John Nestande Peterson

(March 10, 1854 - April 11, 1949)

The Lusk Herald
April 14, 1949

J.N. Peterson, Gold Rush Pioneer, Dies at Torrington

A pioneer of the Black Hills gold rush days, J.N. Peterson, 95, passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Otis Haveley of Torrington, on Monday evening, April 11, at 7:45 p.m.

Mr. Peterson was born at Lesja, Norway, March 10, 1854, the son of Peter and Marit Nestande, and was the youngest of nine children. Be came to America on a sailing vessel in 1870, at the age of 16 years, and went to Minnesota where an older brother had already located. Later he was engaged in construction work in the railroad shops in Sioux City, Iowa, until 1876, when the gold rush to the Black Hills began, and he joined a wagon train and was among the first to locate there. He remained in that locality, locating at Lead, where he lived until 1912, when with his wife and children he came to the Van Tassell community, where he homesteaded south of the town.

His wife preceded him in death. passing away in 1941, and is buried in the Van Tassell cemetery.

Mr. Peterson had always been active in all civic and community affairs wherever he lived, and it is thought he was the last survivor of the originai members of the Black hills Pioneer Association.

Funeral services will be conducted at the Prairie Center auditorium on Thursday, at 2:00 o'clock, with Rev. Lawrence P. Juell officiating.

It is planned that the music will be furnished by the Elks Lodge of Torrington, as Mr. Peterson had been a life-long member of that order.

Survivors are his six children. Mrs. Mathilde P. Fletcher, Los Angeles, Calif.; Arthur L. Peterson, Letchworth, Eng.; Oliver "Bert" Peterson, and H. Mahlon Peterson, both of Van Tassell, Wyo.; Wesley J. Peterson and Mrs. Genevieve Haverley, both of Torrington, Wyo.

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