Prior to relating in outline the life of the man whose name forms the caption of this sketch, we will present a few facts concerning his father, who was also a well-known citizen of Carbon County. A. B. Nimson was born Aug. 15, 1805 at Delmenhurst, in the grand duchy of Oldenburg, Germany, and was the son of Peter Nümsen, a merchant, and his wife, Sophia Meendsen. He came to Philadelphia with his parents in infancy, and his boyhood was spent in that city, Baltimore, and in the counties of Northampton and Berks, in this state. He was employed as a clerk at the iron-works in different localities in the northern part of the latter county while yet quite young, and later had charge of the Quincey Furnace in Schuylkill County. It was then, about 1827, that Mr. Nimson became a resident of East Penn Township, Carbon Co., from the border of which the furnace was not more than half a mile distant. Having obtained a very fair education, he was enabled to fill the position of teacher for the neighborhood, and he also gave instruction in music; but these employments were only occasionally followed, and were subsidiary to that at the furnace. From 1837 to 1852 his time and attention were divided between farming and merchandising, and from 1852 until his death, in 1869, he was chiefly occupied with public affairs, serving five terms as register and recorder of deeds, and also filling the offices of auditor and commissioner’s clerk. He was an active, enterprising man, possessing the unqualified confidence of his fellow-citizens, and meriting it by his conduct in every station of life to which he was called. In politics he was a staunch and life-long Democrat.
Mr. Nimson married, July 29, 1829, Hannah Andreas (born Aug. 1, 1810), daughter of Jacob and Mary (Schoenberger) Andreas. She was a grand-daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Washburn) Andreas, the latter a granddaughter of John Rhoads, the original settler and owner of the Andreas, or Nimson farm, and a great-granddaughter of Martin Andreas, who came to American in 1849 and settled in Heidelberg township, Lehigh Co. Mrs. Nimson is still living, a resident of Lehighton, and owns the old homestead in East Penn, a sketch of which appears in this volume.
Charles H. Nimson, the only child of A. B. and Hannah (Andreas) Nimson, was born in East Penn, May 19, 1834, and received his early education in the old stone school-house near by his home. When sixteen years of age he was placed in a drug-store in Philadelphia. In 1852 he was employed as a clerk at the old Lehigh Furnace, and from that time onward he has been identified with the iron interests of the valley. In 1855 he returned to the scenes of his early boyhood, and became identified with the management of the East Penn Furnace and Forge. The same year he was elected on the Democratic ticket as the surveyor of Carbon County. In 1857 he bought the Pennsville Forge from the Balliet estate, and a year later, in association with Solomon Boyer, purchased the East Penn Furnace, which the firm carried on until 1860. Mr. Nimson then went to Lehigh County, where he assumed a responsible position with the Ironton Railroad Company, and soon after became the general manager of the company’s railroad and mines. In 1863, in connection with his former duties, he took charge of the Roberts Iron Company’s furnaces at Allentown, to which – a year later abandoning the management of the road and mines – he devoted his entire attention. He continued in the position of general superintendent with responsibilities constantly enlarging as other iron establishments from time to time were consolidated by merger with the Roberts Iron-Works, and now occupies that office with the Allentown Rolling Mill, which is the outcome of the aggregation. During the period of his connection with this extensive institution, large as have been his labors and responsibilities, his attention has not been exclusively claimed by it, but he has been interested in or engaged in managing various furnaces, rolling mills, forges, and mining operations, demanding in the aggregate the constant exercise of a very uncommon executive ability.
Mr. Nimson was married, Dec. 25, 1858, to Elmira S. Hallman, daughter of Dr. Jesse J. Hallman, and granddaughter of Stephen Balliet, Sr., the pioneer ironmaster of the region. Two children were the offspring of this union, - Alger and Emma S. (married to Miles L. Eckert, of Allentown, Dec. 5, 1876). Mr. Nimson and family reside at the old homestead in East Penn.
The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
Alfred Mathews & Austin N. Hungerford
Published in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1884
Transcribed from the original in September 2004
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