Peterson, Charles O

From Lane Co Oregon

Charles O. Peterson established of a large excelsior factory in Eugene and was also a partner in the Sedro Veneer Company of Sedro Woolley, Washington. He was born near Lansing, Iowa, December 20, 1868, and nine years later (about 1877), he accompanied his parents on their move westward to La Center, Washington, where his father died. On his own resources at the early age of twelve years he worked for two years on a farm for his clothes and board and the privilege of attending school for a few months. He also spent two years on a farm in Benton County, Oregon. At the age of sixteen he arrived in Portland and secured employment with Henry Nicholi, owner of the Portland Excelsior Mill. During two years there he advanced rapidly and after entering the Willamette Falls Excelsior Works at Oregon City he became foreman of the mill. The death of his mother and the need to settle her estate interrupted this position. He then went to Lebanon and became part owner an excelsior business, which after several years was moved to Eugene in September, 1899. A mill and warehouse erected at Sixth and High Streets and were later supplemented by other warehouses. Many men were employed not only to cut the wood along the banks of the Willamette, but also to operate the mill. It was an important productive industry that supplied excelsior for the western states.

Mr. Peterson and his partner also organized the Sedro Veneer Company in Sedro Woolley, Washington, which made softwood veneers and glued panels, the latter being shipped all over the United States. This mill and the excelsior plant used cottonwood trees, and the partners acquired large tracts of land from which they kept their mills supplied.

On February 14, 1892, while in Oregon City, Mr. Peterson was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Stuart, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Joel A. and Malinda (Boglan) Stuart. This family came to Oregon in 1868. The father, who was a builder, lived for a number of years in Seaside, Oregon, and died January 2, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have two children, Albert and Myma. Mr Peterson served for two terms on the town council in Lebanon. He was chairman of the building committee of the Eugene Elks Lodge, No. 357, B.P.O.E., which recently completed one of the finest buildings in Eugene.

[From the The Centennial History of Oregon 1811-1912, Volume II published by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1912, "Charles O. Peterson," p. 169-70]

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