JOHN M. NELSON. One who passed through all the perils of western mining camps in the gold fields of California
and risked his life on southern battlefields is John M. Nelson, a justice of the peace of Manor township. He is
a son of George and Isabella (Montgomery) Nelson, and was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, March 13, 1837.
George Nelson was born in county Antrini, Ireland, in 1795, and came with his wife, in 1832 to Pennsylvania, where
he settled in Lancaster county. In 1838 he removed to Pittsburgh, where he worked at his trade of carpenter until
1855, when he purchased a farm in Allegheny county and was engaged in farming for seven years. He died in 1862,
at sixtyseven years of age. He was a republican in politics and a member of the Covenanter church and married Isabella
Montgomery, a native of county Antrim, Ireland, who was a consistent member of the Covenanter church and died in
1888, at the advanced age of eighty years.
John M. Nelson was reared principally in Pittsburgh, where he received his education in the public schools of that
city. In 1857 he joined the tide of emigration to the gold fields of California and went by way of the Isthmus
of Panama. He was engaged in gold mining until 1863, when he enlisted in Co. K, 1st regiment, California Vols.,
as a private, and served until November, 1865, when he was discharged at Fort Riley, Kansas. He participated in
all the skirmishes and battles of his regiment, until he was wounded in the knee at Fort Union, New Mexico, from
which wound he suffered until Dec. 5, 1890, when he had to have the limb amputated. After being discharged he returned
to Pennsylvania and was engaged for eleven years in the Igeneral mercantile business at Millertown, Allegheny county.
In 1878 he was appointed deputy in the office of the county treasurer of Allegheny county, which position he held
until 1882, when he entered the United States revenue service, in which he served for five years. He then (1887)
came to Ford City, where he still resides.
On March 19, 1867, he married Hannah M. Howe, daughter of James Howe, of Allegheny county. Their union has been
blessed with one child, a daughter, Eva.
John M. Nelson is an active republican in politics and in February, 1889, was elected justice of the peace of Manor
township. He is a member of Tarentum Post, No. 135, Grand Army of the Republic, Camp No. 1, Union Veteran Legion,
of Pittsburgh, and Pollock Lodge, No. 502, Free and Accepted Masons, at Tarentum, and a member and trustee of the
Methodist Episcopal church.
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Armstrong County Pennsylvania Biographies
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