Ova Peterson (1851-1941)

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Ova Peterson
Peterson, Ova.jpg
Grandpa Pete
Born: 4 May 1850 Herrested, Denmark
Died: 23 Feb 1941 Fillmore, Utah
Father: Lars Pedersen
Mother: Maren Mogensdatter
Siblings: Ova Peterson
Gjertrud Larsdatter
Caroline Peterson
Spouse: Cordelia Amelia Warner
Married: 10 May 1875 Salt Lake City, Utah
Children: Gertrude Amelia Peterson
Loneva Peterson
Ova Leon Peterson
Mary Amanda Peterson
Dorus Ernest Peterson
Edna Christina Peterson
Evelyn Peterson
Delilah Adel Peterson
Vernell Peterson
Marvin Wilbur Peterson
Alberta Peterson
Spencer Wells Peterson
Thelma Neoma Peterson
Spouse: Olive Galloway
Married: 3 Feb 1927
Thelma Neoma Peterson Butler

My Father, Ova Peterson, was born May 4, 1850, in cabin in the woods near Mora Harvesta, Denmark. To him, America was the promised land come true. "This is the land of the blessed", he would say. He suffered privation in his early days in this country as he was put out as an apprentice when he was very young, to William Gibbs, to learn the carpentry trade, and their food was very meager. He tells of eating oat meal mush three times a day; but he learned the carpentry trade well and thinks he made more wood shavings than any other man in Millard County.

He not only treasured his American Citizenship, but he treasured his membership in the church, and loved to sing the hymns and quote the scriptures, especially the Word of Wisdom. He spoke of the body as an ediface and hated anything that would defile it. He would say "Know ye not that ye are the temples of God and if ye defile it ye will destroy Yourselves?". In the face of modern doctors learning the evils of the tobacco habit, one can see how right he was. His own father had smoked a pipe, a long one, so long that the huge bowl rested on the floor. But when he joined the church he never smoked his pipe again nor did he get tipsy anymore.

My father confided in me the last summer of his life, that he was a year older than he had ever professed to be, as he had been born out of wedlock. This to him, after learning the precepts of the church, was a great sorrow. I am sure it had always given him a guilt complex. It was a very common thing to happen in the old country. His mother had some children by a previous marriage, her husband died and she got a position cooking in the King's Royal Mansion. Lars was a soldier in the King's army and was in a war with Germany. My father said his mother was an excellent cook and I can well believe it as he could cook very well and was a good judge of food. I am proud of my Danish blood; the Danish are a very progressive people. They are leaders in many or the great reforms and scientific discoveries of modern times.

Edited and organized by Lois R. Hall, August 1968

Copied by Jerry Warner Oct 1992


The Millard County Progress, Friday, 28 Feb 1941, page 1:


Funeral services were held in the Fillmore Ward Church Wednesday at 2 p.m. for Ova Peterson, 90, who was Fillmore's oldest resident. Mr. Peterson died Sunday morning, Feb. 23, at the home of his son, M. W. Peterson, following a cerebral hemorrhage Friday.

He was born in Denmark, May 4, 1850, a son of Lars and Mary Morgan Peterson, and came to America with his family in 1861. They settled in Fillmore that same year and he has lived here ever since.

He married Amelia Cordelia Warner, in 1867, and thirteen sons and daughters were born to this union. She died in 1915.

He was a faithful member of the L.D.S. Church. He was industrious and worked with his livestock and on his farm until just a year or so ago when his health began to fail.

Bishop Lorenzo Brunson conducted the services and made the closing remarks. The choir sang the opening song, "Zion stands With Hills Surrounded," after which the invocation was offered by A. O. Anderson. The choir then sang, "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere."

Mrs. Hattie Partridge was the first speaker and she told of his industry; his punctuality and willingness in attending to his duties in the church.

Mrs. Rachel Brunson and Mrs. Merle Hone sang, "In the Garden" with Mrs. Ann Robison accompanying them.

Elder Ashby Robison, a grandson, was the next speaker and he paid a very fine tribute to the deceased.

Following the bishop's remarks, the choir sang, "Oh, My Father" and Bishop Hatton pronounced the benediction.

The Olpin Mortuary was in charge of the burial and great grandsons acted as pall bearers. The grave was dedicated by Frank Robison.

He is survived by nine sons and daughters as follows: O. L. Peterson of San Francisco, Calif.; Mrs. Amanda Cummings of Upalco, Utah; Dorus E. and M. W. Peterson of Fillmore, Mrs. Edna Nielson, Mrs. Albert Nielson and Mrs. Thelma Butler, all of Wendell, Idaho; Mrs. Delilah Anderson of Salt Lake City and Spencer Peterson of Oakland, Calif. Also surviving are 43 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.


  • Name variations:
    • Oval [Utah arrival]
    • Ove [1880 census]
  • Birth variant: 4 May 1850 [obituary]
  • Emigration: FHL Film #470842, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Auswandererlisten VIII A1 Band 16, p. 85, der Personen, welche mit dem Segel Schiffe Humboldt, Captain Boysen Nach New York zur Auswanderung durch Unterzeichneten engagirt sind, Hamburg den 8 April 1862:
Petersen, Lars, Danemark, leindg, 54, Mannl.
Petersen, Ove, Danemark, Kind, 7, Weibl.
  • Immigration: FHL Film #175575, District of New York, Port of New York, Passenger Lists, 20 May 1862, Master H. Boyson of the ship Humboldt from Hamburg, burthen 189 tons, Between decks:
Lars Petersen, 54, male, Countryman, Denmark, US
Ove Petersen, 8, male, Denmark, US
  • Utah Arrival: FHL Film #298442, Utah Immigration Card Index, 1847-1868:
Peterson, Lars
Peterson, Oval
1862: Sept. 27 Arrived in G. S. L. City in Capt. John R. Murdock's ox train
(Journal History Sept.16 & 27, 1862)
  • 1870 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Town: Fillmore, Post Office: Fillmore, Enumerated 28 Jun 1870, page 19, Dwelling 168, Family 155:
PETERSON, Ova, 18, M, Laborer, Den., Par For
  • 2nd marriage, variant: 10 May 1875
  • 1880 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Fillmore City, page 19, Dwelling #164, Family #180, Enumerated 8 Jun 1880:
PETERSON, Ove, M, 29, Carpenter, Den, Den, Den
Amelia, F, 21, Wife, K H, Ut, NY
Gertrude A., F, 4, daughter, Ut, Den, Ut
Ove L., M, 1, son, Ut, Den, Ut
baby, F, 1/12, born: May, daughter, Ut, Den, Ut
Lars, M, 73, Father, Laborer, Den, Den, Den
  • 1880 U.S. Census, Disk 35, Fillmore, Millard, Utah, Source: FHL Film 1255336, Page 467C
  • Occupation: The Millard County Progress-Review, Fillmore, Millard County, Utah, Friday, 21 November 1913, p. 8, FILLMORE LOCALS:
Wm. Peterson's new bungalow certainly presents a fine appearance. Mr. Ova Peterson did the carpenter and plaster work.
  • Scuffle: The Progress, Fillmore, Millard County, Utah, Friday, 7 Sep 1917, p. 8, FILLMORE LOCALS:
For throwing Mr. Ova Peterson in the irrigation ditch and thoroughly wetting him, J. L. Smith was fined $5.00 in the Justice Court on Monday. Mr. Smith alleged that Mr. Peterson had stolen his water with which he was irrigating. Mr. Peterson said that he did not know that the stream was to be divided although he acknowledged that he had been watering on that ditch for some time past. In passing sentence on Mr. Smith, Justice Stott said that he thought there was greatly aggravated reasons for the alleged assault and that he would fine Mr. Smith in the nominal sum of $5.00.
  • Death: Register (Record) of Deaths, Fillmore City, Utah, Book 2, p. 40, no. 717:
Ova Peterson
Age: 90y 9m 19d
male, caucasian, white, 78-year residence
Born: Denmark
widower, farmer/carpenter
Last residence: Fillmore City
Cause: apoplexy
Died: 23 Feb 1941
Buried: Fillmore City Cemetery, block 71, lot 2
Informant: Marvin Peterson.
  • Death variant: 28 Feb 1941 [Builders, p. 566]
  • Death, Burial: Fillmore City Corporation. Cemetery Single Line List, by Deceased Name, 22 Apr 1990, p. 38:
BLK 71, Lot 2, Grave 5
d. 2-23-1941
  • Gravestone: Fillmore, Millard, Utah
Ova Peterson
Born in Denmark
May 4, 1850
Feb 23, 1941
Father of 13 children
His Wife
Amelia C. Warner
  • Records by Evald Rasmussen, Archives in Odensa, Denmark
  • Records written by Ova Peterson
(Changed his name from Larsen to Peterson when he moved to this country)
  • Despain, Carrie Robison and Garner, Melba Despain. History & Genealogy of the Franklin Alonzo Robison Family, p. 47.
  • Day, Stella H., ed. Builders of Early Millard, pp. 566, 735.
  • Lichfield, Beulah Menlove. Cemetery Records, Fillmore, Millard Co., Utah, pp. 51, 58.
  • Warner, Julia Stevens. Warner Writings, p. 18.
  • Sorensen, Carole Gates. Warner Manor, p. 186.
  • Robison, Joleen Ashman. Almon Robison, Utah Pioneer, Man of Mystique and Tragedy, p. 95