Nielson, Hans, one of the best known and most popular business men of the village of Niagara Falls, is a son of Christian and Anna Dorthea (Helgosen) Nielson, and was born October 16, 1821, in Veile, Denmark. His ancestors on both sides were natives of Denmark for unknown generations, his father being born there about 1791. All of his ancestors were Lutherans; his father was proprietor of a brewery and distillery. He married and raised a family of seven children. Hans Nielson was educated in the common schools of Denmark, and after leaving school learned the trade of tobacco manufacturer. He went to Norway where he was engaged for six years in the manufacture and sale of tobacco. In 1850 he emigrated to America, settling at Niagara Falls, where for two years he was a tobacco merchant. He then removed to Plattville. Illinois, and in company with Frederick Gluck, a native of Germany, went into the brewing and distilling business. After they had conducted this a short time their plant was accidentally destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of several thousand dollars. They having no insurance on their plant this untoward event left Mr. Nielson again at the foot of life's ladder with no capital but his native energy and strong will power. He began again as a tobacco merchant at Niagara Falls, and shortly afterward went into the grocery business, and in 1860 added the lumber business in company with Jeremiah Binkley. For eleven years he conducted this combined business and then sold out. In 1873 he was made president of Prospect Park, in which he had an interest, and served as president and manager of the company owning Prospect Park, and served in this capacity until the purchase of the park by the State in July, 1835. Prospect Park is now included in the Niagara Falls Reservation, and commands one of the finest views of the great falls. In 1887 he, in connection with his son, embarked in the dry goods business, in property owned by him on the corner of Main and Fall streets. This business is chiefly conducted by his son, Mr. Nielson giving his own attention to handling real estate in Buffalo. On September 18, 1857, Hans Nielson was married to Louisa Krull, a native of Mecklenburg, Germany, and to this union have been born four children, all engaged in business. Hans Nielson is a member of Franklin Lodge No. 132, Free and Accepted Masons, and has been a Knight Templar for over a quarter of a century. For many years he has been a member of the Board of Education of Niagara Falls trustee of Oakwood Cemetery, and trustee of the Niagara County Savings Bank, and vice-president of Power City Bank. Starting without capital and depending alone on his inherited talent and-force of character, Mr. Nielson has attained a position of honor and influence in the community and is now reaping the reward which should crown an active and busy career.
Contributed 2017 by Lisa Slaski from Landmarks of Niagara County, New York, by William Pool, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, NY, 1897
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