Nelson family has history of leadership in Yazoo
“I didn’t realize he was the treasurer of the black bank until Joseph Thomas found some receipt books with his signature on it,” William said. “It was a piece of history that had slipped by me.”
Aside from his role at the bank, Virgil Nelson was also a businessman. His grocery store sat on the same spot as William’s dental clinic does today.
William said there is a soft spot in his heart to be conducting his own business at the same location of his great grandfather.
“It touched me,” William said. “I also grew up right down the street in a house that he built. It just feels right at home around here.”
William can also feel the presence of his family at church, St. Stephen United Methodist Church. Six generations of the Nelson family have worshipped at the local church.
“(Virgil) was one of the founding trustees of the church,” William said. “The church was founded in 1866, and six generations of my family have been there. In fact, four of my grandchildren were baptized there just last summer.”
Aside from his work ethic and church involvement, Virgil Nelson was also an active civic leader in the Yazoo community.
At the turn of the century, Yazoo City Mayor A. Winn presented a resolution for Virgil at his death for his contributions and dedication to the community.
“It is sad to pass the store on the corner of Jefferson and Yazoo streets,” the resolution said. “Yet, he has gone to that unknown world, where salvation never ends.”
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