The following data is extracted from Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region, pub. Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago 1894.
JESSE N. NELSON. The business in which Jesse N. Nelson is engaged is a most important one, and he has found that since engaging in it his time has been fully occupied. He is the proprietor of a mill and cotton-gin at Buford. and as a means of livelihood he has found that this occupation has been reasonably successful. He is a native of Pontotock (now Lee) County, Miss.. born February 8, 1858, a son of William and Martha (Carter) Nelson, both of whom were born in Mississippi, and were there reared, educated and married. In 1870 they removed to Arkansas and located in the vicinity of Buford on a woodland farm which he cleared and tilled until his death, being also engaged in cotton-ginning and merchandising. He was a shrewd and far-seeing man of affairs, made a success of nearly everything he undertook, and eventually became wealthy. He met with some reverses, for his mill and gin were once burned downed and at another time they were blown down; but his energy soon retrieved these losses. Throughout the Civil War he was a member of Forrest's cavalry, serving in the capacity of captain part of the time, and was a participant in many battles. He returned to the pursuits of civil life after the war was over, became well and favorably known throughout the northern part of the State and counted his friends in his own community by the score. It was largely through his influence that the postoffice at Buford was established, and in other ways he showed himself to be a public spirited-citizen. He was a Democrat, was a Mason socially, and for many years he had been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The mother of the subject of this sketch died in Mississippi, after having borne her husband eight children --five sons and three daughters-of whom the subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth and four of whom are now living. After her death Mr. Nelson married her sister, Amelia Carter, with whom he moved to Arkansas in 1870, her death eventually occurring in this State. She bore him eight children, three of whom are now living, and by his last wife, whose maiden name was Ann Adams, he became the father of one child. Mr. Nelson died a few years ago, at the age of fifty-nine years. Jesse N. Nelson was educated in the public schools in the vicinity of where he now lives, and while growing up became familiar with the details of ginning, and after the death of his father he purchased his mill and gin of the other heirs. His time is fully employed, for his custom is large and he does considerable sawing also. Until recently he was in the mercantile business with his brother G. N., but has lately been alone. In addition to milling and ginning, he has been engaged in farming also, and owns a good farm of 160 acres near Buford and is joint owner of a farm of 500 acres on the river. He is well fixed financially, and much of his prosperity is due to the fact that he has always been energetic and has been wise enough to see and take advantage of all opportunities for bettering his financial condition that have presented themselves. He has always been a Democrat, has served two years as justice of the peace, and is a deacon in the Christian Church, of which he has long been a member. December 5, 1883, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Adamsof this county, by whom he has one son and two daughters living and two daughters dead.
Source: Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region, pub. Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago 1894