John Nelson’s House

539 Newton Avenue North

Where Prince came into conflict with his father

Following his divorce from Prince’s mother in 1968, John Nelson lived briefly in the Logan house, and then moved to an apartment on Glenwood Avenue. Nelson bought this house in December 1972, when Prince was fourteen-years old. After moving out of his mother’s house around age thirteen, Prince most likely lived part-time at his father’s apartment and at his Aunt Olivia Lewis’s house until Nelson purchased this house. A long-time musician himself, Nelson influenced the young teenager musically and allowed his son and friends to rehearse in the home. Prince only lived here for a short time. After conflicts with his father escalated, Prince moved back in with his Aunt Olivia.


The Prince Rogers Trio, Minneapolis, late 1940s

The Prince Rogers Trio, Minneapolis, late 1940s

The Prince Rogers Trio, Minneapolis, late 1940s. John Lewis Nelson, Prince™s father, is at left. Prince™s mother, Mattie Shaw, joined the group in the 1950s as the lead singer. Photographer John Glanton documented the African-American community in Minnesota in the 1940s. For more images from the Glanton collection see Double Exposure (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2018). | Source: Photo credit: the children of John Glanton and the Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, MN. | Creator: John Glanton View File Details Page

John Nelson�™s house, 2018.

John Nelson™s house, 2018.

John Nelson™s house. Prince™s father bought this house in December 1972, and Prince lived here around the time he was 14. | Source: Photo credit: Dom Puglisi, Diamonds and Pearls Photography, 2018. | Creator: Dom Puglisi View File Details Page

Street Address:

539 Newton Avenue North [map]

Cite this Page:

Kirsten Delegard, Michael Lansing and Kristen Zschomler, “John Nelson’s House,” Augsburg Digi-Tours, accessed May 6, 2021,

Share this Story