Benjamin Y. Nicholson
Many theories have been advanced concerning success and much has been written about the best way of achieving it, but careful investigation into the lives of the most successful men show that their advancement is not due to any fortunate combination of circumstances nor to the following of any given rule but is based upon the foundation principles of industry, energy, perseverance and close application.
Another proof of this fact is found in the life record of Benjamin Y Nicholson, now secretary and treasurer of the Nicholson Produce Company of Denison.
He was born in Jerusalem, Ohio, October 3, 1863, his parents being John L and Eleanor (Young) Nicholson. He came to Iowa with his parents in 1864 when but a years old and remained a resident of New Sharon until seventeen years of age, during which period he mastered the branches of learning that constitute the public school curriculum.
Ambition to be up and doing for himself led him to leave home and go to Vail, Iowa, where he joined his brother, George W, in the poultry, butter and egg business.
The partnership between them has extended for twenty-eight years and for the past twenty years Benjamin Y Nicholson has resided in Denison, having charge of the business here most of that time. Their ramifying trade interests reach out to various sections of this and surrounding states. They buy from a large territory and make extensive annual shipments, finding a ready sale for their products on the market.
On the 18th of May, 1888, Benjamin Y Nicholson was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Maude Watson, who was born in England and was brought to America by her parents, Mr and Mrs W W Watson, when quite young. The family were early settlers of Crawford county and her father died in Vail about twenty years ago. Her mother, however, is still living.
They were the parents of four sons and four daughters, William W, Charles S, John S, James, Fannie, Lydia M, Alice and Lizzie. The marriage of Mr and Mrs Nicholson has been blessed with six children, namely: Clair W, Pearl E, Benjamin Y, Jr, Gladys Erma, and two who died in infancy, Russel and Merrill.
Mr Nicholson is an advocate of Masonic principles and endeavors to embody in his life the benevolent and charitable spirit of the craft. His membership is with Sylvan Lodge, No 507, A F & A M, of Denison; Ark Chapter, R A M, of Dunlap; Mount Zion Commandery, K T, of Harlan, Iowa; and Za-ga-zig Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of Des Moines.
He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge. Politically a republican, he served for about twelve years as a member of the city council, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many measures and movements for the general good.
He has also been a member of the school board for fourteen years and the cause of public education finds in him a warm friend. He was chairman of the county central committee while Hon Leslie M Shaw was elected governor and served as chairman for two years. He believes that the best interests of good government are to be conserved through the adoption of the principles of the republican party and thus he labors earnestly and untiringly in its behalf.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.