biographies & obituaries



  • WILLIAM W. NELSON. William W. Nelson is a well known sheep and cattle man residing at Tooele. He still retains large landed interests yet has sold off some of his property. In the conduct of his business affairs he has met with substantial success, resulting from his unabating energy and persistency of purpose. He was born in England, June 24, 1850, a son of William and Catharine (Chapelle) Woodward. The father died in England and in 1858 the mother came to the new world with her son and soon afterward married Mathias Nelson. Her destination was Tooele and she crossed the plains with a handcart company. At Salt Lake she was married to Mr. Nelson.
    William W. Nelson took the name of his stepfather, by whom he was reared. Soon after reaching his majority he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land and devoted his attention to the raising of cattle and sheep. For a time he was in partner ship with P. M. Clegg, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. His life has been one of untiring activity and sound judgment in his business affairs has brought him a very substantial measure of success. Year after year he has cared for his herds and nis flocks and his business dealings, energetically conducted and honorably directed, have placed him in a position among the men of affluence in this part of the state. While he has sold some of his property, he still owns two hundred acres of excellent farm land at Erda, Tooele county, whereon he is now engaged in the raising of registered shorthorns, having some of the fine cattle of this part of the state.
    In 1877 Mr. Nelson was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Rowberry, a daughter of John and Eliza (Barber) Rowberry. Her father was one of the first to settle at Tooele, Utah, being sent thither by Brigham Young in 1849. Until his death in 1885 he was the leading figure in the county, prominently Identified with its history in many ways. He served as representative from his county in the state legislature to the time of his death and was the first representative of Tooele county in the general assembly. He filled various other offices of public honor and trust. He was probate judge, was mayor of the city and at all times contributed to its progress and upbuilding. For twenty-five years he was bishop of Tooele county and with its material development was also closely associated. He built the first flouring and grist mill in Tooele county, conducting the business in partnership with E. T. Benson. He had four wives, Mrs. Nelson being the only daughter of his first marriage. She had two brothers, Joseph and John, who became cattlemen of Iona, Idaho, but the former died in 1917. To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have been born eight children. Cleo is now the wife of Bert Howls, who is engaged in the stock business and resides in Uinta Basin, Utah, also owning a home in Tooele. William S., who occupies a farm at Erda, married Isabelle Bowen and has four children: Dorothy, Edna, Grant and Afton. Maud is the widow of Joshua Brown, and resides in Tooele with her four children: Joshua. Bertha, Dale and William. Caroline is the wife of Oliver Nelson, a farmer living on East street, Tooele, who is connected also with the International Smelting Company in charge of the scale house. They have six children: Lucile, Jules. Carol, Reed, Glen and Eliza H. Eliza, the next member of the Nelson family, is the wife of Orson McKendric and resides on East street. Tooele. Her husband is smelter foreman and they have three children: Leverda, Cleo and Kay. Pearl E. is the wife of William G. Gillespie, who is employed at the smelter electric power house, and they have two children, Kenneth and Berth. Rawlin J. married Mandy Anderson, by whom he has one child, Russell, and they reside on a farm at Erda. Bertha is the wife of George E. Tripp, who has been honorably discharged from the army, was formerly of Salt Lake but is now in Denver, where he is acting as instructor of invalid soldiers. He has been a machinist, working on the Liberty motors at San Antonio, Texas. Mrs. Nelson was one of the first children born at Tooele and at present is the oldest resident of Tooele county, having continuously resided here since ber birth on the 29th of February, 1852. She is a member of the Daughters of Pioneers of Tooele County. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson occupy an attractive brick residence on East street, wbJch was built in 1912, and he also owns several other dwellings, from which he derives a good rental. They are both highly esteemed people of the community, having a circle of friends that is coextensive with the circle of their acquaintance.
    ~Source: Utah Since Statehood: Historical and Biographical, Volume 2, by Noble Warrum, 1919
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