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ALEXANDER PETERSON, one of the most progressive and prosperous agriculturists and merchants of Belle Plaine, Shawano county, is a native of the State of Maine, born October 2,1842.
Abraham Peterson, his father, came to the United States from Sweden in 1812, just about the commencement of the war with Great Britain, and on his landing at Boston was taken prisoner, and detained in custody a few months, although at the time he was only a poor twelve-year-old orphan boy.    In the woods of Maine he worked several years, or until his marriage with Miss Clarissa Davis, when he commenced farming, a vocation he followed in the same State until 1847, the year of his coming and bringing his family to Wisconsin. Here in Dane county they remained three months, at the end of that time moving to Omiro, Winnebago county, where the father carried on milling, the mother keeping a boarding house.  For some six years, or until 1855, they remained there, and then came to Belle Plaine township, where the son Elias bought land, and with him the parents made their home for a time.    Elias here built a mill, engaged in lumbering some four years, then sold out and purchased eighty acres of land for his father, a portion of which he, the latter, cleared and cultivated year by year until his death, which occurred in 1876; his wife was called from earth in 1879. They were the parents of twelve children, as follows: Jane, Mrs. Stevens, of Standish, Maine; Matilda, who married a Mr. Edmonds, and died, leaving a family; James, in Dodge county; William, a carpenter in Everett, Wash.; Elias, a farmer in the State of Washington; Hannah, Mrs. Frank Adams, of the State of Washington; Amanda, deceased; Henry, a farmer in California; Alexander; Charles, a machinist of Omro, Wis.; and two who died in infancy. 
In 1866 our subject was married to Mary Bonette, daughter of Joseph and Harriet (Parker) Bonette, who moved from Vermont to New York State, where their family of eight children were born, to wit: Rosamond, Mrs. Wellington Burch, of Bowling Green, Wood Co., Ohio; Marcia, widow of David Gay, now living in the State of New York; Hannah, Mrs. John Pool, also of New York; Lucia, wife of Herman Webster, a wagon-maker of North Monroeville, Ohio; Joseph, a wagon-maker in North Amherst, Ohio; Parker, who was killed in the engagement at Petersburg during the Civil war; Mary, Mrs. Peterson; and Charles, who died in Kansas. About the year 1852 Mr. and Mrs. Bonette moved to Ohio, settling at Amherst, Lorain county, where they died, the father in 1862, the mother in 1870. At the time of Mrs. Peterson's marriage she was teaching school in Shawano City, where she was and still is very popular amongst old and young alike. To this union were born seven children, the following five of whom are yet living: Nellie, Ward, Russell, Royal and Mary. The latter is teaching school, and all are at home except Russell, who lives at Strasburg, Wis.; the two eldest born (twins) died in infancy. In August, 1862, Mr. Peterson enlisted in Company B, Twenty-first Wis. V. I., was mustered in at Oshkosh, and served till the close of the war, participating in the battles of Perryville, Chickamauga and Atlanta, was with Sherman at Savannah, and continued under him till the Grand Review at Washington. He was at the very front of the fighting all the time, but luckily never was wounded, although he did not escape sickness, and received an honorable discharge June 8, 1865, as second lieutenant, to which rank he had been promoted for gallantry and heroism.
Mr. Peterson has during the past few years been engaged in mercantile business and lumbering, as well as farming, and has met with well-merited success, today owning 240 acres of prime land, 100 of which he has under excellent cultivation. Politically he has been a Republican, since the organization of that party, and has served as county treasurer one term (1883-84), town treasurer eighteen years, and school treasurer twenty-five years; for twenty-three years he has been postmaster at Belle Plaine. In fraternal affiliations Mr. Peterson is a member and master of Shawano Lodge. F. & A. M., and of the G. A. R., and no man enjoys more fully the unqualified esteem of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

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