Johannes M. Petersen

                     16 Sept 1881 - 12 Nov 1969


- Photo and Obituary transcribed and submitted by Steve Hanken for Iowa in the Great War
Monticello Express
Monticello, Jones Co., Iowa
20 Nov 1969
click on image for a full size printable view
OLIN - Funeral services for Johannes M. Petersen, 88, were held Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at St. John American Lutheran Church. The Rev. Harold F. Tegtmeier officiated. Interment was in Antioch cemetery. Mr. Petersen died Nov. 12 at Anamosa Community hospital  following a brief illness. He was  born Sept. 16,1881, the son of Peter Samuel and Magdalene Petersen in Bordelum, Schleswig Holstein, Germany. He married Pauline Conrad May 12, 1907, in Bredstedt, Germany. He served in WWI from 1914 until 1918.

The Petersen's moved to a small acreage at Newport Mills, northwest of Olin.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, six sisters and one granddaughter. Survivors include his wife; six children, Mrs. Emil (Ann) Paulsen of Scotch Grove, Peter of Hale, Mrs. Paul (Christine) Ketchum of Olin;  Mrs. Charles (Toni) Hahn of Cedar Rapids, Mrs. Leonard (Magda) Hartwig of Hale and Mrs. Otto (Johanna) Koranda of Oxford Junction; 18 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren. Casket bearers were Ronald Paulsen, Bruce Conwell, Steve Story, Lynn Babcock, Loren Hartwig and Noel Koranda.
Note: Submitter added additional information: You will of course note he served from 1914 till the end of the war, no American's were officially in the war until 1917. The story is he was in the trenches in Belgium and while there nothing had happened for several years in a major way, so, in the ensuing time, a trench was dug to the middle of no man's land and a dug out was built. This location was also connected to the Belgium side and both sides would get together and play cards. Over time, the two groups got well acquainted with each other. John had a friend from the opposite side who communicated to him that on the next Saturday night he should find a way not to be in the trenches and better yet, if he was way in the rear even better. Assuming the worse, he took up the information with his commanding officer and based on his information and other information the German high command had, they pulled back the entire regiment to see what would happen. As he predicted, the enemy came over the top and as a result, he saved his entire regiment from certain annulation.

John was withdrawn from the line and taken to Liege where he was presented the Iron Cross and then returned to the trenches until the war ended. He has quite a number of family in Iowa and he came here shortly after the war ended. He never learned to speak English and relied on his daughter to translate for him.  

back to Great War Obituary Index

back to Iowa in the Great War home