Lee County Biography


NELSON POWELL, a successful farmer and stock-raiser, whose home is on section 7, Palmyra Township, is a native of this State. His birth occurred on the 13th of March, 1854, in Sterling, and he is a worthy representative of one of the early families of Northern Illinois. His father, Nathaniel Powell, was born and reared in Saratoga County, N. Y., where he wedded Miss Abbie Brown, also a native of that locality. She was his second wife. By his former union, he had one daughter, Dora, who became the wife of George Howe and now resides in Nebraska. By the second union were born two sons: Charles and Nelson. The parents came to Illinois in an early day and settled in Sterling, where their deaths occurred in the fall of 1855. They both died the same night of typhoid fever. Their elder son, Charles, was then reared by his uncle, Nelson Powell, in the Empire State, and is now a resident of Monroe County, N. Y., where he engaged in the butchering business.

Our subject was only seven months old when he was left an orphan, and by a relative he was reared. From his native county he removed to Lee County, and the farm which he now owns was given him by his uncle, Jacob Powell, who secured large tracts of land from the Government in a raw state. Jacob Powell became one of the well-known and prominent citizens of this community. He owned very large landed interests, and, by judi­cious investments and sagacious sales, became quite wealthy. He started out with only a few hundred dollars, but at his death, in 1888, was worth $100,000. Mr. Powell had come to Illinois from Saratoga County, N. Y., his birthplace. In Whiteside County he wedded Mrs. Eliza Brown, who is now living on the old homestead in Sterling Township, at the age of sixty-six years. Both the husband and his wife were Spir­itualists in faith, and in his political views, Mr. Powell was a Republican.

The education of our subject was begun in the public schools of Sterling and completed by a business course in Des Moines, Iowa. Farming and stock-raising have been his life work, and in this he has been very successful. He now owns and operates two hundred acres of valuable land, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation, and, in consequence, yields to him a golden tribute. For the past three years he has also engaged extensively in stock-raising, making a specialty of sheep, and now has a fine flock,num­bering two hundred head of a high grade. The appointments of his farm are all in keeping with his practical and progressive ideas, and the neat appearance of the place indicates the supervision of a careful manager who thoroughly understands his business.

In Kasson City, Dodge Count3r, Minn., Mr. Powell led to the marriage altar Miss Cecelia Corscaden, who was born in the Empire State, but was reared and educated in Wisconsin and Minnesota. She became a teacher and for some years success­fully followed that vocation. The union of our subject and his worthy wife has been blessed with two children, a son and daughter, Leroy and Nellie J. The Powell household is the abode of hospital­ity, and the members of the family rank high in the social world. Mr. Powell exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party and his wife is a member of the Episcopal Church, while he is a Spiritualist.

1892 Portrait and Biographical Record Lee Co

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