There is no land which offers the untrammeled opportunities that America does. Here, where labor is unhampered by caste or class and indefatigable effort wins its reward, there are many men who have started out empty-handed yet who today possess substantial holdings if not wealth. Such a one is Hans L. Peterson, farmer and dairyman, residing upon a place of one hundred and forty-four acres near Franksville. He was born in Denmark. April 8, 1859, and is a son of Peter and Katherina Halkensen. The father was born in Sweden and spent his last days at the home of his son Hans in Racine County, passing away in 1897. He was a member of the Danish Lutheran church and his family numbered eight children, of whom five are yet living: Dorothy, who is the widow of Andrew Anderson; Hans L.; Matilda, the wife of Max Thornton, a farmer of Yorkville Township; Thena, the wife of Hans Anderson. a resident farmer of Raymond Township; and Ole, who follows farming in the state of Washington.
Hans L. Peterson pursued his education in the schools of Denmark, where he remained until he reached the age of twenty years, when he severed the ties that bound him to his native land and came to the new world, making his way at once to Racine County. For a few years he worked as a farm hand and then established a home of his own by his marriage in 1883 to Miss Annie Larsen, who was born in Denmark. They have become parents of nine children: John, who is married and follows farming in Yorkville Township; Willie, who is also married and lives in the same Township; Carrie, the wife of Christ Jensen, a farmer of Raymond Township; Ella, the wife of James Johnson, a resident of the same Township; James, who works in Yorkville, and Edward, Adolph, Mary and Harry, all at home.
Indefatigable industry has been the basis of Mr. Peterson’s growing success. He was empty handed when he came to the new world. It required practically all that he possessed to pay his way and he at once faced the necessity of providing for his own support. From his earnings as a farm hand he saved enough to enable him to make his first purchase of land and he is now the owner of one hundred and forty-four acres in Raymond Township, where he carries on general farming and also engages in dairying to a considerable extent, keeping high grade Holstein cattle. In the midst of his farm stands a pleasant and comfortable residence, in the rear of which are good barns and outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. Everything about the place speaks of the careful supervision of a practical and progressive owner who utilizes the most modern methods of farming in carrying on the work of his place. He is interested in community affairs and has served as treasurer of the local school board. In politics he is a republican and he belongs to the Lutheran church, to the support of which he contributes generously. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to America, for here he has found the opportunities which he sought and in their utilization has worked his way steadily upward. Moreover, his life record proves that success and an honorable name may be won simultaneously.