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Old Petersburg Cemetery - Petersburg, Monroe Co., Michigan
Please do not "lift" or copy photos. If related ... please email to request copies.
Photos taken & contributed by Pat Belanger & Steve Shaffer All Rights Reserved.

Richard Peters' monument in Wing Cemetery
The above photos of the Peters monument, including the inscriptions of Richard, "Polly" and their children: Mary, Richard and Susan, was contributed by Pat Belanger to the Peters website in 2001. The colored photos (shown below) of the same monument were taken 20 Dec 2011 and contributed by Steve Shaffer.
Richard Peters (1797-1862) and Polly (Wilcox)
The son of Richard Peters and Susannah (Halstead) Richard was born on 13 Mar 1797 in Stamford, Delaware, NY. He was married to Mary "Polly" (Wilcox) on 26 Jan 1820, she having been born in 1798 in New York, her parentage is still unknown. He left New York and came to Monroe County Michigan in about 1820 where he then purchased from the US Government about 600 acres of land which he partially cleared and then built a crude cabin before returning to gather up his family.

In March of 1826, Richard's wife gave birth to a son, Charles, whose birth was attended by an Indian squaw, most likely a relation to Sub-Chief Jarco who was a near neighbor of theirs. Because Richard was in such good standing with the Indians, he was dubbed by them "White Chief Peters," and often traded with them - supplying the Peters with fresh meat and generous supplies of maple syrup and in turn, Polly often sent large loaves of baked bread to Jarco.

Richard's wife Polly died on the 26th of January 1831 at the age of 36. In 1834 he deeded some of his property to the railroad investors who platted a village of 41 blocks and named it Petersburg after him and was the first postmaster of the village of Petersburg.

In 1837 Richard married (2) Orissa (Baker) in Plymouth, Wayne Co., Michigan, she having been born about 1810 in New York. Both were counted in the 1850 and 1860 census for Monroe Co., MI living in the township of Summerfield. Richard died 05 Mar 1862 in Petersburg, and after his death, Orissa sold the family farm and departed the community with her only child, Emeline Peters.

The children of Richard and Polly, whose names are inscribed on the opposite side of the obselik, are: Mary "Polly" Peters, who according to her age at death (16 years, 11 mos, 14 days), was born on or about 15 Feb 1832 and died 29 Jan 1849; Richard, who according to his age at death (10 years, 2 mos, 17 days) was born on or about 19 Dec 1829 (headstone states 1830), and died on 07 Mar 1840; and daughter Susan, who according to her age at death (1 year, 1 mo), was born on or about 17 Feb 1828 and died on 17 Mar 1829.

Their surviving children, all whom were older, were: George, who married Mary J. Holmes; Frances, the wife of William Russell; John, who married Ellen Burnham and was also interred at the Old Petersburg Cemetery; and Charles, who married Ellen's sister, Julia Burnham.

John Peters (1823-1920)
The son of Richard Peters and Polly (Wilcox), John was born in Harpersfield, Delaware Co., New York on 16 Dec 1823. He came to Petersburg with his parents when he was an infant. In 1850, he appears to be listed in the household of Benjamin and Mary Hedger, just a couple doors down from his brother George in Summerfield Twp. In 1852 he took the gold fever and went to California where he was a miner and speculator for ten years before returning to Petersburg. He married Ellen (Burnham) on 08 Mar 1864 and had three daughters, the two eldest listed in his 1870 household. His wife died in 1876, and in 1880 John is listed with his daughters as a widowed farmer in Petersburg. In 1900 John and two of his daughters moved to Toledo, Ohio where they attended Oberlin College, and where John was a Lumber Dealer. In 1910 and 1920 John was living in the household of his daughter Ellen "Nellie" Buck, who was then widowed. John died at the age of ninety-six years, nine months and sixteen days in Toledo on 02 Oct 1920 and was laid to rest on the 5th at the Old Petersburg Cemetery.

Ellen Burnham, who married John Peters, was born in Summerfield Twp., Monroe Co., Michigan. She was the daughter of Calvin Burnham and Mary Ann (Bruce), and prior to her marriage to John, was enumerated with her parents in the 1850 and 1860 census. She died of Consumption on 06 Aug 1876 in Petersburg - she was the mother of three daughters including Frances who was born in 1865 and died of 05 Jul 1882 (inscribed on the left side of the marker); Mary Adelaide born in 1866 and the wife of George Day Fairfield; and daughter Ellen Louise, born in 1875 and wife of Nelson Albert Buck.

Note: Monroe County, Michigan death lists Francis as a male, age 17 years, 6 months at the time of death.

Index of Peters related burials at Old Petersburg Cemetery
Descendants of Richard Peters & Jerusha (Sutton)
Burnham Family of Montague, Massachusetts


Updated 29 Apr 2013
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