Matt Nelson

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Matt Nelson
Born January 25, 1855(1855-01-25)[1]
Langland, Denmark[2]
Died 1940
Spouse Matena Christina Madison (m. 1882) «Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter.»"Marriage: Matena Christina Madison to Matt Nelson" Location: (linkback:[3]
Children Nellie Elizabeth Nelson
Alfred Marion Nelson
Clarence Bernard Nelson
Edwin Richard Nelson
Edna Almie Nelson
Harold Christain Nelson
Reuben Benjamin Nelson
Glenn Fayette Nelson
See map of Matt Nelson's descendents and ancestors

[edit] Nelson-Madison Heritage Entry

Matt Nelson was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Niels Mattson of Langland, Denmark. This was a small island on the west side of a main island, Zealand, where Copenhagen is located. Matt was born on a January 25, 1855, and had an older brother George. Their father was a wagon-maker by trade, and Matt followed in his footsteps. Matt was known in Denmark as "Matt-Wagonmaker."

He came to the United States in 1880 with Hans Madison. His brother George came a few years later, then George's wife and children soon followed. George lived west of Goldfield[, Iowa] where he worked for the railroad.

Matt worked as a carpenter in Goldfield. He build the Blewett Hardware store which is still standing today [1975]. He also built the Braden home, and several other projects.

Matt saved his money and put his savings into 80 acres of land, which he bought at $5.00 and acre, a big price then. He built a small house upon it, and then in his spare time would go to the Boone river and dig up small seedlings to transplant for his grove. He also had trees on both sides of his lane.

Matena Christina Madison was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mads Kartensen, also known as Fredericksen. She was born on October, 31, 1858, also in Langland. Her father was a hardworking man, and worked on the farm of a minister, later on, in a flour mill. Her mother coooked for the wealthy people. They had twelve children all born in their thatched roofed cottage. Her father died of mumps at the age of 52-53.

Matena also worked for the wealthy people. They always walked to their place of work, and never wasted a minute, either knitting or crocheting as they walked. They worked under a house-keeper who was always very strict and particular. All of the silverware had to be done separately and very carefully, never a piece touching another.

Matena and her brother Fred came to this country in 1881. She lived with her brother Hans in Webster City for a month, then due to poor living conditions, she came to Goldfield. Matt Nelson drove his trustworthy team of mules and lumber wagon after her, and they slowly made their way to Goldfield. It took hours of travel then, no roads, you followed your instinct and a faint trail.

Tena (as she was known by then) did housework in Goldfield for several families, but she came to this country for an entirely different reason, so on November 18, 1882, she and Matt Nelson were united in Holy Matrimony by Rev. Hendricksen. He was the pastor of the Lutheran Mission Church that had just been started in the Evergreen community, and Danish services were held there for many years.

They moved into a small house that Matt had built for them, consisting of a large kitchen, a pantry and a room upstairs. Later on a room was added to the back, and as their family grew, so did their house additions. Nellie can remember the old house very plainly, and that the children slept cross ways on the beds.

They kept adding to their land until they had 315 acres. There was a large fruit orchard with apples, cherries, plums, and even a peach tree. Also a large grape vineyard. And a large garden from which many cans of produce were canned. Other vegetables were put down in the cave for keeping.

Everyone did their own butchering then, neighbors helping each other out. They cured their own ham and bacan, and put some meat down in a brine. They fried down the side-pork and sausages, placed them in stone crocks, covered them with hot lard, placed a plate over the jar. This would keep for weeks.

Baking bread was a weekly job, and many loaves were baked at a time. They had their own yeast starter at first, then gradually a dry yeast became known. Butter was also churned, and the rest of the cream taken to the creamery. Eggs were sold or exchanged for groceries, and left over money used for other essentials. Poultry was raised by setting hens in long rows of nests in an empty building, upon their own eggs. When the hens hatched three weeks later, they had their own coop to raise their family in. Of course there was the chore then of feeding the chickens and 'picking' the eggs.

Things were very informal then. You never knew when to put on an extra plate for a visitor, or when someone would be there all night. Cornpickers, tilers [sic], any extra help were always overnight visitors.

There was always a large crowd around their table. Their mother always held morning devotions, reading from her Danish Bible then always prayed a Danish grace before each meal. Their bedrooms were always full too. Nelli and her children lived there after Ross died, then when Carrier died Edwin and Marion lived there. But there was always room for "one more." Small nieces and nephews would be there when there was a new baby at home, unless "Aunt Tena" was at their place. And grandchildren were always a welcome visitor when a new arrival came to their place.

This was a very musical family, all sang and played some instruments. The piano was never still, Edna playing or Marion when she was older. Marion also accompanied a lot with her ukulele. No need for T.V. or radio, even if they had been heard of by then.

They built a new home there in 1920-21. The old house was used for storage for years, then Matt tore it down saving the good lumber. In 1933-34, they bought an acreage a few miles east, and Harold hauled this lumber over there for another home. He hauled other needed supplies, and Matt with the assistance of Guy Agard built this home.

They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with an open house, and then on their 50th anniversary there was another open house. Many friends and relatives called both times.

In 1933, they held a farm sale and moved to their other new home where they live for eight years. They celebrated their 57th anniversary there by being remembered by Heinz 57 Varieties Company was sent a box of their products.

In 1934, Reuben, who had always lived with them passed away, then in 1940, Matt died. Tena lived with her daughter Nelli in Goldfield until her death in 1941. They both can remember when Abraham Lincoln was shot being about eight and ten years old then. They both lived a good full life, hard workers, willing to help out whenever possible and always ready to "listen."

[edit] Genealogy Record from Nelson-Madison Heritage

  • Father - Matt Nelson (January 25, 1855 - March 6, 1940)
  • Mother - Matena Christina Nelson (October 31, 1858 - October 5, 1941)


  • A - Nellie Elizabeth Nelson (November 13, 1883 (Humboldt County) - )
Married Ross Wayne Highland (April 7, 1878 - June 16, 1912 (buried: Goldfield)), June 8, 1904
A1: Merrill Clinton Highland (April 4, 1905 - November 12, 1968 (buried: Garden Grove, MI))
Married Marie LaSauge (November 12, 1914 - )
A2: Edna Rosetta Highland (June 23, 1907 (Humboldt County) - August 30, 1934 (buried: Goldfield))
A3: Ross Wayne Highland (May 7, 1912 (Humboldt) - )
Married Cleo Nadine Fugate (June 22, 1923 (Ringgold County) - )
Married Axel Elmer Bangston (March 16, 1880 (Princton, IL) - December 30, 1960 (buried: Goldfield)
A4: Kenneth Gayle Bangston (February 22, 1918 (Lake Wilson, MN) - )
Married Jane Maureen Ellis (July 28, 1922 (England) - ), June 18, 1942
A5: Delores Eudella Bangston (October 7, 1919 (Lake Wilson, MN) - )
Married Roger Edmund Sawyer (August 13, 1914 (Traer, IA) - ), March 31, 1940 (Goldfield)
  • B - Alfred Marion Nelson (June 8, 1885 (Humboldt County) - July 1, 1972 (buried: Eagle Grove))
Married Clara Louise Ulvin (February 22, 1888 (Humboldt County) - June 5, 1963 (buried: Eagle Grove)), September 6, 1917
B1: Curtis Ulvin Nelson (August 17, 1918 (Humboldt County) - )
Married Ida Catherin Askvig (December 11, 1921 (Humboldt County) - ), October 5, 1940, Goldfield
B2: Alfred Milton Nelson (May 24, 1920 (Humboldt County) - )
Married Gloria Maxine Thorne (August 26, 1922 (Eagle Grove) - ), November 4, 1954
B3: Eleanor Mae Nelson (April 9, 1922 (Humboldt County) - )
Married Merle Dale Arends (March 23, 1922 (Grundy County) - ), February 1, 1943
B4: Donald Edgar Nelson (July 5, 1924 (Humboldt County) - )
Married Janice Sara Little (December 10, 1925 (Garden City, MN) - ), January 21, 1951, Goldfield)
  • C - Clarence Bernard Nelson (January 27, 1888 (Humboldt County) - May 15, 1971 (buried: Howardville Cemetery, Floyd County)[4]
Married Gertie Mae Thomspon (December 27, 1892 (Shelby County) - 1987 (buried: Howardville Cemetery, Floyd County)[5]
C1: Edith Lucille Nelson (February 25, 1912 (Humboldt County) - February, 25, 2001)
Married Hugh Alva Linn (November 11, 1904 (Shelby County) - June 26, 1971 (buried: Shelby Cemetery, Shelby, Iowa[6])), June 1, 1932>
C2: Bernard William Nelson (January 9, 1915 (Humboldt County) - )
Married Hulda Gerling (born in Germany), May 1937[7]
C2a: Raul Conrad Nelson
C2b: Rena Carlene Nelson
C2c: Rita Mae Nelson (Dec. 18, 1938 (San Diego, California) - Nov. 15, 2004)[8]
C3: Genevieve Clarice Nelson (December 27, 1916 (Wright County) - )
Married Dwight Hall, divorced
Married Jack Farthling
C4: Jacob Merle Nelson (May 31, 1919 (Wright County) - November 16, 1949 (buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Nashua, Iowa[9]))
Married Irma Lorraine Knapp (February 17, 1918 (Nashua) - ), January 25, 1941, Nashua
C5: Charles Matthew Nelson (May 23, 1924 (Wright County) - )
Married Lorraine Jean Henrichs (March 18, 1928 (Humboldt County) - ), August 25, 1946, divorced
Married Jan Ballen
C6: Robert Edwin Nelson (May 10, 1927 (Wright County) - )
Married Frances Mary Etter (April 17, 1930 - September 21, 1963 (buried: Emley, MN)
Married Rosena Brack Paten (c. 1964-5), divorced
  • D - Edwin Richard Nelson (December 13, 1890 (Humboldt County) - )
Married Carrie Elizabeth Gerdes (February 25, 1893 (Dayton, OH) - May 12, 1918 (buried: Goldfield)), March 1, 1916, Britt, Iowa
Married Ella Glendora Ulvin (November 17, 1891 (Humboldt County) - 1965 (buried: Eagle Grove)), February 26, 1925
Married Luella Neilson (July 17, 1897 - July 16, 1972 (buried: Eagle Grove)), December 3, 1966, Goldfield
  • E - Edna Almie Nelson (January 9, 1893 (Humboldt County) - January 2, 1902 (diptheria; buried: Goldfield Cemetery)
  • F - Harold Christain Nelson (September 15, 1896 (Humboldt County) - August 13, 1974 (buried: Goldfield Cemetery))
Married Margaret Ellen Kincaid (December 30, 1904 (Calhoun County) - ), March 29, 1925
  • G - Reuben Benjamin Nelson (October 15, 1898 (Humboldt County) - January 9, 1934)
never married; died at Iowa City University Hospital
  • H - Glenn Fayette Nelson (February 5, 1904 (Humboldt County) - )
Married Edna Orilla Hansen (December 15, 1906 (Wright County) - ), January 2, 1929, Des Moines, Iowa

[edit] Notes

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