Nelson, William H. Business Records


William H. Nelson Business Records collection finding aid

William H. Nelson was a lumber and lime merchant in Sag Harbor, New York, during the 19th century. During the mid-1830s, Nelson was involved in a business partnership with Watson Edwards, also of Sag Harbor. He also worked for Wm. H. Loper & Co., and was a partner at the time the company dissolved in 1841. According to the dissolution arrangement, Nelson continued to run the lumber business where, along with lumber and lime, he sold building materials such as shingles, bricks, and hair, which was used to help bind mortar. Nelson also owned shares in several whaling ships that sailed out of Sag Harbor.

Nelson and his wife, Phebe H. (c.1812-1892), had at least three daughters: Abbie M., who died in 1916 at her sister’s home in Elmira, N.Y.; Eloise, who died in 1916 in Hartford, CT; and Mrs. Sutherland DeWitt of Elmira, N.Y. Nelson’s death date is unknown, but there are records of his paying attorney H.P. Hedges for the drafting of a will in 1855.  

The collection, which spans the years 1827-1885, is comprised of business records, including letters; financial records, including bills, checks, statements of account,  receipts, and a small number of Nelson’s personal financial records; mortgage documents; and newspaper clippings. Some of the letters and financial records are from Nelson’s days with Wm. H. Loper & Co. There are also two receipts from the Nelson & Edwards partnership.