1925 Biography - William Peterson

Peterson, Mercers and Axleys are very closely connected with the West family, and so little definite history can be obtained that it seems well to place them together. Tradition says the Petersons came first to Illinois, from the South by way of Tennessee. Some of them moved back to their old home, but later returned to this county. The first record of the Peterson family is a will that was made in 1815 by William Peterson and is shown in Wills. His wife was Mary, and he refers to Joshua as a child. He also refers to Hezekiah West as his brother-in-law. His wife would have been Osborn or West, leaving the inference that William Peterson came from South Carolina, from which state the Wests came. He further speaks of William and Thomas Peterson, they may have been brothers or they both may have been grown sons. There is also a John Peterson connected with this family. There would be at least two Williams, Thomas and John Peterson of the same period. Thomas is the only one whose descendants have materialized in this book although there are numerous people of that name in the county and presumably all of the same family. Thomas (1) married Lucy, one branch of the family says Arbor, the other says Yarberry. He lived in Arkansas, when his son Owen was born 1812. The children of Thomas and Lucy were Owen (2), James (2), Richard (2), Polly (2). Tradition says he returned to this county about 1835. Owen (2) married Mercer and his descendants are found in the West family. James Peterson (2) was one of the founders of the M. E. Church at Mt. Pleasant, Bloomfield Township, where he raised a family. His children were T. G. (3). Joshua (3), James (3), Polly (3), Louisa (3), William J. (3).T. G. (3), married M. J. Seay; Joshua (3) lives in Missouri; James (3) lives in Oklahoma; Louisa (3) married Ira Coats and also lives in Oklahoma; William M. (3) married Elizabeth Taylor, he is a retired minister and lives at Creal Springs. Their children are John F. (4) who married Lola Maler; James A. (4) married Myrtle Powles. Charles L. (4) married Phoebe Lewis; Otto (4) married Pearl Oliver; Clyde (4) married Olive Smith; Fred (4) married Mamie Oliver; Daisy (4) married S. A. Mathews, Pearl (4) married John Ragsdale. Most of this family reside in Williamson County, except Charles L. who is an M. E. Minister of Southern Illinois Conference and is now located at Mt. Vernon, Ill.

Extracted 08 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 419-420.

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