Robert Nelson is a citizen of the township of Cambridge , residing on section 18. He was born in County Tyrone , Ireland , in April, 1817. The family removed in 1824 to County Donegal , on the “Green Isle,” and there made a permanent stay. The parents, Joseph and Bettie ( Moore ) Nelson, were natives of Ireland , where they passed their entire lives.
   The son, who early determined on coming to America to test the promises of that land which were always the subject of discussion in his native country, fulfilled the purpose in the year 1847. He came here in the spring of that year and made his first location in the city of Philadelphia . After passing a summer there, he went to Delaware , and was in the employ of Henry L. Churchman three years as an assistant on the farm. He went from there to the western part of Pennsylvania , and in the autumn of 1851 returned to Delaware . Later, he went to Davenport , Iowa , and there remained two years and a half. He came thence to Henry County and bought 40 acres of land on the same section on which he still resides. He has brought the best of effort and judgment to operate in the work to which he has devoted his life, and has continued to purchase land until he is at present the owner of 280 acres in advanced cultivation and in valuable condition for mixed husbandry.
   Mr. Nelson has accomplished a great work in making his accumulations under circumstances which would have deterred most men from making any effort whatever. He has practiced the greatest economy and has never tired in industry or perseverance. In 1858, or about that time, he was seized with lameness in his left leg, which he endured for 22 years, and without much intermission in the way of labor. In the spring of 1880 the limb was amputated. He moves about on his crutches and still superintends the management of his estate.
   In his political views, Mr. Nelson is in accord with the Democratic party. When he came to America he fell into line with the old Whig element.
   Mr. Nelson was married in the city of Philadelphia to Ann Johnson. She was born in County Donegal , in Ireland , and was the playmate of her husband in the “land of the shamrock.” Mr and Mrs. Nelson have eight children: Eliza is the wife of Mr. Slack, of DuPage Co., Iowa ; James, David, Alexander, Robert and Samuel were next in order of birth; William is deceased; John is the youngest. The father and mother are members of the Congregational Church in Cambridge .


1885 Portrait & Biographical Album of Henry Co., Illinois   page 659


Transcribed by Jan Roggy

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Illinois Ancestors