Child Otto August Peterson

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From the Delta County Independant

Pioneering spirit

Written by Verna Barr   
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 00:00
Buckley Peterson and his cousin Betty (Peterson) Kendrick tell the stories of their great-grandfather Otto August Peterson, born in 1854 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was about two years old, the youngest of five children, when they and their widowed mother Sophia traveled to this country from Denmark.
She and the children had traveled across the ocean with Mormon converts. They took a train from New York to St. Louis, then piled their belongings on a handcart and they joined others on the Mormon trail to Utah. Approximately 500 travelers were stranded in Wyoming during the winter with about half surviving the cold and shortage of food. A rescue effort sent from Salt Lake City made it possible for the remaining travelers to continue the trip to Utah. Sophia remarried after arriving at their destination.
Martha Jane and Otto A. Peterson
Otto A. grew up in that family near Manti, Utah. He married Martha Jane Workman in 1876. They lived in Arizona for a while where he worked in the copper mines, moving to the Surface Creek area in 1882. They were one of the very early pioneer families to arrive in the area. They settled on the Cory bench, living there for a short time, and then returned to Arizona for about a year. When they returned in 1884 they homesteaded west of Cedaredge with the property extending from near the present day Town Park to about half way to the four corner intersection.

They spent the rest of their lives in the cabin (the add-on kitchen was not moved when that one-room cabin was re-located to Pioneer Town). They raised nine children plus three of the Aldridge boys when their parents died. There was a sleeping area in the attic. It's believed that some of the older boys may have slept outside in good weather or perhaps in a shed located on the property.
Betty had heard that the family stayed in tents and in a covered wagon during the first winter until they could build their cabin from logs obtained on Grand Mesa.
Otto A. and his wife Martha had their first born child, Otto C., in 1877 while living in Manti. A daughter, Emma Jane, was born on the trail to Arizona. She died one month later. Twin daughters born in Arizona died apparently at birth. Daisy, also born in Arizona, lived to be seven years old. Everett "Evie" was born in Delta while the family was living at Cory, Martin in Arizona. Others were born in Cedaredge — Nina in 1886, Ada in 1888, twins Sylvia and Eugene in 1892 (Sylvia died one month later), Archie Sr. in 1893, Vern in 1984, and Ben in 1899.
Martha Jane (Workman) Peterson, front center, is surrounded by her nine children. In back is Martin, Eugene, Ben, Archie and Vern, while in front are Ada, Otto C., Evie and Nina. Martha Jane was born July 27, 1856, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and married Otto A. Peterson on Dec. 4, 1876. The couple homesteaded in Delta County in 1881
Otto C. married Rosina Koppenhafer (an immigrant from Germany) in 1905. They raised five children in the Cedaredge area until her death in 1915. He became a renowned Colorado game warden traveling throughout the state. Betty has a scrapbook filled with newspaper items related to his work and adventures.

Ada married Lloyd Patton. He operated the Red Mountain coal mine for many years.
Archie Sr. and his wife Effie (Myers) settled in Colby, west of Cedaredge. She was also from an early pioneer family. They remained there during their entire life, raising five children. Their home still stands. They were grandparents of Buckley.
Buckley's father was Archie Jr. He owned a Colby sawmill and logging company. He and his wife Mary Anne (Hammett) started and operated Peterson Plumbing in 1959, retiring in 2002. They have two sons and two daughters. The boys, Kelly and Brad, worked there during transition after the company sold, then each started plumbing businesses of their own.
Buckley Peterson and his cousin, Betty (Peterson) Kendrick, share photos and history of their pioneer families. Most of the photos in the frame are of houses where family members lived in the Surface Creek Valley.

Betty married Max Kendrick in 1963. They now live in Eckert. She has several boxes containing photos and family history and is writing and preparing the material for easier access.Betty's father, Frank, was the third child of Otto C. Peterson. Frank operated the fish hatchery started by his father until the early 1950s when it was sold to Colorado State Fisheries.
This is the Peterson homestead in Cedaredge, established in 1884. The main cabin was relocated and restored in Pioneer Town. The huge cottonwood tree still stands, marking the original site.

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