Biography of William Petheram
Winona County, MN Biographies

WILLIAM PETHERAM, farmer, is one of the pioneer settlers of Winona county, having taken a claim in the Gilmore valley, near Winona, in July, 1853. He was born at Chapel Allerton, Somersetshire, England. June 25, 1822. He attended the rate school of his parish till sixteen years old, and was then employed as a laborer. In 1848 he came to America and spent one year in Canada at carpenter work; he then removed to Burlington, Wisconsin, where he was employed at building operations in that then-growing town, assisting in the building of two mills on Fox river there. In the spring of 1851 he went to Dubuque, Iowa, where he was still employed as a carpenter. He was married there April 16, 1853, to Miss Emily Day, who was born in Ware, Somersetshire, May 22, 1834. He came to Winona, as above noted, and lived the first year within the city, then a very small hamlet of six or eight buildings, where he labored at his trade. After spending a year on his first claim, where the Gilmore valley brickyard is now located, he came to St. Charles in December, 1855, buying 160 acres of land on Sec. 22. He now has 187 acres, of which all but thirty have been broken; also has a quarter section at Wentworth, Dakota. Mr. Petheram is a democrat, and somewhat skeptical in religious matters. Six children are included in his flock, the eldest being the third child born in Winona. Their births date as herewith noted: John E., September 3, 1854, married Hattie J. Talbot and lives at Westport, D. T.; Elizabeth T., January 12, 1856, married Duane Wilmarth and resides at Wentworth, Dakota; Louisa J., August 15, 1859; Arthur C., March 6, 1861, now living at Wentworth; William W., March 4, 1865; Frank M., March 2, 1871. Mr. Petheram saw many of the hardships common to pioneer life. He came here with little capital and depended on his labor for a livelihood. During the first winter his potatoes were frozen, and the family were compelled to eat them or go without. In the winter of 1856-7 he spent four days and incurred an expense of nearly ten dollars in going to mill at Preston, twenty-five miles distant; his grist of twenty-five bushels was scarcely worth the expenses of the trip at the market rates of that time.

The History of Winona County
Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc.
BY: A. T. Andreas
H. H. Hill and Company, Publishers
Chicago 1883.


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