Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Widely and favorably known among the agriculturists of Santa Cruz county is the enterprising firm of Petersen & Porter, of Watsonville, who are looked to for progressive methods in farming and economic methods in distribution. J. N. Petersen, the senior member of this firm, was born in Denmark, May 11, 1873, the son of George and Christina Petersen, farming people who were esteemed in their native land for their up-to-date ways and their advanced ideas. The father is deceased but the mother is still living.

J. N. Petersen had the usual excellent grammar school advantages afforded the Danish boy, and quite early he went to work upon a farm. At the age of nineteen years he said goodbye to the scenes long so familiar, and crossed the ocean to the United States, being fortunate in coming direct to Watsonville, where he put in one year in railroad work.

Mr. Petersen then rented different places until 1910, when he took charge of his present place, a ranch of four hundred acres, known as Valley Rancho, which he operated for six years. In 1916, he and John E. Porter became partners, and they now carry on general farming and stock-grazing together on three thousand acres and they have been fairly successful. Mr. Porter is the grandson of the late John Thomas Porter, whose memory as a worth-while pioneer is today honored by thousands, and the ranches now operated by Petersen & Porter are owned by the John T. Porter Company and lie in Monterey and San Benito counties.

In national politics, Mr. Petersen is a republican. He married Miss Christina Jessing, also a native of Denmark, and they have three children: Alice, Emma and Edna.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.