Biography of Nelson L. Linell

Many men of great intellectual promise and fine abilities turn naturally and eagerly to the cultivation of the soil as a choice occupation, and devoting to it the forces of their minds and the researches of their studies, making a gratifying success of their industry and find peace and contentment as well as prosperity in their labors. It was so with Nelson L. Linnell, of Mesa county, who has developed a fine fruit farm two miles east of Fruita. He is a native of Sweden, born at Gronby on December 7, 1851. His parents, Lars Martinson and Karin (Nelson) Linell, were also natives of that country, and the father is still living there retired from active pursuits, having accumulated a competence as a prosperous farmer. The mother died in 1896. They were the parents of six children, only two of whom are living, a daughter who is still a resident of Sweden, and Nelson L. An older brother, Martin Linell, died suddenly on May 3, 1897, of heart failure, at Washington, D.C., where he had been for a number of years an aid in the department of insects of the United States National Museum. He became interested in the study of nature in early life, and even in boyhood began collecting and classifying the fauna and flora of his native land. In 1870 he matriculated at the University of Lund, and soon distinguished himself in mathematics, biology and languages. He came to the United States in 1879, and secured employment in a chemical laboratory in Brooklyn, New York. In 1884 he became a member of the Brooklyn Entomological Society, and a little while afterward held the office of curator of the body. He was appointed an aid in the department of insects of the National Museum in 1888 and held the position until his death. In the nine years of his tenure he worked over and practically rearranged the entire collection of specimens in the department with which he was connected. He was a member of the Washington Entomological Society and also of the New York Society, and was a valued contributor to their publications. He was a great reader and student outside of his specialties, and was remarkable for his proficiency in language. Nelson Linell, the immediate subject of this sketch, was reared and liberally educated in his native land. At the age of nine he entered the preparatory school at the seat of the University of Lund, his father’s intention being to prepare him for advanced work as a teacher. The occupation was not to his taste, however, and in 1872, at the age of twenty-one, he emigrated to the United States and located in Orange county, Florida. After a year’s residence there he returned to Sweden and three years later again came to this country, once more settling in Florida, where he remained three years, then left that state for the benefit of his health, going to New York city and there working three years as a florist. In 1882 he married and brought his bride to Colorado. They took up their residence at Montclair, five miles east of Denver. Here he was engaged in market gardening until 1890. He then sold his property at a good price and, moving to Grand valley, bought eighty-five acres of land on which he now lives, two miles east of Fruita. The land was almost in a state of nature, and by assiduous industry and excellent judgment he has brought it to an advanced condition of fertility and productiveness, and enriched it with good buildings. There was a small nucleus of an orchard, and this he has expanded and improved until he has thirty acres in the choicest fruit and his orchard has a reputation throughout the surrounding country so wide and so well established for the superior quality of its product that the place is known on every hand as the Linden Fruit Farm. His specialties are strawberries and apples, and he has been very successful with both. In public affairs he takes an active part, being a zealous Republican in politics and in lodge membership belongs to Fruita Camp of the Woodmen of the World, of which he was one of the founders and charter members. On April 5, 1882, he was married to Miss Anna Dahlqvist, a native of Sweden, who came to the United States in 1871. She is the daughter of Lars and Christina (Olsen) Dahlqvist, Swedes by nativity whose lives were passed in their native land. Mr. and Mrs. Linell have two children, Ebba, who was born at Montclair, this state, in 1889, and Lena, who was born at Fruita in 1893.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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