Ice Cream with the Nelsons

The Nelson family of Ericson, Nebraska enjoy dishes of ice cream in about 1910. This photograph is part of the John Nelson Collection.

John Nelson was born in Harestad, Sweden, in 1864. He came to Wheeler County with his parents at the age of seventeen. From there he traveled to the gold fields of Colorado, where he became acquainted with photography. He returned to Nebraska and established a studio in Ericson. His photographs tell the story of small-town life in Nebraska during the first decades of the Twentieth Century. His subjects included his local businesses, community activities, and early automobiles. These are just a few examples of his insight into the heart of rural Nebraska.

Seated around the table are Mildred, Alice, Eda, Bengta, John (the photographer), Elna (Nelson) Blake holding Frances, Effie (Seaman) Nelson holding Henrietta (born 1908). Standing behind the table are Peter Nelson, Cliff Blake, Andrew Nelson and Hannah Nelson. According to John’s notes, this family gathering took place at his sister Hannah’s home.

The entire John Nelson Collection has been digitized and is available in the History Nebraska Artifact and Photograph Online Database.

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History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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