attend the Congregational church and are highly esteemed in social circles.

In politics Mr. Nelson is a republican, and has always taken an active interest in public affairs. In 1801 he was elected supervisor for Hall Township, which is strongly democratic, and has twice been re-elected without opposition, which fact plainly indicates his popularity and the confidence and trust reposed in him by his fellow citizens. He is one of the rising men of the county, prompt and faithful in the discharge of every duty, whether public or private, and is public spirited and progressive. Socially he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the blue lodge, chapter and the Eastern Star, and also affiliates with the Knights of Pythias.

(Transcribed by Denise McLoughlin, The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall & Putnam Cos., Illinois, page 639)




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