Biography of John Peters
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





JOHN PETERS. - From many foreign lands people have come to make their home in California, attracted hither by the success of others as well as by the excellent climate. John Peters, one of the leading business men of Eureka, Humboldt county, where he is well known with his partner, C. W. Widnes, in the firm of Peters & Widnes, as proprietors of the Log Cabin Bakery and also the Eureka Bakery, is a native of Finland, born at Helsingfors, the capital city of that country, November 25, 1873, the son of Peter Peters, a farmer near that place, and Annie (Olsen) Peters, who still resides at the old home. Later the father became a contractor and builder in Helsingfors, an occupation in which he continued until the time of his death. Of the five children in the family, three are now living, John being the second youngest and the only one who has made his home in America. He grew up in his native city, receiving his education in the public and industrial schools there, at the age of sixteen years being apprenticed as a baker for three years under his brother Andrew, a councilman. After learning his chosen trade, John Peters traveled through Sweden, Germany and France as a journeyman for a period of eight months, also visiting London and working for a time in St. Petersburg, being an expert baker and confectioner. After returning home to Finland, he took a position with his brother as foreman, where he continued until his brother's death, at which time the business was sold. Mr. Peters then accepted the position of foreman of a large cooperative bakery in Helsingfors, where he remained until enlisting in the Finnish army at the age of twenty three years, for three years being a member of the Czar's Life Guards, after which period he was honorably discharged. Returning then to his former position, he continued there until 1899, when he went to Australia, via London, on the vessel Austrail, visiting Sydney and then Brisbane, where for six weeks he worked at railroad construction, after which he secured employment in Brisbane as a baker for six months, acting as foreman after the first month's employment. He then came to the United States, on the way spending a year as baker in Vancouver, B. C., coming thence to Seattle, Wash., where he worked at his trade, in August, 1904, arriving at San Francisco, where until the year 1907 he was foreman of the California Baking Company, the largest concern of the kind west of Chicago. For two years thereafter he made a visit to his old home in Finland, and though it was his intention to remain there, he was not satisfied with the conditions there, so returned to San Francisco to his old position as foreman of the California Baking Company. After looking for a suitable location in Washington and Oregon, without success, Mr. Peters in 1911 came to Eureka, Cal., where he started the Cooperative Bakery, meeting with much success in his venture, but on account of his wife's health sold the business and removed to Los Angeles, his wife's death occurring in Monrovia a short time later. Mr. Peters then went to Berkeley, Cal., where he secured employment in the Golden Sheaf Bakery, later starting a bakery in Marshfield, Ore., which he ran for a year, selling it at a profit. Following this he returned to Eureka, where he was employed by the Mulford Log Cabin Bakery. Three months later he bought out that establishment, on February 15, 1915, and has continued it with success since that time. In April of the same year he became associated with C. W. Widnes of the Eureka Bakery, on Fifth street between E and F streets, each purchasing a half interest in the business of the other, and the two are now conducting the largest bakery north of San Francisco. They have made the Log Cabin Bakery at No. 621 Fifth street the manufacturing plant, this being equipped with the latest machinery, on the first floor, which is large and sunny. Mr. Peters' affairs go on like clockwork, large shipments of bakery goods being made to the neighboring towns each day, with an average of one thousand loaves of bread a day, besides which he has a large line of confectionery, Mr. Peters being the manager of the bread department, and Mr. Widnes of the cake department.

The marriage of Mr. Peters took place in San Francisco, his wife having been Lena Maria Ostermark, who was born in Gamle, Garleby, Finland, and died in Monrovia, Cal. They were the parents of one son, John Peters, Jr. In his religious associations Mr. Peters is connected with the Lutheran Church.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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