Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


One mile from Salinas, on the Monterey road, is the ranch of Ross Nissen, who was born in Denmark, May 19, 1874. His father, Christian Nissen, was a seafaring man in his early years. In 1854 he made a voyage from New York city to San Francisco, going around Cape Horn and being on the water for one hundred and thirty-six days. At San Francisco he left the ship and became a gold miner. After nine years he returned to. his native Denmark, where he died in 1909. His favorable descriptions of California made such an impression upon his son, Ross, that the latter decided to seek his fortune on the Pacific coast. At the age of eighteen years he came to California and since then has lived in the Salinas valley.

The first employment of Ross Nissen in California was as a teamster for the Spreckels Sugar Company. After following that occupation for several years, he decided to go into business for himself and rented a farm where the city of Spreckels now stands. There he made and saved enough money in a few years to justify him in purchasing the ranch where he now lives. Compared with some ranches this is a small place-one hundred and thirty-five acres-but it is well kept and has good buildings, most of which have been erected by him since he became the owner. In a measure he practices intensive farming, raising sugar beets, lettuce, garlic and other vegetables, which find a ready market in Salinas and Monterey. In 1924 Mr. Nissen visited his native land, being absent about three and a half months. His only fraternal relations are as a member of the Elks lodge of Salinas and also of the Danea No. 6.

In 1900 Mr. Nissen was married to Miss Hannah Iverson, daughter of John Iverson, of Chualar, California. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Nissen: Elsine, John, Louise, Helen, Laurine and Ross, Jr. Elsine is now the wife of Edward Carlson, and Helen is the wife of Leslie Hitchcock, of King City. Mr. Nissen has membership in the Danish Lutheran church.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.