Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Pehr Albert Peterson

PEHR ALBERT PETERSON. It was not only a question of the best man for the place when Pehr Albert Peterson was elected sheriff of Russell County, and the honor was fitly bestowed upon one of the older residents of this part of Kansas. Mr. Peterson has been in Western Kansas for thirty years, and in every position has shown himself a man of ability and one meriting the complete confidence of his fellows. He was born at Kirkwood, Warren County, Illinois, September 20, 1870. His father, Nels Peterson, was born in Sweden in 1843, and came to the United States at the age of eighteen. He had hardly became domiciled in this country when he enlisted, in 1861, in the Forty-Third Illinois Infantry and fought for his adopted country through the remainder of the Civil war. Some of the larger battles in which he participated are those of Shiloh, Vicksburg and Lookout Mountain. When the war was over the veteran young soldier settled at Galesburg, Illinois, and was in the sewing machine business there for a number of years. He was married at Kirkwood, Illinois. In 1885 he came out to Russell County, Kansas, and bought 320 acres of railroad land. He developed that as a valuable farm and lived on it until his death in 1906. The land remained in the family for several years, being sold about 1912. Nels Peterson was a republican and was reared a Lutheran, but later became affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a Mason and Odd Fellow. His wife was Elizabeth Dennis, who was born at Reading, Pennsylvania, and died at Russell, Kansas, at the age of sixty-two. Sheriff Peterson was the first of their seven children. Robert W. is a farmer near Russell; Lula M. is the wife of Walter Gardner, a farmer in Scott County, Kansas; Anna is the wife of Frank Clark, a farmer in Russell; Nels E. is a drayman at Russell; Nellie married Ray Cooper, a mail carrier, with home at Dorrance, Kansas; Clara is the wife of Elza Smith, who is employed in a wholesale house in Burlington, Washington.

Pehr A. Peterson was fifteen years of age when the family came to Kansas. Prior to that time he had acquired his education in the city schools of Peoria, Illinois. After coming to Kansas he worked out as a common laborer and in 1898, after his marriage, moved to Paradise, Kansas, and was a merchant there, and also served as postmaster four years. Returning to Russell in 1902, he took up the ice and dray business and gave practically all his time and energies to that until elected sheriff in the fall of 1916. He was re-elected in 1918, showing that his first term was in every way satisfactory. For seven years previously he had served as deputy sheriff and he was at one time constable of Russell Township. He is a republican, and is affiliated with Russell Lodge of Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America and Ancient Order of United Workmen.

In 1898, at Russell, Sheriff Peterson married Miss Mary W. Boyd, daughter of L. H. and Margaret (Lewis) Boyd, the latter now deceased. Her father still lives at Russell and is a former postmaster of that town. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have six children: Celia Naomi, a student in the Kansas WesIeyan University at Salina; Leolyn M., attending high school; Albert Lyle, Robert Wiley and Margaret L., all in the grammar grades; and Lurabell is the youngest of the family.

Pages 2113-2114.