"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Nelson, Andrew B. who was actively engaged in the mercantile business at Merrill for a great many years and is now living retired in that city, was born on a farm in the town of Scandinavia, Waupaca County, Wis., March 18, 1857, son of Nels and Anna Gurine (BREKKE) NELSON. The parents were both born in Norway and were married in that country. They came to America in 1853 and purchased 80 acres of government wild land in Waupaca County, and on this property they spent the remainder of their lives, developing it into a fine farm and operating it as such for many years. The father, who was born Dec. 12, 1828, died in 1921, and the mother, born in 1834, passed away in May, 1913. Of the children born to these parents, six, as follows are now living: Andrew B., subject of this sketch; Martin, now a resident of Rosholt, in Portage County, this state; Dora, who is Mrs. Wilmar NORDAHL, of Scott Township, Lincoln County; Ray, who is living on the home farm in Waupaca County; Julia, who is the widow of John JOHNSON and has her home in the town of New Hope, Portage County; and Carrie, widow of Henry QUINN and living in the town of Amherst, Portage County. Andrew B. NELSON was the eldest of this family, and as money was scarce it was necessary for him to work and to carry responsibility while he was yet at an age when most children are spared these burdens. He helped his father in the development and operation of the home farm and did other work until he was 17 years of age, when he left the home roof and went to Amherst village and subsequently clerked in store there for nine years. Jan. 1, 1883, he came to Merrill and with Nels ROLLEFSON as partner established a dry goods and clothing business in a frame building on Grand Avenue. Three years later he purchased his partner's interest in this enterprise, and in 1892 he built a commodious two-story brick store building on West Main Street, into which he moved his business. He conducted this establishment until he closed it out and retired from active life in 1909. Jan. 1, 1883, Mr. NELSON was united in marriage with Ella WILMOT, who was born at Amherst, Portage County, Wis., Oct. 21, 1860, daughter of George and Caroline WILMOT. Mrs. Ella NELSON died at Merrill Feb. 23, 1912. October 17, 1917, Mr. NELSON was united with his present wife, who in maiden life was Iva OLSON. Her parents were Oscar and Selina OLSON, the latter of whom died at Russell, Wis., while the former now resides with Mr. and Mrs. NELSON. With them also reside three sons of Mrs. NELSON by a former marriage, Gerald, Royal, and Milo. During his long career in Merrill, Mr. NELSON has taken a prominent part in the commerical development of the city. He was a stockholder in the former English Manufacturing Co. of Merrill, and when this industry was reorganized in 1907 as the Merrill Woodenware Co. he was made vice president of the new concern, which office he still holds. He has been associated with the Lincoln County Bank at Merrill for many years and is now a director in that institution. A Republican in politics, he has never sought public office, though he served his ward as alderman at one time and was treasurer of the city of Merrill for one term. He and his wife own a nice modern home in the city; they are members of the Zion Lutheran Church, to the support of which Mr. NELSON is a liberal contributor. He is one of dominant characters to whom a large share of the development of the city of Merrill into its present prosperous state is due.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 674-675; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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