Bio: Peterson, Elias (History - 1833)




Elias Peterson

Mr. Peterson was born in Norway in 1833. He came to America in 1870 and settled at Neillsville, Clark County, Wisconsin, where he worked at his trade, that of shoemaker, for one and one-half years. He moved to the village of Greenwood in 1871 and since that time has been engaged in the mercantile business the greater part of the time. Mr. Peterson came to Clark County without any capital, and although he has met with losses in the way of fire and other misfortunes, he has accumulated quite a large property, and is doing a good business. He was a member of the town board two years, and was town clerk during 1887, '88 and '89.

"Clark County Illustrated" By Saterlee, Tifft & Marsh--1890

Signature of Elias Peterson


ELIAS PETERSON, one of the pioneers of Greenwood, was born in Trondhjem, Norway, March 27, 1833, the son of Peter Olson, a native of the same place. Our subject came to the United States in 1870. Having learned the shoemaker's trade in the old country, he worked at it in Neillsville, this county, from June until the fall of 1871. He then came to Greenwood, where he also worked at his trade here until 1886, when he engaged in general merchandising. During this time he had been burned out twice, the first time in 1878, and the second in 1885, and in the latter fire the village was destroyed.

Mr. Peterson was married in Norway, December 27, 1860, to Miss Andrea Tranmel, a daughter of Israel Tranmel, of Norway. They have had ten children, of whom six still survive, namely: Carrie, Marit, Sr., Marit, Jr., Peter, Anna E. and Ingeborg. The daughter, Ingeborg, died when seven years old, and the second Ingeborg was born one day after the former's death. Carrie married O. C. Johnson, of Eaton Township, and they have had eight children, of whom four are now living: Julia, Annie, Amelia, and Carl O. Marit, Sr., married Simon Johnson, of Warner Township, and has four children: Josephine, Amanda E., Selma C. and Helga E. Marit, Jr., married Lars W. Larson, whose sketch appears in this work. Mr. Peterson was a member of the Town Board in 1877-78, and has been Town Clerk for the past three years. Both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church, and the former is also a member of the I.O.O.F. fraternity. Politically he is a Republican, and is an enterprising and public-spirited man. He owns a fine farm of 120 acres, forty acres of which is cleared, on section 26, range 2 west, Warner Township.

"Biographical History of Clark & Jackson Counties, WI," Lewis pub. co., 1891, pg. 267 268.


The above cut represents the front of the general store of Mr. Peterson in the village of Greenwood. On coming to Greenwood in 1871, he started a shoe shop which was destroyed by fire in 1878. He immediately rebuilt and continued in the same business. In 1885 nearly the whole village was reduced to ashes., Mr. Peterson's shop among the rest. The following, 1886, he built the store which he now occupies, and since that time has been engaged as dealer in general merchandise. Mr. Peterson is one of the energetic public-spirited men of Greenwood.


Pictured above is Chris Larson (left) who was a painter, and Elias Peterson (to his right), who was a shoemaker and owned the mercantile store in Greenwood (pictured to the far left).

(The photo above was contributed by Todd Braun)

Farm Residence of Elias Peterson.

The farm on which this residence is situated is near the village of Greenwood, and is owned and managed by Mr. Peterson, the general merchant, at Greenwood. Mr. Peterson was born in Norway in 1833. He came to America in 1870, locating first at Neillsville, the county seat, and afterward at Greenwood in this county. He worked out by the month when he first came here, until he was able to start in business for himself. He was a member of the town board for two years, and has been town clerk of the town of Eaton for the past three years. He is one of the enterprising public spirited men of his village.

In 1871, when Elias Peterson moved to Greenwood from Neillsville and built the house pictured above, in which he lived with his family and plied the trade of cobbler.


Elias Peterson is number among the few of our oldest settlers.  He was born in Norway in 1833, coming to America and Neillsville the 17th of June, 1870, where he worked at the shoemaker’s trade until the 9th of November, 1871, when he moved to Greenwood and built the house pictured above, and in which he successfully carried on his trade until 1878, when the building was burned to the ground.


This building stood on the east side of Main Street and occupied the site where the building now occupied by the Common Council now stands, and which is also the residence of Mr. Peterson and Mr. Amundson.


13 June, 1900 Federal Census--Greenwood, Clark Co., Wisconsin, District 11.












Father's Nativity

Mother's Nativity



Peterson, Elias





Mar. 1833-67




Retired Farmer



Owns Home Mort. Free







Mar. 1834-66








Previous Household: Edwin T. & Betsy Pratt

Next Household: Albert & Mary Delaney




Todd Braun (Family Member) & Janet Schwarze.



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