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Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy

Peter Christian and Louise Marie Nelson Peterson

The old man with the beard is Peter C. Peterson and the rest are his family. I don't know where the picture was taken, but apparently it was his birthday (he was 65 when he came to Canada) so possibly here in Canada.   
Butch Peterson       So, is the elderly lady (on the right) Louise Marie?  barbara

Thanks to Elmer "Butch" Peterson for sharing his family history      New information added  by Jim Peterson,15 Mar 2008  and Ron Albertson  25 July 2008  

    Peter Christian Peterson was born in Denmark in 1846. At age 22 he married Louise Marie Nelson. After their first son, Charles, was born they immigrated to the U.S.A., where or what year is unknown.  They had six more children after Charles:  
Carrie, Peter, James, Mattie, Edward and Fred. Fred was born in Lyman County in 1888, The others were born in Indiana and
other states previous to their move to Lyman county. Charles and Jim stayed in the US , but the others moved here to Saskatchewan with their parents in 1911.
    According to our local history book,  Mattie,  at age 18,  married a widower with three children while still in SD . His name was
Carl Peterson (no relation). His children were Harry, Dave and a girl named Mamie. Carl and Mattie had two boys, Clyde 1901
and Harvey in 1903. Carl passed away in 1905 from typhoid.
 In 1907, Mattie married Jack Blanchard who had a hotel in Chamberlain, SD.  They had a daughter, Francis, in 1908. Jack
was a carpenter and went to Butte, Montana in 1909, to build a hotel, but contracted typhoid and died there leaving Mattie a widow again. Mattie then ran the hotel until 1911, then moved to Canada with her parents where later she married a man named Sofus
Bakken (1917). They had two children: Norman in 1918 and Margrete in 1921. Mattie passed away in 1951.

J.P. (Jens Pater) and Kristina Peterson

This picture was taken in SD about 1907 somewhere near Oacoma. From the left, my dad, Louis, is sitting on JP's knee.  Grandma Kristina is on his left. Elmer is at JP's feet with Theodore (Ted) on his left. I think Aunt Annie is standing behind them, but I don't know the rest.    
I'll try to find out .

In rear is Anna from Christina's first marriage. Christina and Jens Peterson sitting, Elmer at  Christina's side, Theodore (Ted) in middle and Louis sitting on J.P.'s knee. Louis was born in 1905 ,so the photo is probably about 1907 or 08. Butch

March 15, 2008   Barbara, the J.P. Peterson story introduction was She also finished writing the history with help from my mom, Edith. My cousin, Ted, pointed this out as it makes it sound like Theodore was my father. Butch

J.P. stands for Jens Pater. I do have a census record showing the land location, which is between Oacoma and the White river
and the Missouri. Many of the court records were lost in a fire (my dad had quite a time getting his birth certificate for pension purposes), but a lot of Petersons moved from Lyman County up to this area. Other names were Johnson, Magnuson, Larsen, Nelson, Hansen and Mowery.

    P.S. we did get info from the archives and a 1905 census shows J.P. 's family living between Oacoma and the White River . I misplaced some of my stuff during a move so can't tell you the land location. I should mention that Chris (the boxer) and Jim were
Mrs. JPs sons from a former marriage as  were the girls and their last name was Christianson. Ted , Elmer and Louis (my dad)
were their sons. There are other Lyman county former residents in the book, but I want to get the families permission to share them
with you. You have permission to use anything I send about my family. I also have a few things to add about  JP, some is stories
from their U.S. years.

J. P. Peterson Family
Submitted by Elmer “Butch” Peterson of Saskatchewan, Canada, as written by Mae Brunnet, Theodore Peterson's daughter.

      The first part of this story is part of a family history left to my family and me by my father, Theodore Peterson Sr.  His story goes up to the building of their first homestead.  Due to failing health he was unable to complete the history.  With the help of Jo Mowery other friends, my mother and Aunt Edith, I’ve tried to piece together the rest of the early days in Bright Sand, Saskatchewan.  Mae

      The following was written by Theodore Peterson before his death:

       I expect the coming home to Reliance, South Dakota from Canada, in the fall of 1910, of three young men, Fred and Ed Peterson and friend Walter Larson, started the beginning of Canada fever for many.

      Ed and Fred were sons of my father’s uncle Pere Christian Peterson.  From the age of 16 Walter Larson had worked with my dad, Jens Pater Peterson, as a carpenter's helper.  While they had been up in Northwest Saskatchewan, now known as Spruce Bluff area, they had filed on homesteads and built cabins on their land.  They had spent one winter hunting and trapping and returned with the avowed intention of persuading Pa (Jens Pater Peterson), Pere Christian and their brother Peter Peterson (locally known as Big Pete) to come back to Canada with them to homestead.  Telling them and many neighbours of the beautiful clear lakes with lots of fish.  The moose and deer were more plentiful and could be readily obtained for meat if one could shoot straight and not get buck fever ... a malady they said affected most tenderfoot hunters when they first met with one of these magnificent animals.

      I believe three things or events made up my father’s mind to join his uncle and the others in this new adventure. A flood had broke the dam that was the only water supply on our ranch.  Unless we hauled water by tank or barrels.  We had 14 dairy cows, about 45 white-faced breeding stock and about 25 work and saddle horses.  As we had lots of pasture land we usually pastured 20 to 50 horses for the neighbours.

      My mother, two younger brothers and a couple of hired hands ran the ranch while Pa and I were out contracting carpenter work in the boom towns where the railroad was coming in.  Pa, due to long hours and hard work, was not well and had been advised by his doctor to change or he may not live more than a year or two.

      Also, the sadness of losing two sons, Chris and James, weighed heavily on Pa.  His oldest son, Chris, died from injuries after winning a championship boxing match.  A week after the funeral the second eldest son, James, died of diphtheria.

      All this and Walter Larson urging them to come up to this land of good water, cool nights, free land and, I suspect, the hunting and fishing.  Plus the family’s concern for his health, Pa finally decided to make the move to Canada.

      I think perhaps both my mother and father had what we call the pioneer spirit.  They both were dedicated pioneers having immigrated to America at an early age.  Both were born in Denmark.  My mother, Christina Kristjanson, came to the USA in 1871 and Pa came to the Dakotas, USA four or five years later.  Both had seen and been through the Indian trouble and many other experiences.  But that is another story.

      The move, once decided, on we got busy disposing of everything we could not take in a railway car.  I suppose there were papers to sign with the Canadian  authorities to give us immigrant status. I did not think about those things.  I was more worried about taking my pet mule, etc.

      Pa got the use of a big house in Reliance, South Dakota, where all who were shipping to Canada gathered, as that was where the railway cars were sent.  Everything we were taking was stored there ready for loading.  Including the brand new kitchen range Ma insisted on.  (It is still in the remains of the old house at Bright Sand.)  Pa put on a farewell dance in the big house.  I remember it was the first time I saw Anton Johnson and son Johnny.  They were the musicians.  Anton played the violin
for that “Farewell to Dakota” dance.

      Shortly after that, Mother, sister Anna, my two brothers, Elmer and Louis, and myself boarded the train for Bagley, Minnesota where my older sister Christianca lived with her husband, Oscar Hulteen.  There to await word from Pa that he had arrived and for us to come to Paynton, Saskatchewan, Canada, as he had gone ahead with Walter Larson and the boxcar of our furniture and supplies.

Pa and Walter unloaded the possessions at Paynton and had found a place to stay with a nice little house three miles west of Paynton.  There was also enough land on the place for us to plant our first Canadian crop.

      When we received the telegram from Pa to come it did not take long for us to board the train for Paynton.  It was a long tiring trip with a break at Emmerson where we changed to Canadian National and to an immigrant car. Mother soon saw to it that we received better accommodations as she had purchased first class tickets.  We arrived in Paynton at six o’clock in the morning where to our delight Pa met us and took us home to a hearty breakfast cooked by Walter Larson.

      We found many strange customs and things in this land.  Like a buggy was now called a democrat.  With all the English people around another new thing to Mother was black tea, not green tea, which she grew to enjoy.

In the spring of 1911, after the crop was seeded and the family was settled, Pa and I made ready to locate the homestead he had filed on N.W.21-54-20 W3.  Walter had told him it was a good location and easy to clear and start farming.  On May 14 we started north in a covered wagon with supplies and tools to build a log house.  We picked the place in a clump of jackpine and started our first house.  We had to build a shelter for the horses first as the mosquitoes, bulldogs, sandflies and heel flies were hard on the animals.  One curious thing was when the fire weed came into bloom the bulldog flies disappeared.  What a relief that was.  As we had other stock coming we built a big log barn first.  I learned to use an axe to notch corners and chink and plaster with mud. When the barn was finished we returned to Paynton to check on the family and get supplies.  We returned to the homestead.  This time bringing another team and some machinery.  A mower, hay rake and sulky plow with breaker bottoms.  Thus we put up hay for the next winters supply.  We purchased a permit to take hay off a dried out slough and hay meadow that we kept for many years and was known as JP’s meadow.  With  the help of two or three young bachelors, who had homesteads east of us, it didn’t take long to put up a 24 by 30 foot log house with lumber partitions and floor.

      We were visited often by the mounted police.  They were the ones who told us that we had located just a few yards from the rutted road called the Battleford Trail.  Freight haulers and travellers going to and from Battleford and Meadow Lake or other points north used this trail.  The police told us we would probably be getting a lot of these travellers stopping as we were the furthest north settlers.  Thus we became the stop-over house for many travellers along the trail for many a year.  Mother certainly was right to insist on a large new range in her kitchen as she fed many a traveller.

      We returned to Paynton in the fall of 1911 and harvested our crop of oats. It was the heaviest crop of oats we ever did see.  Yielding was an unbelievable 70 bushels to the acre and grading Two C.W.  Uncle Nels Hanson could not believe it was oats when he went to lift a three bushel bag and found it to weigh about 150 pounds.

      That fall and winter Mother stayed at Paynton and Pa and I freighted most of our things. Including 250 quarts of fruit the family had canned and vegetables from the garden.  We had a bachelor staying with us at Bright Sand as he had not finished his cabin before winter.  This was a big help as he stayed and kept the fires burning to keep the homestead warm.  We also had freighted lumber, for the partitions and floor, from Paynton and Mother’s lilacs, Grandfather’s bush and flowers to be plant-
ed at our new home. (End of my dad’s story)

      Grandma moved to the homestead in the spring of 1912 with sons Theodore (dad), Elmer and Louis.  The only daughter to come to Canada was Anna.  The other two, Christianca and Mary, remained in the States.  Anna remained in Paynton to work and later married Walter Taylor.

      Grandpa J.P. was a man of many talents.  He did carpenter work building everything from houses to cabinets and I remember he supplied us all (as youngsters) with a pair of skis for winter or stilts to play with in summer.  He had the post office from 1916 to 1934.  Even when others (Norman Cross, Joe Willy, etc) had the store and gave out the mail, Grandpa J.P. was still officially the postmaster.  He ran the post office first from the house and later at the corner where he gave a portion of land for
this purpose.  He surveyed land all around the area for the settlers and donated a piece of land for the first Pine Ridge School.

      Grandma Peterson, also a pioneer through and through, gave shelter and food out readily to many a traveller.  One story she told about was when Elmer, the second oldest son, had frozen his feet so bad while hauling logs.  She had tried everything she knew of to try to save his feet.  He was feverish and very ill.  A knock came at the door.  There was an Indian. Grandma said he was not from this area.  He spoke good English and was wearing a head dress.  He came in to rest and eat before continuing on to Meadow Lake.  As he ate he kept looking over at Elmer laying on a cot in the main room.  As he got up to go he said: “Can I look at the boy who is so sick?”  Grandma said of course and told him what was the matter.  The Indian did some ritual over Elmer and put some powder mixture on Elmer’s feet.  He then used clean bandages over the mixture on Elmer’s feet.  He then left saying: “The boy will be OK now.”   Elmer’s feet healed miraculously quick.

      Grandma, whose mother had been a doctor in Denmark, knew a lot about helping the sick and being a midwife.  So, she spent a lot of time going to help the neighbours if anyone was having a baby or was sick.

      In 1932, Grandma and Grandpa moved to the new place N.W. 15-54-20. Due to a mix up at the municipal office on something I’m not too sure about.  Grandpa didn’t want to cause trouble over it, so he took up new land again.  He established a sawmill, edger and planer on the new land.  There they built a very large two story house out of lumber.

      In the hard times when a lot of people were on relief (some of whom Grandpa had helped to get relief parcels), Grandpa and sons took a contact to build freight car doors and cut railway ties for the C.N.  I don’t know what was paid for the ties, but they got 75 cents for each door.  They had six other men working there with them.  One of the men was Walter Knutson, a young man from Denmark. Grandpa and Grandma had taken in as one of their own.  He went off to war in 1940 and died that same fall.

      Grandpa also was a skilled blacksmith.  He had a fully equipped shop just a short way from the house.  Here he did jobs for himself and neighbours from plow shares to horseshoes.  When I think back on that shop, it was very intriguing, the press drills, large planes and other tools that have been replaced by routers nowadays, and a hand lathe to make furniture legs, etc.  As well as the forge and anvil for blacksmith work.  As he went about his work regardless of what it was, J.P. was usually humming a tune.  Maybe this is where his sons got their music from.  Ted, Elmer and Louis had a family orchestra.  They played for dances of all sorts.  Some for pay and mostly for fun.

      Grandma Peterson passed away on September 26th, 1940, after a lengthy illness.  While she was sick in bed she sewed by hand a quilt of small blocks, log cabin pattern, for each grandchild.

      Grandpa J.P. passed away in November 1950 after a short illness in University Hospital in Saskatoon.


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