The following appeared on page 3 of the March 4, 1938 issue of the Batavia Herald;
A quarter of a century makes a big difference in a town. In the jump from 1913 to our present 1938…we have seen a great many changes in our community. Oiled streets have been replaced by modern concrete driveways, hitching posts and water fountains for horses have disappeared from our streets, and the “old livery barn” has found its place in history and the history of an era that is gone.
Four years after last week’s picture was taken more than 300 men…most of them young men…went out of Batavia to serve in the world’s greatest war, eight of them failed to return.
John Peterson’s livery is no longer “home” for some twenty horses, the pride of Mr. Peterson, himself an ardent admirer of “horseflesh”. There are many yet in Batavia, however, who will recall the horse Prince, who was pictured in the Herald, and some even who will remember the fine collie, Sport, also pictured last week.
Mr. Peterson, himself, held the horses reins, and bit the end of his cigar as he posed for the photographer. With him in front of his livery were his nephew Knute Swanson, for many years a resident of Chicago; Richard I. Hendrickson, then a young handyman around the Peterson place; Charles Danfort, holding another horse named Birdie; the late John Anderson, for many years superintendent of streets for the city of Batavia; Harry Hahn, then an employee of the Alexander Lumber Company, and still active in the business life of the community. On the one seater cart ready to take the “dust” of Wilson Street was seated Julius Carlson, a veteran Batavian who passed away about a year ago.
John Peterson, one of the oldest businessmen in Batavia, conducted a livery for many years, later engaging in a general trucking business. While retiring from business quite a few years ago, Mr. Peterson is still quite a man about town, and despite declining health which has taken him to hospitals for treatment, he takes an active interest in what is doing downtown.”
Batavia Illinois is a suburb about 40 miles west of Chicago. My Swedish Tolfs immigrated there in the 1870s. Amanda, the youngest daughter of Charles and Helena Tolf, married John Peterson 21 November 1900.
John Peterson died one week after the article above appeared in the Batavia Herald; his wife Amanda died 04 May 1940.