VALLEY OF THE HEART's DELIGHT
HISTORY OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY 537
NIELS NICHOLAS NIELSEN
OWNER of the SUNNYVALE GARAGE
SURNAMES: LUND, BROWN
An enterprising Danish-American whose wide experience as a machinist
and master mechanic prior to his coming to California, in important
engagements in Denmark, South Africa, New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago,
Minneapolis and Alaska, has enabled him, after an equally successful
activity in San Francisco, to provide Sunnyvale with the best possible
garage service, is Niels Nicholas Nielsen, of Messrs. Cockrell &
Nielsen, proprietors of the Sunnyvale Garage. He was born at Odense,
Denmark, on February 2, 1882, the son of Hans Nielsen, a machinist; and
it was because of his father's trade that he resolved to become a
machinist also. He finished courses of study in the primary and
secondary schools of his native land, and then took up mechanical
engineering under the preceptorship of M. P. Allrup, and served an
apprenticeship at Forborg, and at the iron works in the city of Odense.
He then went to London for a year, and after that to South Africa,
serving on the English transprot line; but having set his heart on
coming to America, he landed at New York in the spring of 1901, and
there for four years he was in the Sullivan Automatic Machine Works.
Later he was employed at Pittsburgh for the Pennsylvania Railroad
Company, and thence went to Minneapolis Flouring Mills. After awhile,
he moved still farther westward to San Francisco; and there he was busy
as a machinist until the earthquarke, when he went to Alaska. He was in
the Far North for twelve years as master mechanic for the Alaska
Packers Association, and served also as United States Commissioner and
notary public for a period of three years. He took a course at Van Der
Nailen School of Engineering at Berkeley, and then, in the fall of
1918, returned to Alaska.
Coming again to California, Mr. Nielsen bought a ranch at Watsonville;
and having made the acquaintance of William Cockrell in Alaska, they
became partners and bought the old blacksmith shop at Sunnyvale, where
they have since erected a modern garage and machine shop. They also
operate the Associated Oil Company's oil station, built upon the
premises adjacent to the garage, on the state Highway, at this point
called the San Francisco Road.
Messrs. Cockrell and Nielsen bought the M. Lyon property in May, 1919,
consisting of eight acres; an old blacksmith shop was located upon it,
which they tore down, and then built the new garage. Mr. Nielsen also
bought the Scofield place of thirteen acres. devoted to prunes,
apricots and peaches; and he sold it again to good advantage, and he
also disposed of his ranch at Watsonville at a very desirable profit.
The Sunnyvale Garage is equipped with a complete machine shop, and the
firm is prepared to do strictly first-class work.
Mr. Nielsen was naturalized at San Francisco in 1908; and in that bay
city in 1909 he was married to Miss Louisa Lund, a native of Denmark.
He is a prominent Mason, and belongs to the Blue Lodge at San
Francisco, Islam Temple. A. A. O. N. M. S., in the same city, and the
Consistory in San Jose. A sister, Caroline, is the wife of Waldemar
Brown of Copenhagen, and a brother, Hans Christian, now touring
America, is a noted designer on the staff of the Nord Magazine of Copenhagen.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 537July 16, 2005
BIOGRAPHIES OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY
SANTA CLARA THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT