HON. ALFRED PETERS. A traveler journeying through Pierce Township about a mile and a quarter southwest of Crane postoffice, will see the attractive home and beautifully cultivated farm of our subject, which evidently shows the hand of a practiced and systematic farmer. Mr. Peters was born in western Virginia in 1826, and is a son of Jacob and Keziah (Gardner) Peters, also natives of the grand old Mother of States. Mrs. Peters died there in 1828, and after the father’s second marriage, he moved to Clay County, Ky, where he remained three years. Returning to Virginia, he passed the remainder of his days, dying when our subject was but a boy. He was a farmer, and although uneducated, was an honest, industrious citizen and a man with a host of warm friends.
The grandfather, John Peters, was a Pennsylvania Duchman, but an early settler of western Virginia, where he lived for some time in a fort, and where he spent his days engaged in farming, until his death about 1847. Grandfather Gardner died in Virginia. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs, Peters, as follows: Nancy died in Baton Rouge, La.; William is a farmer in Virginia; Alfred our subject; and Matilda, who died in Arkansas. By his second marriage, Jacob Peters became the father of four children: Mathias and Isaac, twins, and Susan and Jacob both of whom died young. Mathias and Isaac both died young, the former before the war and the latter in the hospital at St. Louis during the war.
Our subject’s early life was not very different from that of any boy reared on a farm, only he was left an orphan at an early age. He received but limited educational advantages in youth. On November 11, 1850, he was married to Miss Catherine Grizle, a native of Virginia, who died in Missouri in 1855, leaving two children: Amos James, who went to Colorado fifteen years ago and has not been heard from for ten years, and Sarah Ann, who is the wife of Peter B. Gibson of Stone County. On November 11, 1855, Mr. Peters married Miss Eleanor Hilton, a native of Virginia, and the daughter of Enos and Anna B. Hilton, who came from Virginia to Barry County, Missouri, in 1841, reared a large family, and died here. For many years Mr. Hilton was a Primitive Baptist preacher. To Mr. and Mrs. Peters were born nine children: John B. of Stone County; Anna C., wife of John M. Neill of Wyandotte Nation; Isaac A., died when a child; Enos Franklin, of the Chickasaw Nation; Mary V., wife of William Neill of Stone County; Alice E., wife of O. F. Douglas of Stone County; Nancy Cordelia, wife of Walter S. Cuthburth of Cherokee Nation; William S. of Stone County, and Albert Newton.
In 1854 Mr. Peters moved to Barry County, Missouri, where he made his home until 1865, when he came to Stone County and made his home for one year on the present site of Crane post office. Thence he moved to his present farm and has since added to the original tract, until he now owns 183 acres with about 160 acres cleared. For a number of years he worked at the carpenter’s trade. During the Civil War he served about two years in the Enlisted Missouri Militia, Company A, of Allen’s regiment, and operated in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, being in active scouting expeditions most of the time. He was never captured or wounded. He had previously served as corporal in the Home Guards. In 1866 he served in the registration office of Stone County, and in 1882 he was elected county judge from the North District. He served two years and in 18S6 was elected presiding judge for four years, holding that position with credit and honor. His decisions were noted for their fidelity to just principles and law, and no other county judge was more prompt in the discharge of his duties than judge Peters. He is a Republican, but not a politician. He and his wife are now active workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, though he was formerly a Baptist.