Obit: Peterson, Bertha (1845 – 1919)
Contact: Stan

Surnames: Peterson, Mikkleson, Johnson, Lee, Hoffman, Wang, Kringler, Wiggins, Severson, Gilbertson, Nanstad, Olson, Kringley, Marvick

----Source: Badger State Banner (Black River Falls, Jackson County, Wis) Thursday, 13 Feb. 1919

Peterson, Bertha (4 June 1845 – 8 Feb. 1919)

Obituary of Mrs. Bertha Peterson

At her home in the city of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, after a long and serious illness growing out of an injury to the palm of her right hand resulting in blood-poison, Mrs. Bertha Peterson passed away February 8, 1919. Her birthplace was in Fines-Prost-Gjold, Norway, the time was June 4, 1845, hence her stay upon this earth was 73 years. 8 months and 4 days.

John and Gonent Mikkleson, husband and wife, with a family of children embarked in a sailing vessel for America, that being the only way of crossing the Atlantic Ocean at that time, requiring long, weary months to make the journey. This was in 1851, and they reached Waupaca County, Wisconsin, March 26, 1852, where they left the railroad and conveyed their worldly effects with oxen teams, linch-pin wagons and walked most of the way themselves. While crossing a stream on a ferry boat the boat sank and their flour and other eatables were lost and only the wagon and team saved. Food was scarce and difficult to obtain and a return trip was made to get flour.

Here in the Wisconsin wilderness, infested with wolves, bears, deer and wild birds as well as with Indians, Mrs. Peterson’s father constructed a rail hut with nothing but mother earth for a floor and poor covering to protect his family from the storms and inclemency of the weather. In this hut they abided until about the following Christmas when he completed a log cabin into which they moved and remained for eight or nine years. They were miles from neighbors and the only road to the outer world was a trail blazed through the woods and country. For some time for want of flour, they used bran and for years their chief meat was venison and this kind of food kept starvation from the hut and cabin. With health, strength, courage and determination the Mikkleson family met the severe trials, tribulations and drawbacks of this new country for about nine years when they moved into the southwest part of Springfield in Jackson County, settling there in 1861, just at the breaking out of the great civil war, following the hard times of 1867. As is regularly the case with people of Scandinavian origin the Mikkleson family name was somewhat distorted, sometimes being called Johnson, sometimes Lee and sometimes Mikkleson, the latter probably being more nearly correct, yet the word Lee is still used in the family.

Mrs. Peterson’s maiden name was Bertha Meline Mikkleson and perhaps sometimes with the addition of the word Lee. However, it was her good fortune to have her name changed by marrying Peter Peterson, more familiarly known as “Big Pete.” The marriage ceremony was performed by J. R. Hoffman, then a justice of the peace in Hixton. This young couple then purchased what was then know as the Walter Best farm, about four miles southwest of this city, a log house, stabling, some rail fencing, and a small amount of breaking constituted the improvements. Full of youthful vigor, strength, and health the Petersons purchased more land and made other improvements and farmed the same. Children came to bless their home and bring happiness and comfort to these young people, but sorrows and tribulations and trouble also came. One dark night in June, 1866, Mrs. Peterson and two children were suddenly aroused from their sleep by thunder, lightning flash and torrents of rain such as was never before witnessed here by whites and probably has never been since. Springing from their bed, dressing and rushing out doors they found the waters rushing down the hill back of the house from the high ground above in such torrents that no time could be lost to save their lives. Just as mother Peterson, with her two children in her arms, stepped out of the house it started to move from its foundations and was soon carried by the flood several rods to the bottom lands below where it was completely covered with earth excepting one small corner of gabling to the house. Not daunted nor discouraged, the Petersons set immediately to work to repair their losses by gathering up fragments, building a new home, and continuing their improvements while health and strength remained, and now when their foot steps and voices are no longer heard on earth the old home is still owned in the Peterson family. The only son, Peter O. Peterson, being the owner and possessor. He is now also known as “Big Pete.”

Peter and Betsy Peterson were careful, industrious, cautious and painstaking people. They were members of the church and took a leading part in the formation of Little Norway church and the building of a church edifice and of keeping and maintaining the same while they lived.

Names, birth and marriages of their children now living are as follows: Annie Pauline, born July 23, 1863, married to Iver V. Wang July 5,1887; Jennie Johanne, born January 22, 1866,married to Louis Kringler October 28,1887; Julia Marie, born August 2, 1868, married to John Wiggins October 28, 1891; Ada Oline, born May 13, 1871, married to Iver Severson on April 24,1888; Peter Olaus, born November 12, 1873, married October 28, 1897, to Caroline Gilbertson; Minnie Betilde, born November 11, 1876, married March 18,1899, to Andrew Nanstad; Carrie S., born February 11, 1879, married Ned Olson, July 12, 1899; Nina Emelia, born October 31, 1885, married July 5, 1905, to Anton Gilbertson; Julius M. was born November 5, 1882, and died May 23, 1892; Theodore Ingman was born March 16, 1888,and died December 4, 1918.

Mr. and Mrs. Peterson, although not having opportunities for education themselves gave to their children, according to their ability, the best chances for learning they could.

Peter Peterson died December 14, 1890, and left his wife, Bertha, with a large farm and stock thereon and business connected therewith, with children to care for, which duties she performed ably and well in all directions, indoors and out of doors she was a quick, active, energetic worker. She made provision out of the farm and property to aid and assist her children while she live and visited among them frequently. To mourn her loss she left behind her not only the children above stated but also forty-three grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren and a host of neighbors and acquaintances. She was outspoken about matters that concerned or interested her, and yet did not indulge in tones of voice that brought hard feelings, ill will or unkind thoughts. She never saw one in distress without doing all in her power to alleviate their sorrows and suffering. A pleasant smile and a kind word was always in store for those she met at home or abroad. During the prevalence of the flu in the last few months, dread of disease, nor fear of death caused her to hesitate a moment in appearing at some homes and doing all she could to alleviate suffering.

Her final sickness was caused by some injury, perhaps to the palm of the right hand, resulting in blood disorders. This brought suffering and untold agony but she met it all with that calm, thoughtful, Christian spirit that she always faced troubles, distresses and sorrows with. All that medical aid, careful care and nursing and the presence of those nearest and dearest to her could do, could not longer put off death. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Monday, last, her remains were conveyed to the Little Norway Church, followed by all of her children excepting Mrs. Wang and Mrs. Kringley who were absent from the state, together with grandchildren and a host of friends. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. L. S. Marvick and her remains deposited in the cemetery near her old home church.



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