NELSON, Knute

WI 4th Inf Co B. Residence: Christiana Township, Dane County, Wisconsin. Born “Knud Helgesen Kvilekval” on 2 Feb 1842 at Evanger, Voss, Hordaland, Norway, son of Helge Knudsen Styve and Ingeborg Haldorsdatter Kvilekval, who never married. Knud came to America with his mother on “Bjørgvin”, which sailed from Bergen about 12 May 1849 and arrived in New York on 6 Jul 1849. They came to Chicago, where he sold newspapers to help support himself and his mother. Moved to the Skoponong settlement in Walworth County, Wisconsin. His mother was married there in the Fall of 1850 to Nils Olsen Grotland. The three came to the Deerfield settlement in Dane County, Wisconsin, in 1853. Knud entered Albion Academy, Dane County, in 1858. Civil War: Age 18. Enlisted 2 July 1861 (or May 1861) at Racine, Wisconsin. Mustered the same day. Private. Assigned to Company B. Wounded and taken prisoner in the siege at Port Hudson, Louisiana, 14 Jun 1863. He remained a prisoner until the place surrendered on 9 Jul 1863. Promoted to Corporal. Discharged from the service 14 Jul 1864, his term having expired. Post war: Studied law. Admitted to the bar in 1867. He was married on 22 Jan 1868 to Nicholina Maria Olsdatter Jacobsen (1846-1922) at Christiana, Dane County. Elected to the Wisconsin state legislature in 1868. He moved his family to Alexandria, Douglas County, Minnesota, in 1871. Homesteaded 120 acres of farm land. Six children. Elected to the US Congress in 1882 and served three terms. Elected Governor of Minnesota in 1892. Became United States Senator and served five terms, 1895 to 1923. Died 28 Apr 1923 on board a train from Washington to Minnesota. Sources: (Memorial address to the Senate by Senator Henrik Shipstead of Minnesota.) (Ulvestad p264) (“History of the Scandinavians in the United States” by O. N. Nelson, publ. in Minneapolis, 1893, pp 488, 510) (ONI p61, photo) (Lonn p159) (DCHS 1890 Veterans Census card file) (Naeseth-Hedberg ’49-1228)

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