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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John J. Nelson, conductor in the employ of the Iron Mountain Railroad, was born near Ogdensburg, N. Y., December 25, 1850. His father, Robert Nelson, was born near Dublin, Ireland, and immigrated to the United States about 1810, settling in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., where he was constable of the town of Lisbon over thirty years, and collector ten or twelve years. John J. Nelson was reared on a farm, and received his education in the common schools of his native county. When sixteen years of age he was employed as second cook on the steamer “Ackron,” plying between Chicago and Ogdensburg, one year, and then on the “Empire” one season, as cabin boy; the next season he was on the “Nashua” as look-outman, and subsequently engaged in railroading, which he has since followed. In October, 1872, he located in Bismarck, Mo., and the following February in De Soto, whence, in 1874, he went to St. Louis, returning to Jefferson County in 1883, where he lived on a farm until the following year; he then removed to Decatur, Ill., where he resided until November, 1885, and then again located in De Soto as conductor, in which capacity he has served the Iron Mountain Railroad fourteen years. July 1, 1874, he married Jennie N., daughter of William B. Elkins. They have one child, Hazel E., who was born January 24, 1881, and was named from the noted drama, Hazel Kirk. Mr. Nelson owns two farms, one consisting of 527 acres, two and one-half miles north of Hillsboro, Jefferson County, and the other consisting of fifty-four and one-quarter acres adjoining the corporation of De Soto. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Legion of Honor and Venice Chapter O. E. S. of South St. Louis. Mrs. Nelson is a member of the Episcopal Church.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Jefferson County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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