IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Any person who will investigate the fact will be surprised to learn of the great number of people of Danish descent now living in the state of Iowa. Unquestionably, the greatest number of immigrants who reach the shores of the New World is of Teutonic origin and statistics show that there is more Teutonic blood in the United States than of any other country. It is, therefore, not difficult to account for the prosperity and morality of this country; not only this, but it will afford and explanation for the love of learning shown by the people of this vast country. The little kingdom of Denmark is famous for its universities and highly-educated men. The qualities which characterize the native Danes have been brought to this country by the immigrants and are now a part of our wonderful country and have contributed to the progress and advancement of its material and social life.

Henry C. Petersen, a well-known farmer of Hamlin township, Audubon county, Iowa, was born on March 22, 1881, in Clay township, Shelby county, Iowa. He is the son of Mads P. and Sophia (Christensen) Petersen, both of whom were born in Denmark, in the part known as Moen. Mads P. Petersen came to the United States when eighteen years old, and first located in Illinois, where he worked for some time and then came to Shelby county, Iowa, and purchased eighty acres of land about 1879. Henry C. Petersen was one of two children, the other being George P. His parents later adopted a girl, Bertha Mary Jensen.

Henry Petersen received a good common school education in the public schools of Iowa. He lived at home until twenty-four years of age and then married. After his marriage, he moved to his present farm in Hamlin township. His father having first purchased one hundred and twenty acres, Henry C. later purchased eighty acres more.

Henry C. Petersen was married on September 28, 1904, in Elkhorn, Shelby county, Iowa, to Sena S. Jorgensen, who was born on March 15, 1883, in Clay township, Shelby county, Iowa. She was the daughter of Peter and Christina (Nelsen) Jorgensen, natives of Fynn, Denmark. Mr. and Mrs. Petersen have had three children, Viole, born on July 1, 1905; Clyde, June 7, 1908, and Irene, June 4, 1911.

Henry C. Petersen was a Republican, but he has never been active in politics, and, for that reason, has never held any offices. In fact, Mr. Petersen is not interested in politics, but is interested in his family, his home and his farm, and to these interests he devotes practically all of his attention. The family are members of the Danish Lutheran church at Exira.

Mr. Petersen is engaged in general farming and stock raising. He is a stockholder in the Elkhorn-Marne Telephone Company and the West Hamlin Creamery Company. He undoubtedly deserves to rank as one of Hamlin township's progressive farmers and wide-awake, up-to-date citizens. He is popular with his neighbors and enjoys their universal esteem and confidence.

Transcribed by Gunter Schanzenbacher, Waynesboro, PA, March 20, 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. 493-494.
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