The architect of the Wm. A. Nelden House at 1172 East First South was Frederick A. Hale. Mr. Hale was a prominent architect in Salt Lake City and the intermountain area from 1880 until his death in 1934. Roger Bailey, professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Utah, described Mr. Kale’s designs as having a “classic air in a Victorian period.”
This home was built for Wm. A. Nelden and his wife Sarah O. Nelden in 1894. Mr. Nelden was at the time president and owner of the Nelden-Judson Drug Company, a successful drug wholesale establishment serving all of the intermountain territory.
Mr. Nelden was born in Montague, Sussex County, New Jersey. He established himself in the drug business in Phllipsburg, New Jersey as proprietor of a drug store at age twenty. Mr. Nelden moved to Salt Lake City in 1879. He worked as a clerk in the Moore, Alien and Company drug house.
In 1884 Mr. Roberts and Mr, Nelden established the wholesale-retail business, Roberts and Nelden. In 1892 Mr. Nelden purchased the interest of his partner and confined the company to wholesale business. In 1893 the Nelden-Judson drug company was established.
Mr. Nelden married Sarah O. Stem of Pennsylvania. They had three children; Paul, Ralph, and M. Louise Nelden Cross.
Mr. Nelden was extremely active in community affairs. He served as president of the Board of Education and as board member for several years. He helped organize and was first president of the Commercial Club in 1902. He was president of the Chamber of Commerce. The governor of Utah appointed Mr. Nelden to the jubilee committee. Mr. Nelden was president of the Salt Palace Association, a group which built the Salt Palace and the adjoining bicycle track. Mr. Nelden was a member of the Kniqhts
of Pythias, the Alta Club, and vice-president of the National Wholesale Druggists Association.
February 23, 1905 Wta. A. Nelden took his own life. He was 53 years old. At the time he shot himself, he was suffering from “nervous prostration brought on by involved financial affairs.”
Mrs. Nelden and her children continued to live at 1172 East 1st South until 1907 when they moved to 145 P Street.
In 1917 Frank J. Gustin, lawyer, resided at 1172 with his wife Adele M. Gustin and children – Francis J. and Harley W. Gustin. They lived there until 1924.
In 1924 the house was occupied by the Catholic Girls Club. This club was organized by young Catholic women in business. The building served as lodging and also as a meeting place for the Meynell Club until 1937.
From 1938 to 1949 the address is listed as the Holy Cross Nurses Home.
Subsequent residents of 1172 East 1st South have been:
- 1951 – Noel C. Devey and wife Fontella A. Devey, salesman for Carroll Realty;
- 1952 – Edward and Lila Coleman, mill worker at Murray Elevators;
- 1954 – Frank L. and Clara Rasicot.
- 1955 – Mr. and Mrs. Vernal F. Tippetts.