Story information is a combination of memories and research done by Hazel Peter Jordan
and other documented sources.

According to the first census in Merier County, Kentucky 18 March 1789 Samuel Peter is listed, and again in the 1800 census of Washington County, Kentucky with at least one son Zachariah. This was found in the Amherst County, Virginia in the Revolution and LOST ORDER BOOKS 1773-1782. By: Lenora Higginbotham Sweeney.

Shumaker, Zedekiah, Amherst Co. Va. October 15, 1832 : born Henrico Co about 1754: went to the great Kanawka and there resided until driven back to Amherst by the Indians in 1775: enlisted autumn of 1776 for 2 years under Lt. Moore of Rockbridge, some comrades being John Hogg, John Finnery, Samuel Peter, William Ricks: marched to Point Pleasant. Other officers were Capt. William Mckee, lt. James Thompson and Ensign James Gilmore. Matthew Arbuckle was in command of the fort, his sub alternates being Lt’s. Andrew Wallace, and Samuel Woods, and Ensign James McNutt. Served 2 tours under Capt. Anthony Rucker, guarding British prisoners at Charlottesville; fellow soldiers were Moses Sweeney, William Cook and others.

Zachariah was born in Amherst County, Virginia, his parents moved when he was two years of age to Washington County, Kentucky. Zachariah married Nancy Spaulding near Danville, Kentucky. They had five children while living in Kentucky, before moving to Sangamon County, Illinois. When they moved to Illinois in 1818, finding an empty cabin in what is now Ball Township. Mr. Peter moved his family into it. The cabin was built by Robert Pulliam in the fall of 1817, the first ever erected in Sangamon County. Mr. Peter lived there until the spring of 1819, when Mr. Pulliam came with his own family. At that time Mr. Peter vacated it and built a cabin about three miles further north on what is now (1876) known as the Megredy homestead. They had six children; Mary T. born: 13 Sept-1806 Danville, KY., Samuel born: 1808 in KY, John N. born: 1810 in KY, Mahala D. b. 1813 in KY, Therza/Theresa born: 1815 in KY, and James M. born: 1819 in Sangamon County, IL.

In the 1820 census of Madison County Illinois, (the wording on the census is as follows) Zachariah Peter; white with 1 male over 21 and all other whites as 6. In the 1850 census of Sangamon County, Illinois-City of Springfield, Zachariah is listed as age 69, birthplace Virginia, wife Elizabeth age 54 birthplace Kentucky. Also in the 1850 census of Montgomery County, Illinois John Nelson Peter age 40 birthplace Kentucky wife Emily Waldrup age 37 birthplace Kentucky, children listed as all born in Illinois, Nancy 18, Martha 16, William 14, James 11, Zachary 9, Richard 5, Charles 2, Milburn born later 22 November 1851. Zachariah Peter died 5- Aug-1864 in Springfield and was buried in Hutchinson Cemetery. Zachariah was one of the three commissioners appointed to organize Sangamon County and locate the temporary county seat. It was he and William Drennan who wrote their initials on the stake driven in the ground and marked it Z.P. & D. That was the way the county seat was located, April 10, 1821 and called Springfield. This information is part taken from: HISTORY OF EARLY SETTLERS OF SANGAMON COUNTY 1876.

In 1882 John Nelson Peter purchased land in Cowley County, 4 miles West and 1 mile North of Burden, Ks. In 1893 he sold part of the land to his son James Peter who later in 1899 sold it to John Calvin Ore and his wife Ada Peter Ore.

On November 1, 1873 a land patent signed by President U.S. Grant was issued to Milburn Peter the youngest son of John Nelson Peter.

According to District Court papers filed in Cowley County on 22 May 1893, John Nelson Peter owned a large portion of land in Cowley County. At the time of his death recorded to be 11 March 1893 his real estate was described as; Northeast quarter of section 23, Township 31 South, of Range 5 East, also the Southwest quarter of section 23, Township 31 South of Range 5 East, also the North half of the Southwest quarter and the North half of the Southeast quarter of section 24, township 31 South, of Range 5 East, also the Southeast quarter of Southwest quarter of section 24, Township31, Range 5 East, also the South half of the Northeast quarter of section of 14, Township31 South, of Range 5 East, also the Northeast quarter of the Northeast quarter of section 11, Township 31 South of Range 5 East, also the North half of the Northwest quarter of section 13, Township 31 South, of Range 5 East, also the Northeast quarter of section 30, Township 31 South, of Range 6 East, also the Northwest quarter of the Northeast quarter of section 24, Township 32, Range 8 East also a tract of land in section 35, Township 31 South of Range 6 East described as follows, to-wit: Beginning 70 feet East of the Northeast corner of lot 1 in Block 38, in the city of Burden, in Cowley County, Kansas and running thence East 142 feet; thence South 100 feet; thence West 142 feet; thence North 100 feet to the place of beginning; also Lots 5,6,7,8,9,10,11 and 12 in Block 14 in town.

Many homes were built on this land and many families raised their children there. This home was occupied by Charles Nelson Peter, another son of John Nelson Peter, with his wife Maria May Peter. Other families to later occupy this home were Lura Peter & Ben Jackson, Linder & Minerva May, and Ralph & Luretta May. This picture was believed to be taken in 1922.

Charles & Maria -Peter
Charles & Maria Peter
Thomas Alonzo Peter was another son of John Nelson Peter to have a home on this land, where he too raised his family, which included Aubry, Elsie & Hazel Peter. Parts of the land continue to be owned and/or farmed by descendents of John Nelson Peter. Lewis & Leona Jordan later purchased land across the road from where Lewis’ mother was born, which was Hazel Peter Jordan. On a portion of the land was a family cemetery which later had to be re-located. The family was moved and some new stones set in Silver Creek Cemetery. According to Lewis Jordan being told by some of the men which had to move the cemetery. There was not much left but buckles from children’s shoes, etc.

John Nelson Peter is buried at Perkins, Ok, according to an affidavit filed April 1, 1893 by James H. Peter. John Nelson Peter died in Payne County, OK leaving no will, therefore leaving him as a son the only heir “entitled” to administer the real estate and any further holdings owned by John Nelson Peter at the time of his death. It was not limited to but involved land and money in the banks of Winfield and Burden estimated worth about $11,000. This record is available through the Probate Court of Cowley County No. 514. According to when this was filed the other heirs were a daughter; Nancy J. Sherer, residing at Sydney Nebraska, a daughter; Martha A. Smith residing at Greenville, California, a son; William T. Peter residing at Taylorville, California. Alonzo Peter, Lura Peter, Ada Peter, and Myrtle Peter residing at Burden, Ks, being the children of Charles N. Peter, son of the deceased, who died before the death of his father, John N. Peter.

submitted by Mrs. Harley (Barbara) Parsons

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