Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Nelson Atkinson - Sheffer Pioneer Cemetery

Nelson Atkinson
Sheffer Pioneer Cemetery - Greenwood, Nebraska

This is the first of my Tombstone Tuesdays featuring interments from Sheffer Pioneer Cemetery, north of Greenwood, Nebraska. Click here for my original post about this cemetery.

As I mentioned in my original blog post, none of those interred at this cemetery are my direct line ancestors, but many are what I call shirttail kin. Nelson Atkinson is one of those people, whose relationship to me is that he was the brother-in-law of my great grand aunt. You can't get more shirttail than that!

Nelson Atkinson was born in Rhode Island on June 20, 1841. He died June 20, 1869. According to the book, Sheffer Pioneer Cemetery: The Lives of Those Interred edited by Rose Anne Hockstra, Nelson operated a mill on Rock Creek, west of Greenwood. The book states, "There was a flood on June 20, 1869, and Nelson jumped into the water to try to dislodge a log jam. His brother Byde tried to jump in to save him, but he was held back by the other men there." Nelson left behind his widow, Lydia, and two daughters, Elcina and Matilda. A son, Nelson Jr., was born two months after his father's death. Lydia returned to Wisconsin, married and gave birth to eight more children. (source: Sheffer book).

Nelson's death is documented in the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule of persons who died during the year ending June 1, 1870. He died at the age of 28 from drowning in Lancaster county, Nebraska.

Nelson was the son of John Atkinson and Ann Grunshaw.

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