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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  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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NELS ANDERSON is one of the very first settlers on the Divide, and the first one to settle in Anderson township, which bears his name. He was born in Sweden, January 13, 1848. His father, Anderson Nelson, a very extensive farmer and stock-raiser, was born in Sweden and is still living. His mother, Eleanor Nelson, was also a native of Sweden and died in 1867. There were seven children, three boys and four girls, in the family.

Mr. Anderson lived in his native country until he was twenty years of age, and spent his early days in attending school and helping his father on the farm. In May, 1869, he emigrated to America, being twenty days on the water. Arriving in this country, he located at Stillwater, Minn., where he found employment on a farm. He was afterwards employed in a machine shop, making-engines for steamboats, and continued at this business for five years, becoming so proficient that he was made foreman of the shop the first year, and served in this capacity for four years. On account of failing health he was compelled to leave the shop and in consequence of which he came to Phelps county, Nebr., March 1, 1877. He had come out in June of the year previous, and purchased a half section of railroad land and taken a timber claim. He also pre-empted another quarter, making in all six hundred and forty acres. He was the first settler in Anderson township, since named after him, and the old Kearney trail used to run directly by his place. He built a sixteen by twenty-two frame house, bought a wagon and team and began farming, raising a little wheat the first few years. He burned corn-stalks and wood, which he hauled from Spring creek thirty miles away, and one winter when the snow was too deep to get either stalks or wood he had to twist and burn hay. Antelope and other wild game was abundant. During an Indian scare one year all the settlers left except himself and one other. He now has a finely improved farm and has prospered far beyond his early expectations.

He was married, February 28, 1878, taking for a life companion Miss Anna Almen. She is a native of Sweden and was born March 28, 1848. This union has been blessed with two children, as follows — Hannah V., born January 14, 1880, and Larens M., born April 21, 1888.

He and his wife are members of the Lutheran church. Politically, he is a republican.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Phelps County, Nebraska family biographies here: Phelps County, Nebraska Biographies

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