12th governor of Minnesota. Born near Bergen, Norway and emigrated to the United States at age 6. Raised in Wisconsin. Wounded and taken prisoner during the Civil War. Returned to Wisconsin after the war and became a lawyer. Served in the Wisconsin Legislature and later relocated his law practice and political career to Alexandria, Minnesota. Served in the Minnesota Legislature from 1875 - 1878 and U.S. House from 1883 - 1889. Elected as governor of Minnesota for two terms, beginning in 1891. During his time in office, he presided over the financial panic of 1893 and the disastrous, 400 square-mile Hinckley forest fire of 1894 which killed more than 400 people. Resigned as governor to accept an appointment to the U.S. Senate where he served until his death. There is a statue of him on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capital in Saint Paul which is sometimes seen in the background of television news bites of Jesse Ventura and others in past years.
Bio by: Bill Sonsin
Ingeborg Haldorsdotter Kvilekval Nelson
Nicoline Marie Jakobsen Nelson