Early Franklin County Homesteads
Originally published in the Franklin County Historical Society Bulletin about 1950
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THE DAVID NELSON HOMESTEAD
The Nelson home is a typical example of fine domestic architecture.
In the vestibule of Memorial Hall, E. Broad street, is a marble tablet bearing this inscription: "The advance guard of the civilization of the North-West." Upon this tablet, in letters of gold, is the name of David Nelson and the date, 1798.
David Nelson with his family, moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio, first settling near Chillicothe, but later moving to the west bank of Alum Creek where he located a half section of land in the Refugee Tract. The country was pretty much a wilderness when David Nelson arrived here. Wolves, panthers and bears prowled about at night, but he built a log cabin and went to work. There was much timber on the land and Mr. Nelson had to clear it away with oxen and cultivate the rich brown loam with crude implements of the day. In 1819 the original log cabin was replaced by the present homestead, still standing on Nelson Road. It is a dignified, well preserved mansion and said to be a fine replica of the old home at Cedar Springs in Pennsylvania.
David Nelson was one of the founders and officers of the old First Presbyterian Church and a devoted friend of the Reverend James Hoge who was pastor of this church for fifty years. For nearly thirty years David Nelson lived a life of peace and prosperity in the Nelson homestead after the trying days of his youth spent in the service of his country in the American Revolution. He died in revered old age.