George C. Petersen, who for twenty years has been engaged in the agricultural implement business on Twelfth street, Racine, has also operated quite extensively in the field of real estate, laying out two additions to the city and otherwise contributing to public progress through his real estate operations. He was born in Denmark, September 17, 1853, a son of Peter and Mary Ann (Thomson) Petersen, who spent their entire lives in Denmark.
Remaining there to the age of nineteen years, George C. Petersen then came to the United States and after working for a time at Homewood, Illinois, spent one winter near West Pullman. He afterward removed to Ishpeming, Mich., where he was employed on construction work by the Northwestern Railroad Company, spending the summer in that way. He afterward went to Bremen, Indiana, where he engaged in railroad work for a short time, subsequently removing to Racine. He was next located at Mount Pleasant and in 1874 began farming in Mount Pleasant Township, Racine County, devoting his energies to general agricultural pursuits until about twenty years ago, when he sold the farm and embarked in the agricultural implement business on Twelfth Street, in Racine, where he is still located. During the intervening period, covering two decades, he has enjoyed a large and growing trade, which has brought to him a good financial return and gained him recognition as one of the representative merchants of the city. Operating along other lines, his work has been an element in public progress and improvement. He laid out Petersen’s addition to Racine on Asylum Avenue and also laid out the J. I. C. addition No. 4 and part of the Harvey addition. He has also built a number of houses but has more largely confined his attention to the sale of lots and his activity in the real estate field has been a potent element in his success. He owns a fine store building and a beautiful residence in Racine and his real estate holdings are the visible evidence of a life of well directed energy and thrift.
In 1878 Mr. Petersen was married to Miss Anna Christensen, who was born in Denmark, and they have the following children: Edward, now of Chicago; Mary, at home; William. of Racine; Roy, who is superintendent of a refrigerator manufacturing plant in Chicago; Nellie, the wife of L. W. Mills, of Racine; and Charles, of Chicago.
In politics Mr. Petersen is a republican and his filled the office of postmaster, while for five years he was chairman of the town board and was also chairman of the County board while living upon the farm. He has been a member of the school board and has twice been a director of the asylum, being called to that position for a second time in January, 1916. He was reared in the Lutheran faith and his life has ever been an upright and honorable one. His career is that of a self-made man. When he came to the new world, making his way to Chicago, he was practically penniless and in the intervening years, through close application and unremitting industry, he has won a handsome competence, gaining a most creditable and enviable position in business circles of Racine, for not only has he gained success but in its achievement has followed the most commendable methods, his course at all times measuring up to high business standards.