Editor and publisher of the “Union Banner,” was born in Lockport, New York, March 7th, 1839. His father, B. V. PETERSON, moved from New York to Doublin Island, between Gallatin and Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1846. He remained there until 1852, when he came to Illinois and settled at Lebanon, in St. Clair county, and in the fall of the same year, came to Carlyle, in this county, where he resided until his death, which took place in 1854. He was by profession a physician, and practiced the greater portion of his life, except the time he was a resident of Tennessee. He was during that time engaged in the distilling business. He also when a resident of New York, was engaged for some time in building locks on the Erie canal. He married Esther Celeste PALMER, a native of Michigan. She died in 1846 in Tennessee. By this marriage there were four daughters and one son, all of whom have survived the parents. James W., the only son, is the youngest of the family. He received a good English education in the common schools, and attended, for a short time at McKendree College at Lebanon. On the 1st of January, 1855, he commenced learning the printer’s trade in the office of the “Age of Reason,” afterwards the “Calumet of Peace,” of which Ben. BOND was the editor. In 1858, and ‘59 he carried a rod in the engineer corps who were surveying the route of the Illinois River Road, now the P. P. & J. Railway. In 1860 he returned to Carlyle, and in connection with Mr. MCGINNIS, he purchased the office of the “Calumet of Peace,” and changed the name to the “Reveille.” On the 7th of July, 1861, he enlisted in company E, of the 2d Illinois Cavalry, and went into the service. He veteranized with his company in February, 1864, and remained in active service until January 4th, 1866, when he was mustered out and honorably discharged. He returned home to Carlyle. Soon after he bought out the half interest, owned by a stock company, in the “Union Banner” office, and became sole proprietor and publisher. He has continued the publication of the paper to the present. Under his vigorous management the paper has proved a paying investment, and continues to be the most potential Republican organ in this congressional district. Politically Mr. Peterson was a Democrat until the breaking out of the war, when he became a strong unionist and Republican, and has remained a member of that organization to the present. In 1880, he was the presidential elector of this congressional district. He is a member and elder in the Presbyterian Church. His wife is also a member of that religious organization. He is an honored member of the A. F. and A. M. order, and belongs to Scott Lodge, No. 79, Carlyle, Illinois.

In October, 1866, he married Miss M. Josephine LOCKWOOD, a native of Collinsville, Madison county, Illinois, by which union there have been seven children, four sons and three daughters, six of whom are living. Their names, in the order of their birth, are: Vincent, Esther, Celeste, who died in her fourth year; Melinda, George, James W., Ellen D. and Donald Peterson.

Source: History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois, 1881, Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia

Submitted by: Pamela Safriet

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