Jefferson Wise Nelson
Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index || Civil War Index


Jefferson Wise Nelson, and his wife Mary Jane Caroline Killion Nelson.  Jeff was a resident of Navarro County from about 1855 to his death in 1911 at Rice, Texas.  Mary Jane's father is Isaac Newton Killion, the recipient of a Mercer Land grant.  Jeff was a Civil War veteran. He served with Colonel Parsons' Texas 12th Calvary, Company E, organized in Ellis, County.  He was also a Navarro County Constable and JP for over ten years.

Photo by Dana Stubbs

JANE 1835 - 1912

Old Chatfield Cemetery
, Navarro Co., TX

Ron Nelson asked we change Jane's birth date to about 1838 which is the
date most family records now consider the most accurate birthdate.


Private Company E, 12th Regiment Texas Cavalry, Parson's Brigade.

Corsicana Democrat and Truth

 Corsicana, Texas, Thursday, March 9, 1911

 Judge Jeff W. Nelson

Judge Jeff W. Nelson for many years justice of the peace of the Rice precinct died at his home in Rice Saturday night at the age of seventy seven years.  He had lived fifty-five years at Rice and was loved by all who knew him best.  He was a good citizen, husband, father and friend and his death will bring sadness to many hearts.  His remains were laid to rest in the Chatfield Cemetery Sunday.  Peace to his ashes, long will he [be] remembered for good deeds and his kindness of heart.  He leaves a wife and several children.


Jefferson Wise Nelson died on February 26, 1911, a Sunday.  The above obituary was on the front page of the Corsicana Democrat and Truth, dated March 9, 1911.  The Corsicana Democrat and Truth was a weekly newspaper; therefore, Jeff's death must have been published a week late, not getting in the newspaper for March 2, 1911.  Setting the weekly publication back a week would reflect the previous Saturday as February 25, 1911.  This accounts for the references to the days of the week and the relationship to the date on the newspaper and Jeff’s death.  It is assumed that Jeff died in the middle of the night, therefore, accounting for the day of the week conflict.  One can only speculate that the burial on Sunday, as referenced in the obituary, was February 26th or March 5th.  One would assume it would have been March 5th.

The phrase “Peace to his ashes,…”  is assumed to be only that.  No record of any type would indicate that Jeff was cremated or that a crematorium existed in Navarro County at this time. 

The Corsicana Democrat and Truth is on microfilm at The Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, 2.101 Sid Richardson Hall, Austin, Texas 78712.

The tombstone for Jeff and Jane Nelson was purchased long after their deaths by my Uncle Jim Hogg Nelson (and possible my Daddy, Joe Bailey Nelson, and others).  At that time, many of the dates were guesses.  My Mother, Vennie Tramel Nelson, was the genealogy expert in our family and really started the process for our family.  Since the time the tombstone was placed at their graves in the old Chatfield cemetery, we have learned that their dates of birth and death are slightly different from the ones on the tombstone:

Jefferson Wise Nelson                        Jane Nelson
b. May 1834                                      b. abt. 1838
d. Feb. 26, 1911                                d.  1912
Sorry for the confusion, but sometimes dates are hard to track down.  It took us years to research some of this info.  The newspaper obituary from the Corsicana Democrat and Truth is the only published source of Jeff's death.  .... Ronald Nelson 5/2003



  • Headstone Submitted by Norman Stubbs, Commander of J. L. Halbert Camp 359, SCV
  • The obituary is my great grandfather, Jefferson Wise Nelson.  He was a constable for Precinct 3 up until around November 1904, when he was elected JP for Precinct 2.  He lived in Chatfield and Rice.  He died in 1911, still the JP for Precinct 2. ... Ronald Nelson


Navarro County TXGenWeb
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Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox