Albina and Jakub left too. Teresa followed them in 1882 and joined her sister Marie in Spillville. In 1890 Barbara and Frank sold their hospoda and returned to TX. There on 7 Feb 1893 Tesar died and Barbara was left alone for the second time. She stayed in Catspring alone until 1895 when she had a chance to come to Spillville with Buresh to live with her daughter. As the narration continued, Barbara need to take her medicine. She was quiet for a while, wiped her brow with her hand and then continued with her story.

I remember once one of our neighbors by the name of Slapota came to see us—that was when we sold our property in TX—he wanted to build a blacksmith shop. It was evening and without a word we went and dug a tin from the ground, this was by the pump, and loaned him $3,000.00 without a note or anything. He returned every penny that we loaned him as we needed it. We worked hard, very hard during our lifetime, in the blacksmith shop, in the fields as foremen and hauling cotton. We had to give 20 head of beef for 5 pair of oxen with the harness. We were glad to work—work was our pleasure. Because of hard work we had something out of it. Now times are different. Everyone wants a good living—light work and comfort. Those were different times—people were honest and believed in each other. Then Grandma stopped again for a while. Nodding, she said “in faith, one really suffered enough." When asked about her health Grandma answered “I have a little bit of rheumatism, otherwise I’m all right.” The author feels that this short history of the life of Grandma Pesek Tesar, which belongs with the first Czech settlers of TX, will be a pleasant reading for all who happen to read this. Barbara was taken to her eternal reward 8 Dec 1906 and is resting in the St. Wenceslaus Cemetery in Spillville."

Peterson, Albert and Bertha (Engan)

(Beulah Shindelar)

When Albert Christian Peterson died 15 Aug 1970 he was the last of his and preceding generations. He was the oldest son of Ole and Gertrude Jane (Johnson) Pierson's children. Albert was born 14 May 1874 in Clayton Co., IA. His mother died a few years later in childbirth leaving 4 small children: Bessie, 2 years younger than Albert; John 4 years younger than Albert: and Peter, a toddler. Mother and baby were buried together at Little Norwegian Lutheran Church Cemetery. This church was built on land Ole’s father Tron had donated.

Not long after the funeral Ole left the area leaving the 4 siblings to be cared for by his parents. The story was that he felt solely responsible for his wife’s death. Supposedly when she started having labor pains he went to town for the doctor. Since previous deliveries had been uneventful he felt he had time for a beer since he was in town anyway. Sometime later 2 of the children went to live with their mother’s people. My understanding was that they had intended to send 3 of them away and keep just Albert but when the others were leaving Grandma couldn't bear to part with "her baby” thus both the oldest and the youngest stayed in McGregor.

In the late 1800’s there was little contact with people more than a few miles away. Mail was slow and travel back and forth was almost unheard of, but they did keep in touch, how I'm not sure. The two that lived with the Johnsons, near Mount Horeb, Wl, used the name Pierson and the two in McGregor used Peterson for their surname.

Albert was not a very healthy child and stayed indoors in as little light as possible. His eyes could not bear bright light and he often had headaches. The boys were definitely a help to their grandparents and Albert liked to tell about some of their experiences. One story his grandchildren (and most likely his children) didn't believe was an episode while fencing in the 90’s (1890, that is). The boys and their grandfather were fencing on a cloudy sultry day; they had been working in a low spot and then moved up the steep grade. All of a sudden they heard an awful roar like a train coming from up the valley. Just as suddenly a wall of water 10 feet tall came rushing down the valley and pulled out the fence they had just repaired. They were lucky to be on the upstream side and as far up the slope as they were. Just look through histories of Froelich, Giard and the surrounding areas and you will find that in 1893 a lot of small settlements were wiped off the map, many never to be rebuilt. Long stretches of roads and railroads were also wiped out.

Bio Photo

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Peterson Bertha (Engan)

Before he reached the age of 40 Albert’s brother John died suddenly leaving a widow and several small children. In the late 1970’s or the early 1980’s one of these children came to McGregor to visit his long lost cousins. Though he had never met any of his McGregor relatives his mannerisms and accent had a very definite Peterson quality. His name was Marden Pierson and he lived in CA.

Brother Pete died just short of his 90th birthday. He had married Lizzie Engan, daughter of Hans and Dorde (Lasseson) Engan. They were parents of 9 children: Gilbert, Telford, John, Elmer, Herb, Bessie, Olive, Esther and Millie.

Sister Bessie, after raising her family, got in touch with her siblings on a fairly regular basis and invited them to Kansas City to visit, which they did several times. Bessie


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