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Male, US, born 1905-04-05, died 1988-09-04

Associated with the firms network

Austin Company, Building Contractors; Cawdrey and Vemo, Incorporated, General Contractors; Sellen Construction Company, Incorporated


Professional History

Résumé

Carpenter, Austin Construction Company, Seatllte, WA, 10/16/1940. At this time, he worked at the Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle for the Austin Construction Company, based in Cleveland, OH. Austin did a great deal of work for the US military and defense-realted businesses during World War II. Nelson built his own Madison Park residence in Seattle which he and his family moved into in 1941.

Carpenter, Cawdrey and Vemo, Incorporated, General Contractors, c. 1956-1963. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1956, p. 1066.) At this time in Seattle, there were a total of sixteen men who had the name "Nels Nelson," according the Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1956, suggesting the high concentration of people with Scandinavian ancestry who settled here,

Project Superintendent, Sellen, John H., Construction Company, Seattle, WA, c. 1965-1971. Nelson was a Construction Superintendent for the John H. Sellen Construction Company on the University of Washington, Seattle (UW), College of Architecture and Urban Planning Building, also known as Gould Hall, in 1970-1971. Gould Hall was Nelson's last construction supervision job before he retired.

Personal

Relocation

Born in Gunnarskog, Värmland County, Sweden, Nels Nelson immigrated to the US at age 19. He traveled third class cabin on the Svenska-American Lines ship S.S. Stockholm that left Göteborg, Sweden, on 01/30/1925 and landed in Halfax, NS, Canada. The ship's passenger manifest had his final destination as Seattle, WA. It had his name as "Nils Nilson." (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Landsarkivet I Göteborg, Sverige; Göteborg, Sweden; Göteborgs Poliskammare E Ix, 1-143, accessed 06/24/2022.)

He initially worked in logging camps along with many others from Scandinavia, where he learned English.

When the US Census was taken on 04/18/1940, Nelson lived at 1612 42nd Street North in Seattle. The Nelsons paid $27.50 rent per month. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: m-t0627-04378; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 40-148, 06/24/2022.) By 101/16/1940, he and his family had moved to a dwelling at 443 27th Street North in Seattle, WA. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Washington, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 129, accessed 06/24/2022.)

The 1950 US Census found the Nelsons living at 1806 McGilvra Boulevard in Seattle. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: 2804; Sheet Number: 7; Enumeration District: 40-380, accessed 06/24/2022.)

Nelson died in Seattle, WA, at the age of 83. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington Death Index, 1940-1959, 1965-2017, accessed 06/24/2022.)

Parents

His father was Nils Andersson (born 08/16/1860-d. 12/13/1949), his mother, Johanna Magnusdotter, (born 05/31/1889- d. 04/06/1939).

As noted by Nels's daughter, Ruth Nelson Beilby in 2022: "My dad was the 8th child of their 13 children. Three, however, died as babies, and my dad was the 6th of those who grew up. His sister, Marta, was the only other one who immigrated to the USA. In fact, she and her husband were the ones that my dad came to in Seattle when he arrived in America." (See email from Ruby Nelson Beilby to the author, 07/22/2022.)

Spouse

He wed Lillian Josephine Johnson (born 08/19/1907 in Portland, OR-d. ) on 09/07/1935 in Seattle, WA. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington Marriage Records, 1854-2013; Reference Number: kingcoarchmcvol53_768, accessed 06/24/2022.) Lillian's parents were Sigrid Svensson (born 06/11/1875 in Sweden-d. 11/1958 in Seattle, WA) and Gustaf Alfred Johnson (born 03/19/1875 in Sweden-d. 11/1958 in Seattle, WA).

As noted on the 1940 US Census, Lillian completed high school. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: m-t0627-04378; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 40-148, 06/24/2022.)

Children

Nels and Lillian had two daughters: Ruby Irene Nelson Beilby (born c. 1936 in Seattle, WA) and Kaye Sigrid Nelson Duncan (born c. 1940 in Seattle, WA).

Ruby worked as a home economics teacher in Pomona-area high schools right after graduating from the University of Washington and became a Professor of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences at the California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, between 1972 and 1996. She married Alvin Beilby, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Pomona College, Pomona, CA.

Kaye wed James Duncan.

Biographical Notes

His name was written originally in Swedish as "Nils Nilsson." According to his daughter, Ruby Nelson Beilby, he changed his name formally when he underwent naturalization: "To my knowledge, when he took out his papers for United States citizenship in 1936 (the year that I wasborn), he Americanized his name to Nels Nelson and added the middle name of Vernon. I don't know where that name came from, except that I think that he just liked it." (See email from Ruby Beilby to the author, 07/22/2022. Thank you to Ms. Beilby and her family for this information.)

According to this World War II draft registration card, Nelson was Caucasian with a light complexion, blue eyes and blonde hair. He stood 5-feet, 9-inches tall and weighed 175 pounds. The card indicated that he had curly hair and a "pompadore" [sic]. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Washington, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 129, accessed 06/24/2022.)


PCAD id: 1846