NELSON MANUFACTURING OUR HISTORY
THE HISTORY OF NELSON MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Jack and Virginia Nelson founded Nelson Manufacturing in 1947. He was a civil engineer and she was a high school home economics and English teacher. Together they lived in several areas of the country before settling in Ohio. Jack Nelson worked as an engineer for La Crosse Trailers in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After leaving La Crosse, he worked for a time with the Army Corps of Engineers helping to design and build a bridge connecting the Florida Keys. Realizing that what he enjoyed most was designing and building trailers, Nelson decided to strike out on his own. He took out a map of the United States and plotted a central location between the major cities of Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus. The Nelsons decided to move to Leipsic, Ohio.
Jack and Virginia saved up enough money to buy a 1946 International tractor and a small trailer. They loaded the trailer with watermelons and headed north. The Nelsons were able to talk a local automobile dealer into loaning them the use of the second floor storefront in Leipsic where the melons could be sold. These profits bought them enough steel to build the first Nelson Trailer.
Building a trailer on the second floor was the easy part. Backing the trailer out and down to ground level was another matter. They soon found a new location down the street where Nelson and five employees set up shop building lowboy trailers.
COMPANY TIME LINE
Company founded in Leipsic, Ohio by Jack & Virginia Nelson
Company moved to Ottawa, Ohio
Company moved to a new 28,000 sq ft plant 2 miles East of Ottawa
Nelson designs and builds the first “crane boom carrier” or “boom dolly”
Nelson designs and builds a 215 ton capacity trailer for export to Turkey
Jack and Virginia Nelson pass away in an airplane crash