Nelson Betsey Nelson (1813-1885)  


Betsey Nelson's home (c 1874)

  Socrates Nelson married Betsey Dickinson Bartlett on October 22, 1844, in Hennepin, Putnam County, Illinois. Betsey was born on September 6, 1813, in Conway, Massachusetts, the daughter of Chester Bartlett and Betsey Dickinson.

Betsey married George R. Bartlett of Conway on August 23, 1838, and they had moved to Knox County, Illinois. George died soon after and Betsey moved back to her family in Massachusetts. I assume that she knew Socrates at this time because she and her parents soon followed Socrates to Hennepin, Illinois, in 1840. [Recall that Socrates had left for the west in 1839.]

In 1845 there were about twenty-five men in what is now Stillwater and eight women. Betsey was one of those eight pioneer women. On October 22, 1848, Betsey gave birth to twin girls, Emma and Ella, in Stillwater. Ella died one year and six days later. Emma (1848-1880), my great-grandmother, married Fayette Marsh (1843-1901), a prominent local lawyer, about 1870 in Stillwater. W.H.C. Folsom, writing about Emma in Fifty Years in the Northwest, noted: "She was a woman of great sweetness of disposition, and beloved by all who knew her."

Following Socrates' death in 1867, Betsey and her daughter and son-in-law built a large mansion on South Broadway in Stillwater.

Betsey's Obituary

The Nelson/Marsh Mansion