Obituary Record

Alfred Martin (Al) Nelson
Died on 8/20/1936
Buried in Blair Cemetery

Nelson, Alfred Martin (Al) 8/20/1936

Note: he was a veteran of the U.S. Navy

Note: death date printed on tombstone in Blair Cemetery

1st obituary printed in the August 27, 1936 Pilot Tribune.

Recover Body of Alfred Nelson, Drowning Victim

Blair Man, Who Drowned Thursday, is Buried Here Saturday

The body of Alfred M. Nelson, 24, of Blair, Missouri river improvement worker who was drowned Thursday noon while attempting to jump from one barge to another in midstream, was recovered Saturday morning 300 yards downstream from the place where he was last seen. By a coincidence, the body was found by Edward G. Meische, pilot of the barge from which Nelson jumped, who was going upstream in the course of his regular duties.

A crew of men had been searching for the body since Thursday noon.

Brief funeral services for Nelson were held at the Blair cemetery Saturday afternoon, preceding interment.

Native of Blair

Alfred M. Nelson was born in Blair township April 25, 1912, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter J. Nelson and had resided in Blair all his life with the exception of one year with the United States navy. His mother died December 19, 1932.

He was married in Fremont to Miss Gertrude Mencke March 15, 1933.

Surviving are Mrs. Nelson; a daughter, Patricia Ann, aged three years; a son, Peter James, aged five months; his father, Peter J. Nelson of Blair; three brothers, Ted and Fred of Blair and James of California; three sisters, Mrs. R. Mortenson of Omaha, Mrs. Albert Jensen of Blair and Mrs. T. Pughsby of Michigan. Another sister, Mrs. F. Kahldahl, preceded her brother in death.

2nd Obituary, printed Aug. 28, 1936 in the Pilot-Tribune, Blair, Nebraska

Al Nelson is Drowned As Falls In River

Was Trying to Jump from One Barge to Another When Lost Balance


Blair Man, an Excellent Swimmer, Drowns in 25 Feet of Water as Others Try Frantically to Help Him; One Man Nearly Drowned

Al Nelson, about 27, son of Peter J. Nelson of 306 west South street, was drowned shortly before noon today in the Missouri River near Judge John A. Carrigan’s river shanty when he fell into 25 feet of water while trying to jump from one moving barge to another.

Employee of the Tobin company, in charge of rock handling for the river project, Nelson was riding downstream on a loaded barge when they met an empty barge, piloted by Dester Pogue, coming upstream. Nelson attempted to jump to Pogue’s barge, then changed his mind, but lost his balance and fell in.

Excellent Swimmer

Formerly a U.S. navy man, Nelson was said to be a good swimmer, but witnesses said he appeared excited. Al Thompson, deck hand on Pogue’s barge threw floating materials into the water, but Nelson did not seize them in time.

Deck hand on the loaded barge jumped in with a life preserver, but Nelson had disappeared. The deck hand, whose name was not immediately learned, was brought to Blair for first aid, having swallowed much water.

At 1 p.m. today search was still being made for the body. Nelson is married and has two children. He formerly worked on the Glen Wilson farm.

~~~Obituaries courtesy of Washington County Genealogical Association; newspaper clippings on file at the Blair Public Library, Blair, Nebraska ~~~

FindaGrave Memorial: 109737715

Printed in the Washington County Pilot-Tribune on 8/27/1936