Nicolina Marie Jacobsen Nelson

Mrs. Knute Nelson, c. 1880

First Lady
January 4, 1893 - January 31, 1895

Born: October 3, 1846
in Eastern Toten, Norway

Died: August 8, 1922
in Washington, D.C.

Married 1867 to Knute Nelson

Nicolina (Nicoline) Marie Jacobsen was born in Norway in 1846, the fourth of Ole Jacob Hanson and Gurie Larson's six children. The family immigrated to Dane County, Wisconsin in 1853. Nicolina met and married Knute Nelson in Madison, Wisconsin in 1867. Their first child, Ida, was born in May of that year. The Nelsons' four other daughters all died in childhood, the three youngest in an 1877 diphtheria epidemic. Their only son, Henry Knute, died of tuberculosis in 1908 at age 37.

The family moved to Alexandria, Minnesota in 1871, where Knute practiced law and farmed his homestead. He served as governor of Minnesota from 1893-1895 and U.S. senator from 1895 to his death in 1923. During this time in the Senate the Nelsons, along with daughter Ida, spent congressional sessions in Washington and returned to Alexandria during the summer recess.

Nicolina died in Washington after a year-long illness in 1922 at the age of 75. She is buried with her family in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Photographs of Nicolina M. Jacobsen Larson