William Peterson is the sole owner of the business which is conducted under the name of William Peterson & Son. In this line he has been engaged continuously since 1906 and has developed an undertaking of large proportions, nor has he deviated in one single instance from the high standards which he has set up. Sheboygan county may therefore be proud to number him among her native sons. He was born here April 15, 1858, his parents being Ole and Minnie Peterson. The father emigrated from Denmark to England, where he was married, and in 1852 he came to the United States, settling on a farm in Sheboygan county which he developed and improved. He also engaged in the fishing business and subsequently filled the office of constable of Sheboygan City. He is still an active man, working at the tailoring trade at the age of eighty-three years. His wife died in 1882 and her grave was made in Wildwood cemetery.
While the family home was maintained in Wilson township William Peterson attended the public schools of his district, pursuing his studies to the age of eighteen years, although in the meantime he had largely assisted his father in fishing and in farming. On leaving home he went to Washington Island, where he spent the winter in cutting cord wood. He next purchased timber land at Algoma and cut the Cedar trees from two hundred acres, all of which he accomplished within five years. He then sold the land for a larger sum than he had paid for it originally. Since 1887 he has been continuously connected with the business interests of Sheboygan, beginning here as a mason contractor. He continued a general contracting business, being soon accorded a liberal patronage that made the undertaking one of profit and enabled him in 1907 to establish a plant and begin the manufacture of concrete blocks and ornamental work. In addition he conducts a gravel business, gathering gravel with gasoline scows. He has established a gravel yard in this city and his concrete block business has become one of the leading industrial undertakings here. He has recently become the owner of a hydraulic concrete machine with a capacity of one thousand blocks per day whereby the wet concrete is pressed into shape. The use of concrete is one of the notable signs of the times and Mr. Peterson showed wisdom and foresight in entering into active connection with this business for there is a constant demand for the output and his trade has now reached extensive and gratifying proportions.
On the 1st of November, 1884, in Carlton, Wisconsin, Mr. Peterson was married to Miss Lizzie Johnson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Johnson, early settlers of Carlton. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson were the parents of four children but Marvin J. met death by accident when but fifteen months old. Clarence, born November 1, 1885, on the anniversary of his parents' marriage, is now manager of the Federal Coal Company. Walter is connected with his father in the manufacture of concrete stone and also doing contracting. Alma D. is a graduate of the ward school.
The family occupy a beautiful home which Mr. Peterson erected at No. 1919 South Eighth street. The family is well known here, the members of the household occupying an enviable position in the social circles in which they move. In politics Mr. Peterson is a republican and has served as supervisor. Fraternally he is connected with the Maccabees, With a nature too broad to confine his interests to one line, he is known as the champion of many movements which have been directly beneficial to the city. He is entirely free from political ambition, yet is interested in state and national politics and by broad reading and investigation keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. He is truly American in that spirit which recognizes the legal equality of all mankind, the possibilities for delevelopment and the opportunity for advancement through the development and utilization of one's innate powers and talents.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL