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Augustus O. Peterson, 1855-1943


Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 6/17/2009 at 08:24:29


Rites Will Be Held Monday at Church.

A.O. Peterson, 88, long-time resident of Estherville, died last night at 8:15 at his home on North Seventh street. He had been in failing health for the past year and a half and had suffered a stroke a week ago and another one Thursday night.

One daughter, Lucille Peterson, city librarian, survives, and three sons, Russell Peterson of Estherville, Arthur H. Peterson of Minneapolis, and C. R. Peterson of
Graybull, Wyo. Two sons, H, J. Peterson and E. W. Peterson, preceded him in death. His wife died In 1298. Ten grandchildren and one great grandchild survive.

Funeral to Be Monday.

The body will lie in state at the Mahlum and Anderson chapel between the hours of 3 and 6 p. m. tomorrow and from 10 a. m. Monday until the time of the funeral.

There will be requiem celebration and the holy communion at Grace Episcopal church at 10 a. m. Monday and the burial office will be read at 2:30 p. m. Monday at Grace church. The Rev. Donald Haviland will officiate. Burial will be in Oakhill cemetery beside his wife. The Odd Fellows lodge will be in charge of services at the grave.

Pallbearers will be J.E. Stockdale, James Rainey, C. R. Kurtz, Charles E. Corbin, John Weir and Roy Bassett.

Born In Sweden

Mr. Peterson was born March 28, 1855, in Sweden and came to this country In 1881 at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. He settled with his parents at Salem, N.Y., where the family lived for five years. They then moved to Geneseo, Ill., later living at High Forest, Minn., and Rochester.

In October, 1872, Mr. Peterson moved to Estherville and lived here until 1870 when he went to Emmetsburg where he learned the tinner's trade. He was married In 1877 to Abby Lenina Robinson and moved back to Estherville In 1881 when he opened the "Corner Hardware" on the site now occupied by the Estherville Drug store.

Held Public Office.

Mr. Peterson closed out the hardware store in 1895 and opened a plumbing and heating shop which he operated until 1901 when he was elected county treasure. He served as mayor of Estherville from 1897 to 1901.

He served as county treasurer for two terms and as deputy treasurer for 12 years under three administrations.

Mr. Peterson was appointed city clerk in 1920 and held that office until 1931. He held the Office of secretary of the Chamber of Commerce in Estherville from 1908 until he became clerk in 1920 and again held the post of C. of C. secretary from 1931 until 1935 when he resigned because of ill health.

Public Servant for 37 Years.

Mr. Peterson devoted 37 years of his life as a public servant of the city of Estherville, 13 of those years an secretary of the Chamber of Commerce.

On March 28, 1935, 160 Estherville people gathered at the Gardston hotel to surprise Mr. Peterson on his 80th birthday. Mr. Peterson had gone to the hotel with Mr. and Mrs. L.M. Chrlstensen and J.S. Hilliard to have dinner with them. When he entered the hotel dining room he was confronted with the 160 Estherville people who had gathered to honor him on his birthday.

At that time he was presented with a silver loving cup and given a life membership in the Estherville Chamber of Commerce.

Great Moment in Life.

Commenting on the banquet the next day Mr. Peterson said: "Many times when things did not run smoothly in the undertakings in which I was engaged I wondered if it was worthwhile, but when I walked Into the banquet hall of the hotel last night und saw the crowd of people gathered for the occasion, there was no doubt in my mind that it was indeed worthwhile.

“If I could feel that one-half of the nice things said about me were true I would indeed by happy. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.”

Official Weatherman

Mr. Peterson was an official weather observer fro 25 years, taking over the duties of weatherman in 1914 when his son, the late Earl Peterson left Estherville, after being weather observer for 11 years. Mr. Peterson turned over his weather reporting duties to Mrs. Joseph Orvis Dec. 1, 1939. The Peterson family had been reporting the weather for 36 years.

At the time of his death Mr. Peterson was a warden of the Episcopal church, and had been a superintendent of the church school and was a vestryman since the formation as a parish in 1889.

He was a member of the Odd Fellows lodge.

He was a charter member of the Estherville Patriarch Militant chapter of the Odd Fellows lodge and served as brigadier general and major general of the state lodge. He was deputy commander of the Iowa lodge, serving until 1921.

Source: Estherville Daily News, Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa; August 14, 1943.


Emmet Obituaries maintained by LaVern Velau.
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