Dr. William L. Nelson, a physician with office and residence at No. 1483 Union boulevard in St. Louis, was born in Montgomery county, Missouri, July 12, 1879. His father, William Nelson, was of American birth, but his father came from Ireland to the new world. The former took up the occupation of farming in southeastern Missouri, where he owned three hundred acres, constituting a valuable farm to which he added many modern improvements. He married Ursula Gibbens, who was also born in the new world and was a niece of Brigadier General Gibbens of Civil war fame, serving with the Union army. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson was celebrated in Rising Sun, Indiana, and both have passed away, the death of the father occurring in 1891, when he was fifty-three years of age, while the mother departed this life in December, 1890. They were parents of eight children, five sons and three daughters, of whom William L. is the fifth in order of birth. Of this family Maude, Minnie, Carl and Frank are deceased, while Ada is the wife of Oscar Hagan of Selma, California. Walter is an automobile salesman and assistant sales manager for the Dorris Motor Car Company of St. Louis and married Kate Finnell of this city. Hugh is a locomotive engineer who married Laura Haverkamp, also residing in St. Louis.
William L. Nelson, after acquiring a grammar and high school education in Walker, Missouri, continued his studies at Lamar College of Lamar, Missouri, where he remained for a year. In 1897 he came to St. Louis and here entered the Missouri Medical College with the purpose of qualifying for a professional career. He was graduated in 1901 with the M. D. degree, having in the meantime specialized largely in his studies in preparation for neurological practice. Ile served as resident physician at the St. Louis City Hospital in 1901-02 and in 1902-03 was engaged in private practice. Through the succeeding nine years he was connected with the Washington University Medical School in the department of nervous and mental diseases as assistant and later became clinical assistant and physician to the out-patient department. From 1912 until the 23d of September, 1913, he spent a part of his time as instructor on nervous and mental diseases in Washington University and was also assistant on embryology. In November, 1914, he became a member of the consulting staff of the St. Louis City Hospital on neurology and observation, which position he has held to the present time, save for a brief period in 1917 when he was on a leave of absence. From September until November, 1917, he pursued a course in the Student Medical Officers Training School at Fort Riley, Kansas, and from December, 1917, until March, 1918, was a member of Field Hospital, No. 18, at Fort Riley, Kansas, with the rank of first lieutenant. In April of the latter year he was made commanding officer of Field Hospital, No. 18, at Fort Riley and was promoted to the rank of captain. From July until September, 1918, he-was personnel adjutant in the Field Hospital section at Fort Riley and from October, 1918, until February, 1919, was camp personnel adjutant of the camp at Fort Riley, after which he received his discharge from the service. He counted it no sacrifice to put aside his professional and educational work to aid his country, feeling this to be his first duty, and to the call of duty he has ever made quick response. At all times he has thoroughly acquainted himself with the results of modern research and investigation along medical and surgical lines and is a member of the St. Louis Medical Society, the Missouri State Medical Association and the American Medical Association and the Washington University Alumni Society.
In St. Louis, on the 6th of December, 1900, was celebrated the marriage of Dr. Nelson and Miss Maurice G. Jones, a daughter of Frank M. and Lurilda (Mitchell) Jones, representatives of old southern families. Dr. and Mrs. Nelson reside at No. 1483 Union boulevard in St. Louis. In politics his course is that of an independent democrat. for while he is a believer in many of the principles of the party, he does not consider himself bound by party ties if his personal judgment dictates another course. His time and attention since his graduation from the Missouri Medical College has been given largely to his profession and in the field of medical education he has won a prominent name and place for himself.