Atley Peterson

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Atley Peterson (February 21, 1847 – March 29, 1909) was a Wisconsin pioneer who served as a state legislator, and state railroad commissioner.[1]


Atley P. Peterson was born near the small village of Erdal at Lærdal parish in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. He was the son of Niels Pederson and Marie Olsdatter (Helland) Pederson. He came to America with his family in 1852. The family moved to Crawford County, Wisconsin in 1854, settling in the Pine Knob area near Soldiers Grove. Mr. Peterson attended local schools and the Madison, Wisconsin Business College before going into business in Soldiers Grove at the age of 19. [2]

Business career[edit]

In 1869, Peterson established the village’s first post office in the Village of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. He later built a small building on the property to house a small store. In addition to being a sawmill and lumberyard owner, store owner, and part owner of the village’s grist mill, Peterson’s business career also included being a bank president and farmer. He was co-owner of the electric light plant, which enabled Soldiers Grove to be the first village in the Kickapoo Valley to have electric lights.[3]

Political career[edit]

His political career included a number of years as a member of the Crawford County Board. Peterson served as president or supervisor of the Village of Soldiers Grove almost continuously until his death. He held the office of postmaster for 17 years, from 1869 to 1886. In 1879 he was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly as a representative to the Wisconsin State Legislature from Bad Ax (now Vernon County) and Crawford County. He served in the Thirty-second session, 1879, Thirty-third session, 1880, Thirty-fourth session, 1881, Thirty-fifth session, 1882.[4]

In 1886, he was elected to replace Nils P. Haugen as Wisconsin Railroad Commissioner and served in this capacity from 1887 to 1891. He served as Presidential Elector for Wisconsin in 1900. Peterson ran for the office of Wisconsin State Treasurer in 1902, in an effort to succeed future Wisconsin Governor, James O. Davidson, to that position. He was served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1908.[5]


  1. ^ Political Graveyard.Com
  2. ^ "Sogn og Fjordanem, Lærdal herad". Matrikkelutkastet av 1950. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Atley Peterson". The Roth House, Soldiers Grove, WI. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ Territorial, State and Congressional Representation (History of Crawford and Richland Counties, Wisconsin. Chapter 15. Union Publishing Company - Springfield, IL – 1884) [1]
  5. ^ Atley Peterson Obituary (Soldiers Grove WI Scout. April 1, 1909)

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