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Whatcom County
Genealogy and History





Neilson, Frederick E.

    Frederick E. Neilson, who spent the last eleven years of his life in honorable retirement at Bellingham, was called to his final rest on the 24th of May, 1918, at the comparatively early age of forty-eight. He was born in Denmark in 1870 but left his native land when a lad of fourteen and crossed the Atlantic to the United States. About the year 1888 he located at Tacoma, Washington, where he spent about five years, on the expiration of which period, in 1893, he made his way to Alaska in the capacity of United States surveyor. When gold was discovered in 1897 he discontinued his work in this connection and thereafter devoted his attention to mining pursuits for twelve years, striking good claims at Miller Creek, Circle City, Dominion Bonanza and Bear Creek. It was in 1907 that he took up his abode at Bellingham, Washington, where he spent the remainder of his life in well earned ease.

    In 1901 Mr. Neilson was united in marriage to Anna Swanson, who was born, reared and educated in Denmark and immigrated to the United States when a maiden of sixteen summers. After living for some time with an aunt in Wisconsin she made her way westward to Washington, first locating at Tacoma and subsequently coming to Bellingham in 1890 in company with a sister. Later her brother also took up his abode here. Mrs. J. P. Hansen, a sister of Mrs. Neilson, is a resident of Ferndale, Washington. Mrs. Neilson spent a number of years in travel. She resided in Alaska for three years and made five trips across the Atlantic ocean. For fifteen years she has been a student of Christian Science, which was also the faith of her husband. She has been a successful Christian Science practitioner for a number of years and now maintains a well appointed office in the Kulshan building at Bellingham.

    Mr. and Mrs. Neilson became the parents of a son, Martin Y., who is a graduate of the Whatcom high school at Bellingham and is now attending the State College of Washington at Pullman. In politics Mr. Neilson was a stanch republican, believing that its principles contained the best elements of good government. He became a charter member of the Tacoma lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and was also identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. His death was the occasion of deep and widespread regret in Bellingham, where he had gained an extensive circle of warm friends.

    The Christian Science church of Bellingham had its inception in the '90s and was organized under a state charter in 1904. The first meetings were held on West Holly street, while subsequently the rooms of the Aftermath Club were utilized for a number of years. The present church edifice was erected in 1915. Between two hundred and fifty and three hundred people regularly attend the services.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 73-74

Nelson, Alvin

    Like many other of the enterprising citizens of Whatcom county, the subject of this sketch hails from Wisconsin, but enough of his active life has been spent in this locality to have given his fellow citizens ample opportunity to know what manner of man he is. The consensus of opinion is that he is a worthy citizen and an honor to his community, for he has not only been successful in advancing his individual affairs but has cooperated with his fellowmen in the advancement of all measures for the betterment of the public welfare. Alvin Nelson was born in Racine county, Wisconsin, on the 14th of October, 1889, and is a son of Andrew and Ugina (Hagensen) Nelson, both of whom were born and reared in Norway, where the father devoted himself to agricultural pursuits during the remainder of his active life. He and his wife are both now deceased.

    Alvin Nelson received his education in the public schools of his native country and remained on his father's farm until he was nineteen years of age, when he started out on his own account. He was employed at various occupations until the United States entered the World war, when he enlisted in the field artillery and went into training at Camp Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, and Camp McCullum, Alabama, being in the service about six and a half months, when he was honorably discharged. He was then at home for several months, but in 1919 he came to Whatcom county, stopping in Bellingham for a few months, and then went to Custer, where he was employed in the Dakota creek mill for three years. He then bought thirty acres of land where he now lives and he has devoted himself closely to the clearing and operation of this place. He has made good improvements on the farm, which he is devoting mainly to the chicken business, in which line success is attending his efforts. He now owns about eight hundred laying White Leghorn hens, of the Hollywood strain, and has proven himself well adapted for this profitable and interesting line of work.

    On June 16, 1921, Mr. Nelson was married to Miss Thelma E. Olsen, who was born in Wisconsin and came to this locality when she was two years old with her parents, Gunder and Trina (Olsdater) Olsen, both of whom were born in Norway, the mother at Laurdal and the father near the dividing line between Norway and Sweden. After coming to Whatcom county they located on a small farm at Blaine, where the mother is now living, the father having died there in 1910. They had arrived in the United States in 1882 and on coming west had first located in Snohomish county, Washington, where they remained until 1893, when they came to Blaine and bought forty acres of land, fifteen acres of which are cleared. They became the parents of seven children, of whom four are living, namely: Gunda Olive, the wife of Herman J. Fusener, of Bellingham; John, of Blaine; Amelia, the wife of Noble McClurg, of Blaine; and Thelma E. The last named has been successfully engaged in teaching in Whatcom county for a period of eighteen years and at this time is actively engaged in school work. Mr. Nelson is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and also belongs to the Whatcom County Poultry Association. He is a man of splendid personal qualities and by his industrious habits and upright life has gained an enviable standing in the confidence and esteem of all who know him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 397-398

Nelson, Eddie

    As manager of the Weiser Drug Company, Eddie Nelson occupies an important place in Bellingham's commercial life, and thorough scientific training, supplemented by practical experience, well qualifies him for this responsible office. He was born May 19, 1890, and is a native of Tacoma, Washington. His parents, E. O. and Christine Nelson, located in that city in 1889, and three years later the father purchased a farm near Mount Vernon, Washington, where he spent the remainder of his life, bringing his land to a high state of development.

    In the acquirment of an education Eddie Nelson attended the public schools of Mount Vernon and afterward became a student at the Minnesota Institute of Pharmacy, from which he was graduated in 1912. In 1907 he had obtained a position as drug clerk and was employed in that capacity in Mount Vernon and other places, acquiring much useful information concerning the trade. In 1924 he came to Bellingham and has since had charge of the business of the Weiser Drug Company. It was established in 1913 by S. B. Weiser, who opened a sore in the Bellingham National Bank building, and on January 26, 1924, the business was purchased by J. A. Munich and J. K. Stewart, of Mount Vernon, the present owners. Mr. Nelson has initiative, executive power and mature judgment, and under his expert managment the grown of the business has been greatly stimulated. The firm carries a large stock of drugs and makes a specialty of filling prescriptions, giving to its patrons high class service.

    On September 29, 1915, Mr. Nelson married Miss Laura T. Johnson of Minnesota, and the children of this union are Lloyd and Donald. Mr. Nelson is a Mason and in politics follows an independent course, regarding the qualifications of a candidate as a matter of prime importance. He is a young man of serious purpose, deeply interested in his chosen line of work, and his enterprise and ability are carrying him rapidly toward the goal of success.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 881

Nelson, J. E.

    In presenting this brief outline of the life history of J. E. Nelson, well known citizen of Lynden township, it is desired to hold up for consideration those facts which have shown the distinction of a true, useful and honorable life - a life characterized by perseverance, energy and well defined purpose. To do this will be but to reiterate the dictum pronounced upon the man by the people who know him well. Mr. Nelson was born in South Dakota in 1893 and is a son of Dr. T. and Leona (Jackson) Nelson, the latter of whom was a native of North Carolina and died in 1904. The father was a native of Virginia and became a physician, which profession he followed during all his active years. He was located in South Dakota for a number of years and then went to Kansas, where he remained until 1912, when because of failing health, he came to Lynden, Whatcom county, where his death occurred in 1915.

    J. E. Nelson secured his education in the public schools of South Dakota and Kansas and had one year of high school work after coming to Lynden township. When he and his father came to this locality they located on forty acres of land, the place having been an old settled farm, which was in a badly neglected condition. He has since made many permanent and substantial improvements, including a new barn and other necessary farm buildings, and now has the place in good shape. He is giving his attention largely to dairy and poultry farming, in which he is meeting with very fine success. He has eight good grade Guernsey milk cows and about eight hundred and fifty White Leghorn chickens, for which he raises his own hay and grain. When he began his operations here he hauled his milk by team to the Carnation milk plant at Everson for about three years but now uses an auto truck, being the first person in this locality to use a truck for this purpose.

    On December 20, 1924, Mr. Nelson was married to Miss Florence Hungerford, who was born in Skagit county, Washington, a daughter of C. S. and Addie (Dunton) Hungerford and a representative of an early family in Skagit county. Mr. Nelson is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association, while fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a man of quiet and unassuming manner but possesses a forceful personality that has left its impress on all with whom he has come in contact. He has cooperated with his fellow citizens in all movements for the general improvement of the locality and is numbered among the up-to-date and progressive men of his community, where he enjoys an enviable standing.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 337

Nelson, N. P.

    N. P. Nelson, an influential member of the Scandinavian colony of Acme township, has won success as an agriculturist and also figures prominently in public affairs. He was born April 5, 1864, and is a native of Denmark. He severed home ties when a young man of twenty-four, arriving in this country December 9, 1888, and spent a few months in Wisconsin. He went from that state to Minnesota, in which he lived for one and a half years, and in the autumn of 1889 came to Washington, first locating in Seattle. In 1891 he entered a homestead in the vicinity of Mosquiteo lake but did not prove up on his claim. He purchased a thirty acre tract in Acme township, which he afterward sold, and in 1909 bought his present ranch of thirty-five acres. He has built a modern home and made other improvements on his place, which is constantly increasing in value. He has seventeen acres under cultivation and a considerable portion of the land is used for pasture. He operates a well equipped dairy, keeping a fine herd of high grade Jersey and Guernsey cattle for this purpose, and also raises poultry. His products bring a good price on the market. He likewise acts as bookkeeper for the Bellpak Lumber & Timber Company of Van Zandt, a position which he has filled since the organization of the business in 1919.    

    In 1890 Mr. Nelson married Miss Carolina Christianson, who was born in Denmark and came to the United States during her girlhood. To this union were born seven children: William R., who went to France with the American Expeditionary Force and sacrificed his life for his country; Arthur G., who is manager of the Bellingham flour mill of Albers Brothers and ha a wife and two children; Victor, who is a shingle sawyer at Everett, Washington, and has a wife and child; Walter, who operates the homestead; Naomi, who resides with her parents; Alice, the wife of Frank Eckley, of Seattle, and the mother of one child; and Oliver Wendell, who was graduated from the State Normal School at Bellingham and is engaged in teaching at Grandview, Washington.

    Mr. Nelson is nonpartisan in his political views and casts his ballot for those men and measures that he deems will best conserve the public weal. He has been township clerk from the time of the organization of Acme township, making a fine record in the office, and served for many years on the school board, of which his wife is now a member. He belongs to the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and along fraternal lines is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Nelson is a broadminded man of high principles and a progressive, public-spirited citizen who would be a valuable acquisition to any community.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 701-702

Nelson, Mrs. Thomas

    Mrs. Thomas Nelson, who has been a resident of Whatcom county for about a quarter of a century, was born in Norway in the year 1855, her parents being Peter Christiansen and Mollie Larson, also natives of that country.  In early womanhood she gave her hand in marriage to Peter Lickvold, and five children had been born to the couple in Norway when they left that country and crossed the Atlantic to America.  They first settled in Minnesota but after seven years removed to South Dakota, where they remained also for seven years, after which they moved to Alberta, Canada, where they resided on a homestead claim for another seven year period.  It was about 1902 that Mr. and Mrs. Lickvold brought their family to Whatcom county, Washington, residing first in Bellingham for a years, after which they made their home on a farm south of Sumas for about eight years.  They were the parents of twelve children.  Their first child, called Severson, is deceased, the others being: Severson, who owns and operates a farm; Albert, who is employed as engineer in a mill; Christ, who lived to be twenty-two, and Martin, who died when nine months old, twins; Mrs. Martina Nypen, who resides at Everett, Washington, and is the mother of four children; Martin, residing in Alaska, who is married and has one son; Mike, living at Everett, Washington, who is married and has one child; Sigwald, who follows farming; Mrs. Minnie Bell, who makes her home in Oregon and has two children; and two who are deceased.  The husband and father departed this life about the year 1913.

    Mrs. Lickvold was again married in 1918, her second husband being Thomas Nelson, a native of Norway, who became a sailor when a youth of fourteen and followed a seafaring life for many years.  His first place of residence in the United States was at San Francisco, California, and it was about 1900 that he arrived in Whatcom county, Washington.  Subsequently he again spent a number of years on the water.  Mr. Nelson has sailed on the seven seas and has traveled all over the world.  Since his marriage he has made his home at Bellingham, where he has been intermittently employed by the Pacific-American Fisheries, and he has taken out his first citizenship papers.  Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are consistent members of the Lutheran church and are well known and highly esteemed in Bellingham.  Their home is at No. 1722 Humboldt street.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 664-665

Nelson, Victor E.

    Victor E. Nelson is head of the Nelson Electric Company and proprietor of a well established and well stocked electrical supply house on Elk street in Bellingham, a general electrical contractor whose operations cover the two counties of Whatcom and Skagit. He is a native of Washington, born on a pioneer farm in Skagit county, June 13, 1889, and is a son of Olaf and Cecelia Nelson, both now deceased, who had become residents of that section of what then was included within the greater county of Whatcom, in 1873.

    Reared on this pioneer farm, Victor E. Nelson attended a school seven miles away, walking that distance back and forth, and finished his education in Wilson's Business College. As a young man he worked as a clerk in a general store in Mount Vernon, county seat of his home county, and was there employed in mercantile operations until 1914, when he opened a store of his own at Everson in Whatcom county. For eight years Mr. Nelson was engaged in business at Everson and then sold out and moved to California, where he spent two years, at the end of which time, in 1924, he came to Bellingham and bought the establishment of the Hanson Electric Company, which he has since been successfully operating, doing business under the name of the Nelson Electric Company, with a well stocked and amply equipped place of business at No. 1242 Elk street, and is prepared to take care of all calls in his line throughout the fine trade area centering in Bellingham. In the handling of certain lines of electrical supplies and house equipment Mr. Nelson is the exclusive dealer in and for the counties of Whatcom and Skagit, and he is widely known in the trade in the territory he thus covers. These lines especially apply to the sale of electric washing machine, refrigerators and individual lighting plants, and he has created a wide demand for certain special products. The volume of business done by the establishment of which he is the head has been doubled since he took it over two years ago.

    In 1919, in Bellingham, Mr. Nelson was united in marriage to Miss H. Lou Whitemarsh, a member of the teaching staff of the Bellingham city schools, and they have a son, Jack Nelson. Mrs. Nelson was for eight years a teacher in the Bellingham schools and has long been a helpful factor in the cultural activities of the community. She is a daughter of Charles E. and Edith Whitemarsh, who came here from Wisconsin in the days of the homesteaders and settled in Whatcom county. They later moved to the southern part of the state but in 1899 returned to Bellingham, and Mrs. Whitemarsh has since resided here. Mr. Whitemarsh is deceased. Mr. Nelson is a member of the locally influential Kiwanis Club of Bellingham and gives his attention to all movements and measures designed to advance the general interests of the city. He is a York Rite (Knight Templar) Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, and is also affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 935-936

Nesbitt, E. F.

    Although one of the more recent additions to the citizenship of Bellingham, E. F. Nesbitt is a business man of ripe experience, well qualified to manage the interests of the Northern Grocery Company, of which he is part owner, and his activities are also directed into the field of agriculture. He was born in 1869 and is a native of Iowa. After his graduation from high school he attended the normal school at Peru, Iowa, and then engaged in teaching, following that profession for a number of years. As a young man he went to Oklahoma and opened a real estate office in Norman, also maintaining an abstract department. He conducted the business for six years and next established a retail grocery in Norman. Mr. Nesbitt prospered in his undertakings and decided to broaden the scope of his activities, choosing Altus, Oklahoma, as the scene of his operations. There he spent eighteen years, building up a large wholesale grocery business, and on the expiration of that period came to Washington. He arrived in Bellingham, July 1, 1923, and purchased an interest in the Northern Grocery Company, of which he is now vice president and manager, while J. C. Lang acts as president.

    The business was established in 1909 and was built up and conducted by E. F. Drake until his retirement in 1922, and its history is a record of continuous and healthful growth. The establishment is located at No. 1204 Railroad avenue, in a building fifty-five by one hundred and forty feet in dimensions, and the company has excellent shipping facilities, using its own siding. The firm has the exclusive agency for the distribution of the Del Monte canned goods in this section of the state and also sells the Reliance and Selecto brands, manufactured especially for its use. The company has a force of six traveling salesmen, who cover the territory north of Everett, and conducts a large wholesale business, also dealing through jobbers. The undertaking was founded upon the principles of honor and integrity, to which the firm has always consistently adhered, ever realizing that the confidence of thousands of loyal patrons is its most valuable asset, and the men at the head of the corporation are capable executives of keen intelligence and high standing.

    In 1895 Mr. Nesbitt married Miss Ida Ferebee, of Nebraska, now deceased, and two sons were born to them, namely: Carl, who is engaged in the wholesale grocery business in Oklahoma; and George, who operates his father's ranch. Mr. Nesbitt's second union was with Miss Laura Hutton, of Kansas, to whom he was married in 1907, and they have three sons: Wilbur, Arthur and Joseph.

    Mr. Nesbitt owns a valuable farm of one hundred and thirty acres and makes his home on the property, which is situated in the vicinity of Bellingham. He has a fine herd of Jersey cattle and also raises poultry on a large scale. He enjoys country life and is well informed regarding all modern developments along agricultural lines. He votes the democratic ticket, and while a resident of Altus, Nebraska, he became a charter member of the Rotary Club, of which he was made president. He has closely allied his interests with those of Bellingham and has adopted as the guide-posts of his life those principles which constitute the basis of all honorable and desirable prosperity.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 403-404

Newberry, William H.

    It is a well attested maxim that the greatness of a state or a community lies not in the machinery of its government, or even in its institutions, but in the people's capacity for high and useful work, unselfish endeavor and devotion to the public good. To this class belongs William H. Newberry, one of the enterprising and successful farmers in the vicinity of Blaine, where he has devoted himself with success to the cultivation and improvement of his excellent farm. Mr. Newberry was born in Houston county, Minnesota, in 1868, and is a son of N. T. and Katie (Dunbar) Newberry, the former a native of Michigan, of which state his family were pioneers, and the latter born in Connecticut. In 1906 these parents came to Whatcom county and thereafter made their home with their son, out subject, until they passed away in 1920. William H. Newberry attended the public schools of his native state and was reared to the life of a farmer, remaining with his father until about twenty years of age, when he went to Mitchell county, Iowa, where he worked out for a while and then rented a farm, which he operated about five years. He next went to Emmons county, North Dakota, where he entered a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he remained about eight years, giving his attention chiefly to grain and cattle. In 1906 Mr. Newberry came to Whatcom county and first bought a farm located about a half mile south of his present place, which he afterward also purchased. In 1912, some time after buying the latter tract, he moved onto it and has devoted himself since to its cultivation and improvement. It comprises forty acres of land, which originally was covered with timber, stumps and brush, but he now has about twenty acres cleared and in a high state of cultivation, the balance being in pasture and woods. He has made splendid improvements on the place, including the erection of the present comfortable and attractive house, and is now very pleasantly situated. He gives special attention to dairy farming, in which he is very successful, keeping seven good grade milk cows. During the past four years Mr. Newberry has also operated a truck for the dairy association, collecting and bringing milk to Lynden.

    In 1890, in Mitchell county, Iowa, Mr. Newberry was married to Miss Esther Doane, who was born in Iowa, a daughter of Frank W. and A. M. (Thornton) Doane. Her father, who came to Whatcom county, where his death occurred in 1909 at his home in Pleasant Valley. His wife was born in Cook county, Illinois, and now lives with her daughter, Mrs. Newberry. They were the parents of eight children, four sons and four daughters. To Mr. and Mrs. Newberry has been born a son, Lawrence, who is a student in the high school at Blaine. Mr. Newberry is an active member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association, while he sustains fraternal relations with the Modern Woodmen of America. He has so ordered his actions as to earn the commendation of his fellowmen and has long been considered one of the most substantial and dependable men in his locality, giving his support to those measures which promise to advance the welfare of the public. Such a man is a credit to any community, and he is well deserving of the enviable place which he holds in the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens throughout this locality.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 498-499


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