I grew up(well first 18 yr, the rest is debatable)in Miner Co, SD. Since I have a ton of family there it is still home, and I hope to retire there some day. So I have started to do some serious genealogy work there. I have gravestone photos of most of your Nelsons/Nielsens mentioned or connected. I also have my own database in Excel of Graceland Cem(unfortunately not of all Miner Co. yet).This includes the known unmarked burials as well. Using those resources along with Heritagequestonline(census up to 1920), I have uncovered some very interesting info for you. However, I'm sorry to say, it doesn't answer all your questions. This gets complicated, so hang on....I hope you can follow me.
First of all, it appears that Otto's daughter Helen was buried next to him. I cannot find a gravestone for Hattie C Nelson in Miner Co. In the event she might have remarried, I can't find any other Hattie in Graceland Cem either the fits here age,etc. My guess is that her daughter Emma moved away and Hattie went with her eventually and was buried with her. .... Another note here, according to census, Hattie lost a child before 1910, but no record, no stone found(which is not totally surprising. An infant may have been buried on the farm, even.
Secondly, I can put your mentioned Nelsons together by placement in the cemetery, and even on the same stone. There is a definite connection between Anna K Nelson/Nielsen (next household to Otto in the 1910 census. she had a "grandaughter" Bertha living with her. But it also says that Anna had no children of her own. So was she a second wife on Nels L Nielson(per gravestones together in Graceland and next to the Nelsons). Also, Bertha (1891) is on the same gravestone as Carl(1903), son of Otto. I'm thinking that neither Carl nor his cousin(?) Bertha were never married. BUT,(more probably)I'm also thinking that Carl may have possibly married Bertha(altho 12 yrs younger) and that might be why the 2 families are connected. At age 29, Bertha was living with her "grandmother"(?) Anna and had no occupation. So maybe Otto was a stepson of Anna. So it isn't impossible that Anna came from Denmark, rather than Sweden. However, here is the real stumper. The census says that Otto's father was also from Sweden. However, if Nels L was his father, it should have said Otto's father was from Denmark.....I don't have free access to 1930 census, which could possibly show if Carl married Bertha.
Now, if you search censuses, it is hard to find what relatives of Otto might have lived near him when he first came to the USA. When he lived in Illinois(where Helen was born) he was in the city of Moline, lots of other Nelsons there. At that time(1900), Nels L Nelson(Neilsenand Anna(married only 11 yr) and "Bertie"(relationship not given) were already living in Canova Twp, Miner Co, SD. Now here is another interesting thing, which points out you can't always believe where a person's parent's came from. In this census it says Bertie's parents were from Denmark. In later census it says they were from Norway...... so what can you believe?
In all this, I'm wondering what your relationship is to Otto & Hattie. You somehow know Otto's real birthday(altho the gravestone has 1870). If you are a descendant, it seems you would have to be thru Emma.
So have i really answered anything for you? or just brought up more questions. I may have forgotten some info I found, so feel free to shoot(questions, not arrows). And it may be just as well if you contact me at my personal email: email@example.com . ...again, your place in this family might help find out more. Also, if you have access to 1930 census or some other family info, it might help.
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