Eskilstorp Herald




The special research of this year has been of Nels Emil Nelson, the oldest son of Nels Nelson from the original family in Sweden. Nels Emil was born on the homestead in Bertrand, Nebraska on May 27, 1885 .




Nels is standing in the back in this photograph

of the Nelson family of Bertrand Nebraska


Nels attended the Bertrand High School where he received his diploma. From there he attended the Kansas City Technological School. As a young man he moved to Riverton Wyoming where he owned a ranch. He was a Mason and held membership in the Jacoby Lodge of Darlington, Montana and also the Augustana Lutheran Church.




On June 27, 1918 Nels Emil Nelson and Laura Frances Stewart were married in the town of Chariton, Iowa. They did not have any children.


In 1926 Nels and Laura moved to Houston, Texas where Nels worked as an auto mechanic and operated a repair and dealership located at 4608 Fulton, close to downtown Houston. They resided in a house at the same address, as shown below, still operating as a used car dealership.





In 1927 they acquired a 266-acre property 40 miles north of Houston northwest of Willis, Montgomery County to where they retired in 1940. The property was located along the Telegraph Road, which at that time was the main highway between Houston and Dallas. The land included some farm fields with a two-storey house and outbuildings. The rest comprised mainly of pine forest.





Telegraph Road

was partially submerged when Lake Conroe was created


Railroad used for logging


Lake Conroe Reservoir


Home of Nels and Laura

Northwest of Willis





Nels died on February 27, 1946 and was laid to rest in the Willis Cemetery. Laura never remarried and stayed in their home until the late 1970-ies when she sold the property to become part of the Sam Houston National Forrest. When it became part of the National Forrest all buildings were demolished and the open fields were planted with pine just like in the surrounding areas. The only remaining signs of the place are trees younger than the surrounding forest. The forest looks very much like that where Nelsí father came from in Sweden.




Plantation on the fields of the property of Nels and Laura in Willis, Texas nowadays located along the shorelines of the manmade Lake Conroe.

Laura died on December 19, 1994 after having resided the last of her 15 years at the Willis Convalescent Home.



Laura Frances in her late days



The homestead in Riverton, Wyoming was still owned by Laura at her death and the heirs donated it to the City of Riverton.




Gravestone of Nels and Laura in the Willis Cemetery