There, and in the cow pastures beyond it, five generations of Nelsons are buried, the offspring of Jens Nissen, Nelson’s great, great grandfather. The elder changed his name to John Nelson after arriving from Denmark to Port St. Joe 183 years ago in 1829.
“These folks are the salt of the earth. They lived a simple life and their children went on to have very successful careers,’’ Nelson said, pointing to the shiny gray tombstone of his uncle Donald, a veterinarian.
Nelson, 70, was greeted by cousins Catherine Nelson of Chipley and Margaret Ferguson of Tallahassee and joined by his son, Bill Nelson, Jr. The side trip to the cemetery was buffeted Monday and today by rallies in Pensacola, Panama City and Gainesville as Nelson barnstorms through the state in the most active two weeks of his campaign for a third term in the U.S. Senate. (Photo: Nelson and son, Bill Nelson Jr., at the family grave site in Chipley.)