The Nelson family put roots down in Smith Point on Galveston Bay in the late 1800s.
Beginning a multi-generational legacy of deep respect for Galveston Bay in a peaceful coexistence with the oyster resource it provides.
Ben and his father Neal (pictured above on Hartfield Reef in 1968) successfully stopped shell reef mining in Galveston Bay by proving live oyster reefs were unlawfully being mined.
Benjamin Harrison Nelson a third generation oyster man spent his whole life on Galveston Bay, except for a four year stent in the Navy where he met and married Betty Geraldine Smith (Jeri) in Florida.
Ben and Jeri moved to Smith Point where soon after the fourth generation arrived, two sons and a daughter. Bubba, Walter (Runt) and Terri Lynn their only daughter. Bubba passed away as a toddler.
Ben and Jeri began Jeri's Seafood Inc. in 1970 with mere pennies to their name and a will to work.
In 1980 Runt got his first oyster boat and began selling his catch to the family company. That same year Tracy Woody moved to Smith Point and began working at Jeri's Seafood after school and weekends. He then married Terri a few short years later in 1984.
Their three children Britney, Justin, and Bethany along with Runt's son-in-law Justin, are the fifth generation living and working on Galveston Bay, in harmony with the oyster resource.
Jeri's Seafood currently has three generations practicing sustainability and very active in fighting for the future of the oyster resource, and the sixth generation shows much promise for the future.