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Hegborn-Nelson Family Collection

Identifier: SAAGC/039
The Hegborn-Nelson Family Collection contains the personal records of John P. Nelson and children.  It includes correspondence, official papers, personal papers, memoirs, photographs, and a variety of other materials.


  • 1870 - 1984


Language of Materials

English and Swedish.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on the materials, and the collection is open to all members of the public. However, the researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright that may be involved in the use of this collection.


6.0 Linear Feet (12 containers)

Biographical / Historical

John P. Nelson was born in Sweden in 1858 and immigrated with his family to America in 1881. While they were living in Chicago, John met and married Betty Larsson on January 13, 1882. Betty had been born in Sweden in 1859 and had also immigrated to America with her family in 1881. John and Betty settled on the West Side of Chicago where John became involved in building construction. The couple had three daughters: Pauline (1882-1972), Martha (1890-1972), and Lillian (1892-1974). Pauline married Benjamin Hegborn on November 23, 1904. They were blessed with their first child, Harvey Nelson Hegborn, on November 24, 1905. Daughter Bernice Pauline Lillian Hegborn was born on October 20, 1908. Tragedy marked the family’s life as Benjamin passed away on May 3, 1911, forcing Pauline and the children to move in with her parents and her unmarried sisters. Bernice died of complications from appendicitis in 1929. Betty Nelson died on October 21, 1935 and John on March 9, 1946. Harvey worked at the Illinois Bell Telephone Company for thirty years before retiring in 1970. He lived with his mother and aunts until their deaths in the early 1970s. Harvey died on July 11, 1984.

This family appears to have been involved in the Republican Party; the North Park neighborhood association’s opposition to re-zoning; the Shriners.


Loosely arranged by topic and then chronologically.

Related Materials

Oral History Interviews With Harvey Hegborn, Conducted by Dorothy Vann, Dorothy Vann’s Oral History Project, Covenant Archives and Historical Library. (According to Oral History Interview with Mrs. Erickson and members of the North Park Community, p. 17, Harvey Hegborn was Dorothy Vann’s husband’s second cousin.)
Funding to migrate and update this finding aid was provided by the Swedish Council of America through the 2019 grant "Improving and Expanding Access to the Swedish–American Archives of Greater Chicago."

Repository Details

Part of the Swedish-American Archives of Greater Chicago Repository

3225 W Foster Ave
Box 38
Chicago IL 60625 USA