Colonel John H. Peters practiced law in Delaware
county for many years and is an authority upon everything pertaining to the
early history of this part of the state and indeed to the state as a whole. He
has the distinction of being the only surviving member of the constitutional
convention of 1857.
He was born in Kent, Litchfield county, Connecticut, February
2, 1829, a son of Eber S. and Harriett (Winegar) Peters, also natives of
Connecticut, who passed their entire lives in that state. Six children were born
to their union but only two are living: Rev. Garrett E., now a resident of
Detroit, Michigan; and John H., the subject of this review.
The last named remained at home until he was eighteen years of age
and then went to Cuba for his health, remaining there for two years, during
which time he took up the study of law. He then returned to Kent, Connecticut,
where he completed his law studies. In 1852 he went to Freeport, Illinois, where
he was engaged in the practice of law with Thomas J. Turner, at that time a
member of congress. In February of the year following he located in Delhi, Iowa,
where he practiced his profession.
At the outbreak of the Civil war Mr. Peters enlisted in the Union
army and was made captain, later major and finally colonel, serving in all four
years and eight days. He was engaged in over forty battles and proved himself a
loyal soldier and gallant officer under all conditions, his courage rising to
meet the danger that confronted him. He was injured by a fall of his horse in
July, 1865, and was brought home on a stretcher and for two years was compelled
to use crutches. He was mustered out at Atlanta, Georgia, in August, 1865, and
on his return to this county resumed the practice of his profession, which he
followed until 1900, when he retired.
Mr. Peters was married at Freeport, Illinois, September 3,
1853, to Miss Helen M. Kneeland, who was born in Binghamton, New York, a
daughter of Hector K. Kneeland. To this union were born three children: Harry
K., deceased; Hugh E., now a resident of Tennessee; and John G., of Oregon. The
wife and mother died in California March 1, 1885.
Mr. Peters has traveled in every state in the Union and is a
man of wide learning and with broad minded views of life. He is a democrat in
his political belief and fraternally is a member of the Masonic order and of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has filled all of the chairs in the lodge
of Odd Fellows at Delhi and is well known in that organization.
He has served his country as faithfully in time of peace through
performing conscientiously the duties that lay close at hand as he served her
during the terrors and hardships of war in the '60s. His life has been a long
and useful one and is in itself an example of upright conduct and the successful
performance of things worth doing which the coming generation will do well to