Renner, Abby_PRINT

Joe and Martha Nelson attended BHSU when it was known as Spearfish Normal School in the 20s. Martha was selected as Swarm Day Queen in 1927 and earned a teaching certificate. Joe earned a degree in education and served as assistant registrar and filled in as registrar during one summer. He taught at Faith High School and served as school superintendent there before going on to earn a master’s degree in organic chemistry and a doctorate in chemistry. He then did research, making synthetic rubber, detergents and other chemicals from petroleum, and assisted in starting up the butyl rubber plants at the beginning of World War II. Nelson was the inventor and co-inventor of 81 U.S. patents on chemicals, rubber and detergents made from rubber. After his death in 1995, at the age of 95, money from his estate was bequeathed to BHSU to establish the scholarship. The Nelsons chose to create the scholarship in honor of former teachers Ida Henton, Evelyn Hesseltine and Mark Richmond.