Isaac Lea Nicholson (January 18, 1844 – October 29, 1906) was an American Episcopal prelate. He was the fifth Bishop of Milwaukee, serving from 1891 until his death.

The Right Reverend

Isaac Lea Nicholson
Bishop of Milwaukee
The Right Reverend Isaac Lea Nicholson in 1900
ChurchEpiscopal Church
ElectedJune 16, 1891
In office1891–1906
PredecessorCyrus F. Knight
SuccessorWilliam Walter Webb
OrdinationSeptember 22, 1872
by William Pinkney
ConsecrationOctober 29, 1891
by William Edward McLaren
Personal details
Born(1844-01-18)January 18, 1844
DiedOctober 29, 1906(1906-10-29) (aged 62)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
BuriedNashotah House Cemetery
ParentsJohns J. Nicholson & Jane Ricketts
SpouseAdele Everett Ellicott
SignatureIsaac Lea Nicholson's signature

Early life and education


Nicholson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 18, 1844, the son of Johns J. Nicholson and Jane Ricketts. He was educated at St Timothy's Hall in Catonsville, Maryland, after which he entered his father's banking firm. After several years, he enrolled at Dartmouth College and graduated in 1869. He also studied at Virginia Theological Seminary and graduated in 1871. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity from Nashotah House in 1890.[1][2]

Ordained ministry


Nicholson was ordained deacon by Bishop William Rollinson Whittingham of Maryland in Grace Church, Baltimore, on September 24, 1871, becoming curate at St Thomas' Church in Hanover, New Hampshire. He was ordained priest on September 22, 1872, by Coadjutor Bishop Pinkney, in St Paul's Church, Baltimore. He was appointed curate at St Paul's Church, Baltimore, where he stayed till 1875.[3] Between 1875 and 1879, he became rector of the Church of the Ascension in Westminster, Maryland, while between 1879 and 1891, he served as rector of St Mark's Church in Philadelphia. He married Adele Everett Ellicott in 1880.[4]



In 1891, Nicholson was elected Bishop of Milwaukee. Nicholson's consecration took place in Saint Mark's Church, Philadelphia on October 28, 1891. He had a heart attack in 1905, and a coadjutor bishop was elected to assist him. Nicholson was an influential Anglo-Catholic in the Episcopal Church, and championed the Catholic heritage of the church.[5] In 1883, he was elected as Bishop of Indiana but he declined. He died in office on October 29, 1906.


  1. ^ "Isaac Lea Nicholson". The American Almanac, Year-book, Cyclopaedia and Atlas: 601. 1904.
  2. ^ "NICHOLSON, Isaac Lea". Who's Who in America. 2–4: 1087. 1906.
  3. ^ "Nicholson, Isaac Lea". Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography: 298. 1904.
  4. ^ "Nicholson, Isaac Lea". The Americana: 319. 1923.
  5. ^ "The Rt. Rev. Isaac Lea Nicholson, D. D." Retrieved May 3, 2019.