From: "Standard History of Waupaca County, Wisconsin" Edited by John M. Ware 1917.
BARNEY S. PETERSON. One of the oldest native sons of Waupaca County, Barney S. Peterson began his career as a farmer, kept in close touch with agricultural matters for many years, and from the farm he broadened his interests to politics and larger business affairs, and is now one of the best known men in this section of the state.
He was born at Scandinavia in Waupaca County, May 29, 1853, a son of Simon and Theresa Peterson. Both parents were born in Norway and in 1849 emigrated to America and located in Rock County, Wisconsin, but in 1851 moved to Scandanavia Township of Waupaca County. The father secured 160 acres of land two miles east of the Village of Scandinavia and that farm was in the family ownership for sixty-four years, until it was sold by Barney S. Peterson in 1915. Much of the work of improvement was done by Simon Peterson, and he lived there in prosperity and comfort. until his death in 1885 at the age of sixty-five. His wife passed away at a similar age in 1888. In the early days Simon Peterson was wont to carry a sack of grain from his home to Waupaca, and after it was milled into flour he would carry it back by the same method to his home. In the family were the following children: Peter; who died at the age of fifteen; Barney S.; Carolina, who married Isaac Peterson of Scandinavia, and is now deceased; Hans, who had attended the Lutheran Seminary at Madison and was pursuing his higher studies in the University of Wisconsin when he died at the age of twenty-three; Christina, wife of Ole J. Frogner of Ladysmith, Wisconsin; Elizabeth, deceased, who became the wife of Sanburn Taylor of Iola, who is also deceased; Isaac, of Portland, Oregon.
Barney S. Peterson grew up on the old farm, and part of his schooling was given him in a log schoolhouse near the old home. After his school days were over he applied himself with his characteristic hustling industry to farming, and he made a very marked success of it. He put many improvements on the farm where he had grown up and as already stated he kept the ownership in his own name until quite recently, though other affairs called him away from the personal supervision.
In 1894 Mr. Peterson was elected sheriff of Waupaca County. After two years he served a similar time as under sheriff, and in 1898 was elected for a second term as sheriff. In 1902 he was elected to represent the First District of Waupaca County in the General Assembly, and his work in the Legislature proved of value to his home county and to the state at large. In 1904 Mr. Peterson removed to Iola, and has since lived somewhat retired. He was one of the organizers of the old starch factory at Iola, which has since been converted into a pickle factory. Mr. Peterson is one of the leading spirits in the pickle industry in this section of Wisconsin, and he and his associates also had factories at Elderon and Rosholt, and he was general manager of all three plants. He is a stockholder in the Co-operative, Creamery of Iola, and in the local telephone company.
In 1882 Mr. Peterson married Miss Amelia Larsen of Scandinavia. She died at the age of thirty-three years in 1898. Her children are Elmer, who finishes the course of the St. Louis Dental College in 1917; Thurman, who was a telegraph operator and died at the age of twenty-three years in 1911; and Lester, a graduate from the Stevens Point Normal School in 1917. In 1905 Mr. Peterson married Mrs. Clara Hermansen, widow of H. A. Hermansen, one of the well known citizens of Waupaca County. There is one son by this marriage, Corrin, who is now eleven years of age and is a student in the schools at Iola.