Biography of L. F. Nelson
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The firm of Nelson S Company, incorporated, general contractors, has done much for the improvement of the city along the line of architectural adornment since starting in business in 1895. L. F. Nelson, president of the corporation, is among the foreign-born citizens who have found in America the land of opportunity, enjoying the advantages offered in a country where labor and ambition are not hampered by caste or class. He was born in Denmark, June 29, 1868, and in 1887 arrived in Racine, being then a young man of nineteen years. He afterward engaged in farming for three years, although in his native land he had learned and followed the mason’s trade. He did not find agricultural pursuits as congenial as he had anticipated and, returning to Racine. he again took up work at his trade, which has led him through the steps of an orderly progression to his present position of prominence and prosperity. He began general contracting in partnership with Robert P. Nelson in 1895 and that the firm stands foremost among the builders of the city is indicated in the important nature of the contracts that have been awarded them. They have done most of the building for the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company for the past fifteen years, for the Belle City Malleable Iron Company and the Racine Rubber Company. They were the builders of the Elks Club, the First National Bank building, the West Racine School and many other large and fine structures of the city. During the busy season they employ from fifty to eighty men_ In February, 1914, the business was incorporated under the name of Nelson & Company, Inc., of which L. F. Nelson is the president, with Robert P. Nelson as secretary and treasurer. The operations of the company have constantly broadened in scope and importance and there is no phase of the building contracting business with which they are not familiar.
On the 14th of September, 1893, Mr. Nelson was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Peterson, of Racine, who is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, and a daughter of J. P. Reistrup. They now have three children, Elmer F., Harriet and George W. The family holds membership in the Bethany Lutheran church and Mr. Nelson belongs to the Dania Society. He is likewise a member of the Elks, while his identification with the Commercial Club is a manifestation of his deep arid helpful interest in the city’s welfare, its upbuilding and improvement. Diligence, energy and ambition have been guiding elements in his career and have enabled him to pass many others on the business highway and cross the threshold of success.