John Gustaf Nelson 1844-1930

Soldier, Pioneer, Politician, and Farmer.

John G. Nelson enlisted in Company C, 7th Regiment, of the Minnesota Volunteer Infantry on August 15, 1862. Before they could be sent south however the Sioux Indian War erupted. John G. was among the soldiers who guarded the condemned indians who were hanged en masse on December 26. The 7th Regiment was also part of Sibley's expedition into the Dakota Territory in 1863. Finally sent south to St. Louis in October, 1863, they did not see any action until the spring of 1864. Attached to General A. J. Smith's command they were involved in the battle of Tupelo, July 14, 1864, and the Oxford Raid, August 1864. The 7th was one of many units sent to contain Price's invasion of Missouri in September 1864 and Hood's invasion of Tennessee which culmnated in the battle of Nashville on December 15, 1864. Following that they were sent south on the Mississippi river to New Orleans and then to Mobile Bay, Alabama, where they were part of the attack on Spanish Fort, March 25, 1865. After the surrender the 7th was part of the occupation force in Selma, Alabama, until being sent home in July.

After the Civil War, John G. prospected for land with his brother-in-law, Gustaf Lindquist, and selected land in section 17 of Parkers Prairie Township in Otter Tail County. He settled on the west side of the prairie north of town in 1868. The first years he and his wife Caroline and baby Ernest shared a one room log cabin with Gustaf Lindquist, Peter O. and his wife Charlotte, and Elias Petersson. They were there when the township was first surveyed so the adjoining lake was named Nelson Lake. After Anders P. joined them in 1871, they were able to build better houses and buildings.

John G. was elected County Commissioner of Otter Tail County in 1871 and served 2 years. In 1873 he became the first State Senator from the County. At that time he introduced a bill to change the name of his township to Parkers Prairie. It had originally been named Jasper. He served again in the Minnesota Legislature in 1882.


  • 17 Mar 1844 born , Furuby (Olsagard), Kronobergs Lan, Sweden.
  • 13 Sep 1854 (age 10) immigrated , New York, New York.
  • 23 Aug 1862 (age 18) first married Caroline Lindquist, Chisago Lake, Chisago County, Minnesota.
  • 26 Aug 1863 (age 19) son Ernest Peter Nelson was born, Chisago Lake, Chisago County, Minnesota.
  • 1868 (age 24) moved to , Parkers Prairie, Otter Tail County, Minnesota.
  • 15 Jul 1904 (age 60) son Daniel Emmanuel Nelson was born, Parkers Prairie, Otter Tail County, Minnesota.
  • 1904 (age 60) second married Alma Carlson, Parkers Prairie, Otter Tail County, Minnesota.
  • 06 Jun 1930 (age 86) died , Parkers Prairie, Otter Tail County, Minnesota.


Grandfather Anders Nilsson 1759-1820

Grandmother Christina Eliasdotter Hahn 1769-1827

Grandfather Johannes Petersson 1784-1858

 Grandmother Brita Johansdotter 1786-1843


Father Nils Daniel Andersson 1807-1869

Mother Martha Sarah Johansdotter 1808-1888

Siblings Christina Nilsdotter 1830-1896, Anders Peter Nelson 1835-1914, Johan Gustaf Nilsson 1836-1836, Helena Nilsdotter 1837-1855, Charlotta Gustafa Nilsdotter 1840-1855, Peter Olaf Nelson 1846-1912, Josephine Matilda Judith Nelson 1850-1920, John Gustaf Nelson 1844-1930,

  First Wife Caroline Lindquist 1842-1899 . Married 23 Aug 1862, Chisago Lake, Chisago County, Minnesota . Children: Ernest Peter Nelson 1863-1910,

Second Wife Alma Carlson 1882-1970 . Married 1904, Parkers Prairie, Otter Tail County, Minnesota . Children: Daniel Emmanuel Nelson 1904-1958,


Information last updated in John Nelson's family history file on 15 May 2005
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