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Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


A popular farmer of Audubon township, Audubon county, Iowa, who since 1909 has owned a hundred and sixty acres of land in section 15, where he now lives, is Anton Petersen, born on March 10, 1861, in Schleswig, Germany, and the son of Peter N. and Marie (Kruse) Petersen, also problably natives of Schleswig. Mr. Petersen whose fortunes have survived the loss sustained in a disastrous fire, makes a specialty of dairying, and has been very successful in mixed farming.

Mr. Petersenís father, a day laborer in Germany, had nine children, five of whom are deceased, and four of whom are still living. Those living are, Nels, a former resident of Audubon county and a mechant at Brayton for several years; Nicoline, who lives in Schleswig, Germany; Nes, who lives near Elkhorn, Shelby county, and Anton, the subject of this sketch. The deceased children are, Anna, Martin, Mary, Anna Marie and an infant son.

After attending school until about sixteen years old, Anton Petersen worked out by the month, until nineteen, and then came to the United States in the fall of 1880, settling first in Pottawattamie county, Iowa, where his brothers live. After working on a farm for about a year and a half, he began working for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad as a section hand, and was so employed for three years. He then rented a farm in Shelby county, and continued as a renter for twenty-four years, living on one farm for sixtenn years. In 1909 he purchased a hundred and sixty acres of land in section 15 of Audubon township, and here he now lives. While living in Shelby county, his premises were burned out, and on that occasion he lost many valuable records.

In January, 1880, before coming to the United States, Mr. Petersen was married to Anna Smith, who was born on December 14, 1859, in Schleswig, when it was a part of Denmark. She is a daughter of Hans J. and Christena (Hase) Smith, the former of whom was a native of Schleswig, and the latter a native of Aalborg, Denmark. Only a few years after Mr. and Mrs. Petersen had come to this country, Mrs. Petersenís parents came over also. They first located in Illinois and after living in that state for five years, removed to Minnesota, where they lived for twelve years. After the death of the father, while the family was living in Minnesota, the mother returned to Illinois, where some of the children lived. Four brothers and one sister lived to maturity, as follow: Christian, John, Martin, Peter and Mrs. Bertha Shafer. Martin came to the United States before Mrs. Peterson, his sister, and the wife of the subject of this sketch, but his whereabouts are unknown. Peter lives in Michigan.

Mr. and Mrs. Petersen have been the parents of eleven children, as follow: Christena, who was born on January 20, 1881, married Nels Nelsen, and they had five children at the time of the fatherís death, James William, Anton, Andrew and Anna; Mary, October 1, 1883, married Nels Salmonsen, and they live in Montana, and have seven children, Elmer, Bertha, Arthur, Martha, Anna, Carl and Peter; Peter, August 30, 1885; Hans, December 10, 1887; Andrew, September 2, 1888; Anna, August 30, 1891, and married Jerry Josephsen, of Adair county, by whom she has had three children, Ester, Elvera and Carl; Martha, January 10, 1893; Lena, February 22, 1895; Arthur, May 23, 1897; Clara, August 23, 1899, and Anton, May 26, 1903.

A Republican in politics, Mr. Petersen has held no offices. He is engaged in general farming and stock raising, and his success as a farmer is due to the close attention which he has paid to his vocation and to the study which he has made of the improved methods and to his capacity for putting those methods in effect. Popular in the neighborhood where he lives, he has had a commendable part in every worthy enterprise of his vicinity.

Transcribed by Gunter Schanzenbacher, Waynesboro, PA, March 29, 2013 from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 750-752.

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