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Joseph Nicholson
Joseph Nicholson, of Mesa county, Colorado , was made an orphan by the death of his father when he was about one year old, and the condition of the family, consisting of a widow with nine children, of whom he was the eighth, rendered it necessary for him to take care of himself at a very early age. And his success in life is therefore wholly the result of his own energy, capacity and adaptability to circumstances. He was born in 1857 in Adams county, Illinois , and is the son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Spencer) Nicholson, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Indiana . The father became a resident of Indiana in early life, and after his marriage there moved to Illinois . In 1849 he joined the emigration to California in search of a better fortune, but after a residence of three years on the Pacific coast, returned to his Illinois home, where he died in 1858. His widow at once took up the burden of rearing her large family and bore it bravely and successfully according to her circumstances, living to reap the rewards of her devotion in seeing her offspring all settled in life and doing well. She died in 1901, at the age of seventy-two years. Their son Joseph remained in his native county until he reached the age of twenty, securing a little schooling here and there in the schools near where he was employed on farms, for he was obliged to hire out to make his living while he was yet but a boy. When he was nearly of age he moved to Salt Lake City , and after a short residence there, came to the San Juan county in Colorado . There for three years he was engaged in freighting, then moved to the Fremont valley, in southern Utah . In that fruitful and progressive region he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Ivie in 1883, and he remained there two years after his marriage occupied in farming. He then moved to San Pete county, Utah , and for five years thereafter was an active dealer in horses and other stock. After that he settled at Grand Junction , where he conducted a thriving livery business for two years. In 1889 he settled on the land which is now his home, and there he has since resided and was occupied in the cattle industry on an expanding scale until 1902, when he disposed of his cattle with the determination of devoting himself wholly to his farming operations. His ranch is located near the village of Mesa, about thirty-five miles northeast of Grand Junction, in a rich agricultural region which has been improved with good facilities for irrigation, which he has helped to construct and keep in good working order, and is a very desirable and attractive piece of property. He has served the community well as foreman on the Mt. Lincoln irrigating ditch, and in other capacities of public utility from time to time. He and his wife are the parents of four children, Leroy, Essie, Willis and Jessie. Since locating at his present him Mr. Nicholson has also been engaged in mining to some extent, spending three years in that occupation.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado , Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)

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