Among the enterprising and progressive citizens, and successful horticulturists that are doing so much toward building up and placing before the world the horticultural interests and industries of Riverside and San Bernardino County, mention should be made of the above named gentleman. Mr. Nelson came to San Bernardino County in 1863, and located at Redlands. There he purchased a twenty-acre tract of uncultivated land and commenced its improvement. He planted the tract with orange trees, and made one of the representative groves of that section.
He sold the tract at a good price in 1887, and in the same year came to Riverside and invested in lands. He is the owner of thirty acres of land on the west side of Bandini avenue, upon which he has his residence; six acres of the land is in orange trees, five or six years old; the balance is bottom land, which is principally devoted to alfalfa. This bottom laud has a water right of some twenty-five inches from Spring Brook. He has also a ten-acre tract on the west side of Cypress Avenue, which is one of the finest orange groves in the section. There are six acres of seedling oranges upon that tract, the trees are sixteen years old, and under his skillful care and cultivation are giving good returns, giving a yield that net him $500 per acre. Four acres are in budded fruit that are varying age and not in full bearing. He is a thoroughly practical man, and in his orange growing spares no labor or expense in cultivation and fertilization, that his experience and business principles teach him will give a good return.
Mr. Nelson was born in Iroquois County, Illinois, in 1861. His parents were Olaf P. and Frederika Nelson, natives of Sweden. At the age of seven years Mr. Nelson went to Newton County, Indiana, and there entered the family of William Russell, a well-known resident of Riverside. He was reared to the occupation of a farmer and stock-grower, receiving the advantages of a good common-school education. He became well versed in his calling, and remained in that county until he came to Redlands in 1883. Although he had been a resident of Riverside but a comparatively short time, he is well known in his neighborhood, and has gained the respect of his associates. He is a consistent member of the Methodist Church. In political matters he is a supporter of the Prohibition Party.
In 1888 Mr. Nelson was united in marriage with Miss Nellie Mills, a native of New York. There is one child from this union Annie Laura. Mrs. Nelson’s parents are William and Cordelia (Warren) Mills. Her father is a native of New Hampshire, and her mother was born in New York. They are now residents of Riverside. Mr. Nelson’s mother, brother, Charles V., and sister, Melvina, now Mrs. William E. White, are also residents of Riverside. His sister Mary, who married Mr. John Wilson, and Louisa, now Mrs. John Peterson, are residents of Indiana.