John (Johann) Henry Peterson was Initiated in Temple Lodge, No.33 circa 1906 and remained a member of Temple Lodge, No.33 until his death in 1917. He was Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1914. His sons Andrew Hans Peterson and Eide Henry Peterson were also members and Past Masters of Temple Lodge, No.33.
Here is a brief biography of Very Wor. Brother John Henry Peterson from his September 1917 obituary in the Cowichan Leader newspaper:
Sketch of Career of Highly Respected Duncan Resident
John Henry Peterson, whose death occurred August 28th, 1917, was born February 21st, 1851, on Calloe in the parish of Hoptrup, Schleswig, Denmark, the son of Peter and Magdeline Peterson, the former of whom was a Dane by birth and a master shipbuilder by trade, his home being in Schleswig-Holstein. In 1848, when the people of that locality rebelled against their ruler, his father joined the rebellion and fought as a rebel all through the conflict. He was enthusiastically devoted to the principles of liberty and justice, and was a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln.
His son shared these views and refused to live under German rule. He resolved to emigrate. Having enjoyed the advantage of a good education, he became a teacher of languages and other branches in the schools of his native land. He was familiar with the English language, and consequently well equipped when, in 1870, he arrived in the United States. He came directly to the Pacific coast and in 1871 located in Pierce County, Washington, which was then a wilderness, there being only three white families in Tacoma. His first work was as a logger, after which he went into the lumber mills and became thoroughly familiar with that business.
In 1878 he removed to Port Townsend in Jefferson County, Washington, where he made his home for thirty years, taking an active part in public life. He served four years in the customs service under the administration of Benjamin Harrison; eleven terms as councilman for his home ward; held positions of trust at two sessions of the state legislature; served eight years as chief deputy and two terms as treasurer of Jefferson County, Washington. Shortly after his retirement from public life he removed to Duncan, B.C.
This was some nine years ago when he entered the employ of Cowichan Merchants Ltd. as bookkeeper and continued thus until the illness which lasted for nine months before his death. Mr. Peterson was a competent and experienced public official, a man of extensive reading and a genial entertaining companion. He became a Mason in Duncan, was deeply interested in the fraternity, and was highly esteemed in Masonic circles. He was a past master of Temple Lodge and a former officer of the Grand Lodge of B.C.
In 1875, in San Francisco, Mr. Peterson was married to Miss Dorothy Sophia Christensen, and ten children have been born to them, six sons and four daughters of whom seven survive. All of them were present at his passing, except one son, Pte. E.H. Petersen, Can. Eng. France. The other children are A.F. Peterson, Aberdeen, Wash; P.C. Peterson, Van Zandt, Wash; A.H. Peterson, Duncan; Mrs. H.L. Reid, Chimicum, Wash; Mrs. W.A. Sturrock, Victoria; Mrs. A. Hope Herd, Courtenay.
The funeral services took place on Thursday afternoon last, the Rev. A.F. Munro officiating at the house, and Temple Lodge, A.F. & A.M., conducting the rites at the graveside, St. Peter`s Quamichan. The pallbearers were Messrs. E.B. McKay, T. Van Norman, T. Pitt, W.M. Dwyer, S. Robinson and C.W. Sillence. Among the many who gathered there were three P.M.`s of the Grand Lodge of B.C., the Deputy District G.M., and several W.M.’s and P.M.’s of Victoria lodges.”
(Source: Cowichan Leader, 6 September 1917 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)
John Henry Peterson is buried in St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican Cemetery, North Cowichan.
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