IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


One of the most enterprising of the present generation of farmers in Audubon county, Iowa, is P. C. Petersen, of Hamlin township, who has believed from the outset of his career that the wisdom of yesterday is sometimes the folly of today, and that while the methods of our grandfathers in tilling the soil were all right in their day, yet in the twentieth century we are compelled to adopt new methods and farm along different lines. He has been a close observer of modern methods; is a student at all times of whatever pertains to the farm and interests, and has, therefore, met with encouraging success all along the line and, judging from his past record, he is entitled to rank as one of the most representative citizens of Audubon county. He has taken his place among the leading farmers of the county, which is noted for its fine farms and adroit husbandmen.

P. C. Petersen was born on August 3, 1863, in Vensysel, Denmark, and is a son of Jens C. and Elsie (Christensen) Petersen, who were both natives of Denmark, born near the same place as was their son, the subject of this sketch. The father was a farmer and followed that occupation until his death. Jens C. and Elsie (Christensen) Petersen were the parents of nine children, of whom P. C. was the second in order of birth.

P. C. Petersen attended school until about fourteen years of age, when he began working out by the day, doing farm work. When about twentythree years of age he came to the United States, landing at New York city, and then coming direct to Audubon county, Iowa, where Mr. Petersen had a counsin living. He worked at farm work for one year and then went to Omaha, Nebraska, where he was employed in the roundhouse of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company as a wiper. After one year at this employment he decided to return to the farm and removed to Audubon, where he purchased a team and plow and commenced breaking the prairie land, which he continued for several months. His father and the rest of the family had in the meantime come to the United States, and P. C. and his father farmed together for about two years.

Mr. Petersen then rented a farm for one year and then went to Brayton, where he purchaced a butcher shop, remaining in this business for three years, and at the expiration of this period, having been married in the meantime, he moved to a farm belonging to his father-in-law and hauled milk to the creamery in Hamlin for four years. He then rented a farm of Calvin Demick for one year, and the purchased eighty acres of land in Hamlin township. He lived on this place for five years, and then rented his father-in-law’s farm, until the latter’s death, at which time the farm was inherited by Mr. Petersen’s wife.

On March 15, 1893, P. C. Petersen was married in Brayton, Iowa, to Sophia Petersen, who was born July 25, 1872, in Shelby county, Iowa, near Avoca, who was a daughter of Nels P. and Johanna M. (Wolf) Petersen. Mrs. Petersen’s parents were born in Schleswig, at that time a part of Denmark, and came to the United States about 1869 or 1879, the father coming first, and they were married in Shellby county, Iowa. In 1893 they came to Audubon county, where they purchased a farm, and the site of this farm is the site of the present creamery at Hamlin. They lived on this farm for seven years and then sold out and purchased a general mercantile store at Brayton. Nels P. Petersen was in business in Brayton for about nine years and then purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land where his son-in-law, P. C. Petersen, now lives. He lived on this farm until 1907, when he retired from active farm life and moved to Exira, where he lived until his death during the summer of 1914.

Mr. and Mrs. P. C. Petersen are the parents of eight children, Jensene C., Nels C., John M., Johanna M., Jens P., Henry H., Carrie M. and Peter, Jr., all of whom are living at home with their parents.

P. C. Petersen is engaged in general farming and stock raising. He oversees the operations of both his farms, which lie in section 28 and 22 of Hamlin Township. Mr. Petersen is one of Audubon county’s most progressive citizens; he is a Republican in politics, but has never desired to hold office. The Petersen family are all members of the Danish Lutheran church, of which they are regular attendants; are active in the work of this congregation, and are liberal contributors to its support.

Transcribed by Gunter Schanzenbacher, Waynesboro, PA, March 18, 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. 417-419.
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