|JACOB NELSON is another of the worthy citizens of the town of Oregon, whose successful career is an illustration of what industry and determination can do in the way of overcoming obstacles.He was born on the island of Langeland, which is a part of Denmark, September 22, 1845, and is the only son of Nels Peterson and Carn Christianson, both of whom were also born in Denmark and spent their lives there. The father was a soldier in the Danish army during the war with Germany in 1848 to 1850. Jacob Nelson was reared to manhood in his native country and received his education in the public schools.
At the age of twenty years he turned his face toward the land of opportunities, and coming directly to Dane county worked as a farm hand during the first six years of his residence in America. Upon his arrival he was not able to speak a word of the English language, and this handicap with others made his progress slow for a time.
But in 1871 he married and purchased forty acres of land in the town of Dunkirk, where he commenced his independent career as a farmer, and success has attended his every effort since. He resided on the Dunkirk farm about four years and then sold it and moved to Rutland, where he lived on a rented place for three years, and then moved to Green county, Wis.
Four years later he returned to Dane county and purchased the sixty acres of land in the town of Oregon, where he has since resided, and where he has met with a flattering degree of success as a farmer. He has made all the improvements thereon, which are now so noticeable to the passer-by, and the old log house in which he first resided has long since been superseded by a commodious and modern structure. When Mr. Nelson first began farming in Dane county he cut all of his grain with the old-fashioned cradle and thrashed it with a one-horse machine; but this has all been changed by the wonderful progress of the last quarter-century, due in no small measure to the enterprise and industry of such men as the subject of this review.
Being remarkably well preserved, despite the many years of strenuous toil, it is hoped and reasonably expected that he will live long to enjoy the fruits of the labors. One sister, Christina, is his only living relative, other than the members of his immediate family, and she resides in Denmark. Mr. Nelson was married in February, 1871, to Miss Carolina Sarenson, born February 10, 1853, whose parents, Saren Christian Peterson and wife Christina, are both deceased, the mother dying when the daughter was an infant, and the father died in America.
To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson there have been born five children, two of whom died in infancy. Of the others, Carl married Carolina Peterson, a native of Denmark, and resides near his parents; Emery married Sena Peterson, sister of his brother’s wife; and Louis, who is not married, remains at the parental home.
Mr. Nelson is a Republican in his political affiliations, was supervisor of the town of Oregon one term, and has been school director for several years. In his religious faith he adheres to the Danish Lutheran church, and was baptized and confirmed in Denmark before his migration to America.1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, pp. 653-654