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
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.