Friday, August 3, 2012

Fate of Henry Nelson discovered

Ethel Poole Crim and Henry Nelson (left side of the picture) are pictured with family members.
Norwegian grandson will visit area in September

Retired Norwegian reporter Pelle Nilssen has learned the fate of his grandfather, Henry (Nilssen) Nelson.

In December of 2011, Pelle, a resident of Oslo, Norway, contacted the Clearwater Tribune requesting aid in tracking down his grandfather, who left Norway for the United States in 1909. Henry left behind a wife and son, and his motives for doing so were a mystery; one that sparked Pelle’s curiosity. He began to research Henry’s journey, tracing his movements through Deer Lodge, MT and Anaconda, MT.

Just when it seemed like he had hit a dead end, Pelle’s daughter-in-law came upon evidence that Henry worked for Schmidt Bros. Mill in Weippe in about 1935. The exact time he was employed there is unknown. This evidence included a social security number, and the information it yielded verified Henry’s identity.

The Clearwater Tribune ran two articles about Pelle’s search. He was also in contact with a few enthusiastic researchers from surrounding areas, and thanks to their efforts, Henry’s fate was discovered.

Henry Nikolai Nelson married the widow Ethel Poole Crim in Nezperce in 1939. While married they lived in Weippe as well as Nezperce. Ethel died of cancer in January of 1962. Henry died of a heart attack just three weeks later. They are both buried in Nezperce.

Pelle was able to find and connect with one of Ethel’s grandchildren, a man named Norris Young. In September of this year, Pelle is visiting this area to see where his grandfather spent the last several years of his life. He also plans to spend time with Norris, plus meet the people who helped him.

Norris may be the only living person who remembers Henry, but Pelle is holding out hope there is someone else. He is even interested in meeting them while he visits. If you think you remember Henry Nelson—even if you didn’t know him personally—please contact the Clearwater Tribune at (208) 476-4571 or e-mail

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