Clark Nelson

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Pam Honaker
October 28, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
Pg. 464


CLARK NELSON. The Nelsons of Parkersburg for over fifty years have
been a family with all the qualities of enterprise and good citizenship that
produce a fair and honorable name in a community.

In 1858 Benjamin Franklin Nelson came from Powhatan, Ohio to
Parkersburg. He was accompanied by his wife, whose maiden name was Emily
Clark, and by four children, while eight other children were born to them in
Parkersburg. B.F. Nelson devoted his time and energies to farming in the
Williams District of the county, where he died in 1884. His widow survived
him with unimpaired faculities until her death in 1905. Only a short time
before she had made a visist to California to see her son. One of the
children of B. F. Nelson was Lafayette Nelson, who enlisted in the Union
army and died of disease while in service.

Clark Nelson, the younger son, was born March 30, 1851, and spent his
life in Wood County, where he died September 8, 1919. He made the very best
possible use of only ordinary opportunities to secure an education, and
after exhausting the possibilities of the district schools attended a normal
school several times. For sixteen years he taught in the country district
of Wood County, employing the vacation periods to farm in the Clay and
Lubeck districts. He was a republican in politics, but was seldom known in
political councils, though he held several local positions when necessity
required, more as a matter of good citizenship than for any other reason.
He was a man of single mind and purpose, thought and acted directly, and
from youth to advanced years never failied to earn the respect paid to
honesty and a blameless character. His range of knowledge was unusually
wide for one who had to depend upon his own efforts to secure an education.
In religious matters he was a devout member of the Baptist Church. In
October 1879, Clark Nelson married Wilda Spencer, and she is still living at
Parkersburg. Their two son were Arta L., born July 31, 1880, and Harvey H.,
born January 5, 1882.

These two sons continue the honorable prestige of this name in
Parkersburg, and are active in commercial affairs. Arta L. Nelson attended
a commercial college at Parkersburg and was employed as a stenographer and
bookkeeper until he entered business with his brother in 1907. The Nelson
brothers now have one of the prosperous mercantile establishments of the
city. Arta Nelson is a Methodist, a republican voter, a thirty-second
degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of Nemesis Temple of the Shirne, and
the Parkersburg Chamber of Commerce.

Harvey H. Nelson secured a good practical education at the age of
nineteen began an apprenticeship at the plumber’s trade. He followed that
as a regular business until he entered the plumbing and heating business in
1907. Both brothers were active in behalf on the various drives and other
patriotic causes in the World war. He is affiliated with the Masonic Order,
Independent Order of Odd Fellow, Knights of Pythisa, Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks, is a member of the Rotary Club and is first vice
president of the Chamber of Commerce. He likewise is a republican and a
Methodist. April 14, 1915, Harvey Nelson married Nan R. Haddox. They have
one daughter, Louise.