Gabriel Pederson, prominently connected with business interests of Waterville as a member of the firm of Pederson & Company, general merchants, and well known in official life as the capable and efficient postmaster of the town, was born in Norway June 6, 1866. He acquired his education in his native country, attending public schools and gaining a German and English education. In 1881 he crossed the Atlantic to America and came directly to Iowa, joining an uncle in Allamakee county. Here he was employed on a farm for several years thereafter, but in 1892 went to Montana, where for one year and a half he worked at anything that would bring him an income.
Returning at the end of that time to Allamakee county, he secured a position as clerk for Victor H. Stevens in the latter's general store at Waterville, and after serving in this capacity for several years he purchased an interest in the concern, the business being reorganized under the firm name of Pederson & Company. Mr. Pederson has been the active manager since that time and a great deal of the credit for the success of the enterprise is due to his initiative spirit and executive ability. Eventually his partner Mr. Stevens move to Dubuque, where he passed away in 1912. Mr. Pederson still continues to conduct the business and has secured a large and representative patronage, drawn not only from the city but from the surrounding districts as well. He carries a full line of high class merchandise and keeps his stock always tastefully and attractively arranged, studying the needs and demands of his customers, whose confidence he has in large measure. In addition he is one of the owners of the electric light plant of Waterville, which is operated by a gasoline engine, and he aided in the organization of the Waterville Savings Bank, of which he owns stock. He has been postmaster and express agent for a number of years and has proven straight-forward, energetic and reliable in the discharge of his duties.
Mr. Pederson was married August 31, 1896, to Miss Ida Bryson, who was born and reared in Paint Creek township. She is a daughter of John S. Bryson, who was born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1831, and who came to the new world with his parents in 1836, locating in Canadian West. In 1840 the family removed to Connecticut, where John Bryson received his first six months' schooling and later secured a position in the woolen factory where his father was overseer. The Bryson family removed to Wisconsin in 1849, but afterward returned to the east, residing in New York state for one year. In 1850 they settled in Iowa, the father taking up a tract of wild land in Paint Creek township, Allamakee county, where with the assistance of his son James S. he broke the first sod in that section. John S. Bryson was married June 11, 1865, to Miss Tilde O. Rema, a native of Norway, who came to America, settling in Paint Creek township, Allamakee county, Iowa, about the same year that the Bryson family made their permanent location here. Mr. Bryson became a well known and representative farmer of Paint Creek Township and was active also in public affairs, holding various positions of trust and honor. Mr. and Mrs. Pederson are the parents of six children, Ruth, John A., Alice L., Rolf B., Alfred and Lester.
Mr. Pederson is very prominent in local fraternal circles, holding membership in the Masonic order. He belongs to the blue lodge and chapter at Waukon and is a member of McGregor Commandery, K. T. He is a charter member of the Waterville lodge of the Modern Woodmen of America and he and his wife belong to the Order of the Eastern Star. A resident of Allamakee county almost continuously since 1881, he has become dwell and favorably known here and in business and social life has won a large circle of friends.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller
Return to 1913 biographies index