Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918
JAMES D. PETERS is a successful member of the Parsons bar. Business and clients came to him generously when he established himself in private practice. Anyone familiar with the facts of his life will say that Mr. Peters' prosperity has been well earned. From early boyhood he gained his education and made his own way in the world, and in climbing upward to success has helped others along the way.
He was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, June 5, 1867. His father John Peters, who was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1811 and died in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1882, was of a very long lived family. He himself attained the age of seventy-one, and yet was an exception to the normal lifetime of his brothers and sisters. He had four brothers and three sisters and every one of them lived to be more than a century. Mollie was 112 years old in 1909. She spent her life in Ireland.
In 1835 John Peters came to America, and followed the trade of butcher which he had learned in the old country. He first located in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, and in 1864 moved to Westmoreland County. For a number of years he handled overland mail contracts. He was a republican and a member of the Covenanters Church. John Peters married Rachel Steele, who was born in County Londonderry, Ireland, in 1839. A short time before she was born her family moved from Scotland to Ireland. She died in Parsons, Kansas, in 1903. She had been brought to America by her mother in 1849 and lived in Philadelphia until her marriage.
James D. Peters is the only child of his parents. His only education as a boy from schools was obtained during three winters when he attended school in Westmoreland County. Aside from that he has educated himself by laborious study and hard thinking. When eleven years of age he went out to work on farms in Pennsylvania and followed that occupation in his native state until 1890. In that year his mother moved to Philadelphia, and there he was employed at the carpenter's trade. Mr. Peters and his mother came to Parsons, Kansas, in 1893, and for the next three years he was in the special agency department of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company.
In 1896, when nearly thirty years of age, Mr. Peters found opportunity to begin the preparation for the career on which he had long set his heart. In that year he entered the law offices of M. Byrne, and was engaged in the study of the various authorities until 1899. In that year he qualified and was admitted to the bar, and since then has conducted a general civil and criminal practice with offices in the Karr Block at Parsons.
Mr. Peters is a republican, a member of the Presbyterian Church and belongs to Parsons Lodge No. 561, Loyal Order of Moose, and to the Fraternal Mystic Circle. His home is at 1600 Gabriel Avenue. In July, 1898, at Parsons he married Miss Minnie Davis, daughter of J. B. and Willie A. (Burdett) Davis. Her parents live at Parsons, where her father is in the stock department of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway. Mr. and Mrs. Peters have four children. John W. is still at home and learning the tinner's trade. William is in the sophomore class of the high school. Florine attends the First Ward School in Parsons as does also the youngest daughter, Gertrude.
Transcribed from volume 4, pages 2069-2070 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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