IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Lauritz Petersen is one of the best-known general farmers and stock raisers of Douglas township, Audubon county, Iowa. Mr. Petersen has prospered since coming to this country, and now owns a half section of land, a quarter section in his home place and a quarter section which he acquired in two different purchases.

Mr. Petersen was born, December 22, 1860, in Denmark, the son of Peter and Mary (Lawgian) Eskesen, both of whom are natives of Denmark. Peter Eskesen was a carpenter in Denmark. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, E. L., Carl, Lena, Soren W., Louritz, and two who died in their native land. Lena and Soren are still living in Denmark. E. L. lives in Shelby county, and Carl lives in Harlan, Shelby county.

Lauritz Petersen received his education in the schools of his native land, quitting school at the age of fifteen. After leaving school he worked on the farm by the month, until twenty years old, when he came to America. After landing in Boston, Massachusetts, he journeyed to Walnut, Iowa, where he worked on a farm by the month for five years. At the end of this period he married and rented a farm of eighty acres in Shelby county. After living there for five years he removed to Audubon county, where he rented a farm near Poplar for three years. Subsequently, he purchased eighty acres of land in Douglas township, Audubon county, paying twenty-five dollars an acre for the farm. A year later he bought another forty acres for twenty-five and one-half dollars an acre, and three years later he purchased eighty acres more. One of these forty-acre tracts he traded in on the hundred and sixty acres of land which comprises the home farm, and which is located in section 28, in Douglas township. For this last farm Mr. Petersen paid ninety-five dollars an acre. About five thousand dollars have been invested in improvements on the place. The farm is thoroughly fenced with a hog-tight fence. Mr. Petersenís principal crops are corn and small grain. The corn averages about fifty bushels to the acre, and the small grain about thirty-five bushels to the acre. He feeds live stock, selling at least a carload of cattle every year and about a hundred and twenty-five head of hogs.

Lauritz Petersen was married in 1885 to Katrina Hansen, daughter of Hans Hansen, who was a native of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Petersen have eleven children, Mary, Peter E., Katie, Hansen, Soren V., Nels, Laurits, Jr., Lena, Arthur, Amanda and Elvina. Mary married Nels P. Jensen, they live in Sharon township and have two children. Peter married Stena Clausen, and they live in Douglas township. Katie married Peter Madsen, and they live in Sharon township. Hansen and Soren live in Douglas township. The remainder of the family are living at home with their parents.

A Republican in politics, Mr. Petersen has served as school director for a period of a year. The Petersen family are members of the Danish Lutheran church, and are prominent in the affairs of this congregation.

Lauritz Petersen, like so many of his fellow countrymen who have established homes and acquired comfortable fortunes in this country, is a good citizen. Intelligent, broad-minded, and genial in his relations with his fellows, he is well liked in the neighborhood where he lives in Douglas township.

Transcribed by Gunter Schanzenbacher, Waynesboro, PA, April 2, 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, pg. 663-664.

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