Lawrence Peterson

I am Lawrence Peterson, son of Malcolm and Helen Peterson.  I was born on the Robinson Farm, close to the Stacy Cemetery in 1929.  We moved off that farm in 1934, I was 5 years old. That farm was owned by Katie Robinson, my Mother’s aunt.  The farm had 360 acres, lots of oak woods.  The folks could have bought it for $800.  Time were tough!

 Pa had a sow that had little pigs. He put a sign up in the creamery.  “Little Pigs for sale.”  First $1.00 a pig, then 50 cents a pig, then free.  He couldn’t sell them and he had no feed, so the only thing he could do was dispose of them.

 We moved to the August Linquist farm north of Stacy, next to Axel and Rieger Olson. Axel and August were brothers, but there were so many August Olsons around that he changed his name to Lindquist.  Rieger Olson was a young man back then and he met his bride, Gladys, who was working as a domestic locally.

 Axel and Rieger needed some horses, so Gladys and Rieger took the farm truck and went to Montana to visit her folks, and bought two horses. They brought them home and broke them to drive.

 Well the winters back then were real winters, we’d be snowed in for a week or 10 days at a time, and then neighbors would get together and go to town with the cream from the cows.  They took the new Montana horses and sled and went to Stacy.  Well, the train came into town about 10a.m. every day, the mail train, the men were at the mill or creamery, I don’t know which, and the train began to leave, a big old steam engine.  It tooted its whistle and black smoke came out, and all the noise.  Well, those Montana horses had never ever seen anything like that, they ran away with the big sleigh and tore up their harnesses real bad, it took along time to stop them.

 Us kids had to walk a mile to school out to where Gene Olson lives now, that little school house on Hwy 61.  We walked through the deep snow and no teacher.  She lived in Lindstrom and couldn’t get there.  Another time we walked to school and there were cars and trucks and even a Greyhound bus stuck right on Hwy 61.  No school again. We had no phone or radio.  Back then we just did what they do in Sweden when it snows, we just let it snow!

 I can remember when we had a big blizzard and the roads were blocked for about a  week.  Then, here came a CAT bulldozer with a V-plow and a wing plow.  Most of the time all we could see was the smoke from the exhaust and the snow moving, the tractor wasn’t visible.

 My grandfather, James Moore Senior, told us about a fellow who stole horses somewhere around Stacy.  They got a group of men together and chased him to Wyoming. Wyoming must have had a sawmill because they had many stack of lumber in town, with alleys between the stacks.  They chased him into the big lumber yard and caught him.  Grandpa said they hung him.

 Hwy 61 was just a trail in the early days, the stage coach used to go on it.  At the Robinson place there was a long log barn behind the big barn that is still there.  Well this was the relay station for the stage coach.  They changed horses there.  It also was a place where they stopped for the night for the cattle drives they used to make to New Brighton.

 There’s an old log cabin on Second St. in Stacy.  It’s the oldest building in town.  It’s up near the old railroad bed, maybe 6 or 7 houses east.  Well, my Great Grandparents lived in that log house on Moody Millers place north of Stacy. That would be Jesse Moore, Jim Moore’s father.  The disassembled it and rebuilt in Stacy.

 My Grandpa Moore I believe came from Pennsylvania.  My Grandma Susan Greene Moore could trace her ancestors back to Massachusetts and Plymouth Rock.

 My Grandpa Peterson came from Sweden in the 1850s or 1860s.  He settled in Kost, MN.

 My Grandma Peterson came all the way from Sweden alone at the age of 12 years.  Her brothers August and Charlie Olson sent for her and I believe they picked her up in Center City or Taylors Falls.

 Also, my Grandpa Moore told us that his father owned a farm in what is now Downtown St. Paul.

 Here is a fish story for you, true or not, you be the judge.

 Dick Nelson told me this when I was a teenager.  He homesteaded on Linwood Lake or maybe one of those other little lakes out in Linwood.  He and his neighbor decided to go fishing, ice fishing, on a very cold day.  They took a team of horses and sleigh and went to the lake.  They left the horses in the woods for a little protection from the cold.  With some hay to eat.  They went out and chopped holes with an axe, the ice was really thick too.  They were catching northern pike.  He said they were about 4 feet long. When they went home, they had so many fish that they had to use some of the fish as stakes to keep the fish in the sleigh!