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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory


Colonel John H. Peters



     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 heed.


~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 165-166.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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