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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Allen Peterson

The fact that he is a resident of town does not deter Mr. Peterson from devoting his attention to the various branches of agriculture adapted to the soil and climate, and he is usually to be found on his farm cultivating the land of pruning his vines or harvesting his crops according to the season of the year. At the same time he enjoys such advantages as are associated with city residence, of which none is more highly appreciated by him that the opportunity to educate his children in the excellent public schools boasted by Santa Rosa, his home town. Here he owns and occupies a comfortable cottage surrounded by a well-kept lawn, the neat appearance of the property indicting the thrift and domestic tastes of the owner. The same neatness and orderly spirit are apparent in the appearance of the farm of one hundred and forty-five acres which he owns and operates, and which is devoted to profit-producing crops. Among other products he has had a successful experience with hops, and devotes twenty-five acres to that annual. In addition he has a vineyard of fifteen acres and sells a large output of grapes at fair prices.

It is natural that Mr. Pete4rson should display a changeless devotion to Sonoma county, for here he was born July 2, 1861, and here his entire life has been passed and his education received in local schools. The family belongs to the pioneer element of the county, his father, G. Peterson, a native of Missouri, having settled here as early as 1852. In the journey across the plains from Missouri he was accompanied by his wife, Anna (Steele) Peterson, who was born and reared in that state, and belonged to an old southern family. They became the parents of nine children, namely: Frank, who is married and has four children; James, who is married and has one child; Allen, the subject of this article; Sash, who married Jennie Hunter and has five children; Ellen, Mrs. Jack Bowden, the mother of one son; Josephine; Sonoma, Mrs. John Rogers, who has one son; Alice, Mrs. T. Huffman, who is the mother of five children; and Lillie, who married Albert Becker and has five children.

The marriage of Allen Peterson united him with Miss Louise Vangrafen, who was born in Peoria, Ill., July 27, 1864. Five children bless the union, viz.: Ruby D., Pearl M., Nellie M., Louisa and Sara R. The lineage of the Vangrafen family is traced through many generations of German ancestors and the father of Mrs. Peterson, Charles H. Vangrafen, was a native of the old country, having been born in 1823. At an early age he came to America from Germany, and for a considerable period he labored in the central west, having his home first in Illinois and later in Indiana, but as early as 1854 he came to California and settled in Sonoma county. In this part of the state he afterward continued to reside until his death. By his marriage to Miss Melvina Davis, who was born in 1833, he had nine children. There named as follows: William, who married Anna Johnson and had three children; Charles, who chose Miss Ida Peterson as his wife; Chester, who married Eva Kneale and had three children; Emma, who first married George Brewer and afterward became the wife of Charles Freeman, having two children by the former union; Clara, Mrs. Shaw Marsh, who has two children; Louisa, Mrs. Peterson; Nellie, who died in infancy; Josephine; and Nellie (2d), Mrs. Bert Rugby.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011