Solano County

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One of the up-to-date and progressive farmers of the northern part of Solano county is William D. Petersen, to whom also belongs the prestige of being the representative of one of the earliest pioneer families of this section of Solano county, his father, Harry Petersen, having come here in the late '50s. Harry Petersen was a native of the island of Finn, Germany, where he was born on September 15, 1835. In young manhood he went to sea and followed a seafaring life until the late '50s, at which time he was captain of a sailing vessel which came around the Horn and up the coast, to California. On reaching this coast the Captain quit the sea and for a time and with indifferent success tried his luck at mining. He then came to Solano county and took up a tract of government land (one hundred and sixty acres), to the cultivation of which he devoted himself with such energy and with such gratifying results that he was enabled to buy more land. He continued to add to his possessions until he became one of the largest landowners in the northern part of the county, and also owned three thousand acres in the Rio Vista delta. He was a public spirited citizen, helped to organize the Bank of Dixon, helped to establish the Lutheran church there, and was a liberal giver to and a consistent supporter of all worthy benevolent or charitable objects.

He was a man of fine character and public spirit and his death, which occurred on July 1, 1908, was mourned throughout his part of the county. His widow, who also was born in Germany, is still living in Dixon.

William D. Petersen was born on his father's ranch, one and a half miles south of Dixon, on the 2d day of April, 1875, and secured his education in the public schools of his neighborhood. In 1900 he started farming on the home ranch, of which he has bought six hundred and forty acres, and is engaged in the raising of grain, sheep and hogs. He is thoroughly practical and up to data in all his operations and as a farmer has met with a gratifying measure of success.

Mr. Petersen married Miss Apperson, who was born and reared in Dixon, and they are the parents of two daughters, Elizabeth, aged sixteen years, and Margaret, who is thirteen years of age. Mr. Petersen .is a member of the Dixon Community Council, president of the Grangers Warehouse Association of Dixon and a member of the Solano County Farm Bureau. He has by his indomitable enterprise and progressive methods contributed in a material way to the advancement of his locality and during the course of an honorable career has well earned the enviable position which he now holds in the respect and esteem of the entire community.

History of Solano County, California By Marguerite Hunt and Napa County, California By Harry Lawrence Gunn. From Their Earliest Settlement To The Present Time. Chicago. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1926. 883 pages.

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This page was last updated 27 Oct 2007

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