Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 66] pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Mahoningtown, and known and respected over the county as one of the best of citizens and as an able and consistent teacher of the Gospel, was born Moon township, Allegheny Co., Pa., March 6, 1858. Of the four children, who once composed the parental family, but two survive—William T., a contractor of Sewickley, Pa., and Mr. Peters, the subject of this sketch. Dr. John Thayer Peters, our subject's father, who was a son of Ezra Thayer Peters, a farmer, who lived to be seventy-three years old, was born in Cuba, Allegany Co., N. Y., where he attended common school, and later graduated from the Willoughby Medical College of Northern Ohio. He began his practice in Moon township, and in 1858 moved to Port Perry, where, he died at early age of typhoid fever; the attack was not very serious and he would have recovered there is every reason to believe had not the attending physician, who was a confirmed victim of the drink habit, gone off on one of his periodical sprees, just when his patient needed his attention the most in the very crisis of the disease. Dr. Peters' wife was a Miss Sarah Cooper, a daughter of William and Esther (Hood nee Byers) Cooper; William Cooper was a native of Ireland, and came to America with his parents at the age of eight years, and lived to be ninety-four years old. On the death of her husband, the mother of our subject with her four small children moved to her father's homestead in Moon township, where she resided three years until 1863, when she married William Grimes, a teamster of Sewickley, and went with her children to live with him in that town.

In Sewickley, our subject lived until his eighteenth year, attending the common schools, and then took up the vocation of a teacher, presiding over country schools in the winter, and during the rest of the year fitting himself for a teacher, and eventually for the ministry, by following out courses of study in academies and seminaries, attending at various times the Western University of Pittsburg, the McKeesport Normal School, the McKeesport Academy, and taught during several years in Elizabeth township at Thorn Hill, Reynoldston, Franklin and Leet township. After a term in the Normal School at Sewickley, he taught three winters in Leet township, and in 1881 attended Mt. Union College at Alliance, Ohio.

In 1879, Mr. Peters was licensed as a local preacher of the M. E. Church, and occasionally filled pulpits; in the spring of 1882, in answer to a call he went to Volante to fill out the year of Rev. Crum, who had died there. At the succeeding conference in the fall, he was admitted on trial to the Erie Annual Conference, and was assigned to the Greenwood charge, which embraced the churches at Greenwood, Croton and Savannah, and over this circuit he presided for two years. For the three following years he was placed in charge of the Petersburg charge, and in this connection he held services in three different conferences and two States. Then followed two years at Salem and three years at Volante, and in the fall of 1892 he was assigned to the charge of Mahoningtown; when the present conference closes, he will have served the full limit of the church regulations, viz.: five years. At the conference held in 1897 at Oil City he was assigned to Brocton, N. Y.

Mr. Peters is decidedly a builder and organizer. Before going to Salem, while on the Petersburg charge, he built a church at Enon Valley. During his term at Salem, it was through his well-directed efforts that a parsonage was built, and the same thing was true at Volante during his ministry there. Since coming to Mahoningtown, he has been instrumental in rebuilding the church, and in moving the parsonage to its present location, adjoining the church. The church edifice has been remodeled and improved, so that it would now be a credit to congregations in much larger places than Mahoningtown; the old building was moved to the rear, veneered with brick, and a large auditorium built in front; the old portion of the church was replastered and repaired throughout to keep it in harmony with the addition, and now the whole church edifice is thoroughly modern in all its appointments.

On Oct. 19, 1882, were solemnized the marriage ceremonies that united Mr. Peters and Miss Lizzie Anderson, daughter of John Anderson, one of those hardy '49ers who made the perilous trip across the western plains and mountains, undaunted by the perils of wilderness and lurking savage. John Anderson married Rose Hinton on his return. Three children now constitute the household of Mr. Peters and his wife: Edith May; Julia Etta; and Frank Thayer. Mr. Peters is an earnest supporter of the Prohibition party.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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