Copyright 2013 American Legion Post 333
American Legion Post 333 is named for Elmer C. Peterson.
Elmer was born on February 17, 1898 in DeForest, WI but grew up in the Town of Bristol. He was the son of John and Olena (Anderson) Peterson who were both born in Norway and came to the States around 1886. Elmer’s oldest brother, Peter, was also born in Norway but the other eight children of John and Olena were born in Wisconsin. According to the 1905 Wisconsin census, Elmer’s dad was a tobacco grower and rented a farm near the Old Lake. The Peterson family moved to Madison before Elmer’s death and resided at 2118 Fair Oaks Avenue.
Elmer enlisted in the army at Columbus barracks, Ohio, on July 9, 1917 and served overseas from September 7, 1917 until his death in 1918. He was in the 23rd Infantry, Company H. Elmer’s brother, John, was also in Company H of the 23rd Infantry, and another brother, Nels, served in World War I but in a different unit.
Elmer Peterson died on September 13, 1918 at Thiaucourt, France, of wounds received on the beginning day of the Battle of Saint-Mihiel. General John Pershing, who commanded the American Forces in the Great War wrote in his diary: “Friday, September 13, 1918. The First Army attacked yesterday and the reduction of Saint-Mihiel salient is complete. Our troops behaved splendidly.” Elmer Peterson was one of those troops and it is for his sacrifice that American Legion Post 333 is named.
Elmer Peterson was originally buried in France. His body was brought back after the war and Elmer Peterson was buried in lot 96 of Blooming Grove Cemetery on Pflaum Road in the Town of Blooming Grove, which is now in the city of Madison.