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Holladay Journal

The pioneer-era Peterson home remains on Walker Lane to this day

Aug 30, 2021 01:30PM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris

Carl and Mathilda Peterson in front of their home with their son, Leonard. (Photo from “Cottonwood Early Days”)

By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]

In 1885, the steamship, “Wisconsin” sailed from Sweden to America. While travelers Petter, Christina and Carl Gustave knew that they were moving to Utah, they did not then know they would live in Holladay, let alone on Walker Lane.

Like most immigrants in Holladay, the Petersons had converted to “Mormonism,” which prompted their journey to Utah.

During their voyage to the United States, Carl (age 21) met Mathilda Ekengren also from Sweden. Ekengren was greeted by an uncle from Grantsville, whom she never met before.

On her way to Grantsville, she received so many gnat and mosquito bites, she looked like she had the measles.

In the Holladay history book, “Cottonwood Early Days,” it states, “Mathilda had to sit on her trunk, perched on top of the sacks in the back of the wagon. She held on tightly for fear of falling off.”

Ekengren moved back to Salt Lake after learning English and worked for a Mrs. Boyd to pay her $65 immigration fee.

Ekengren and Carl Peterson met again. Friendship grew, and they were married on May 15, 1887.

Carl Peterson’s father, Petter, purchased a small farm of about five and a half acres on Walker Lane in 1888 for $600.

Carl and Mathilda moved to the farm to live with Carl’s parents and help them operate the farm.  They first lived in a log cabin, which was so cold in the winter. “On cold mornings any water that had been left in containers in the cabin was solidly frozen.”  

Carl and Mathilda’s home eventually merged with the original home of Petter Peterson and is still standing at 2152 Walker Lane.

Carl was a successful farmer raising and creating a variety of products.

From “Cottonwood Early Days” it states, “They would make an all-day trip to Salt Lake to sell butter and other products as necessary. The Petersons had a smokehouse where ham was cured by burning corn cobs which smoked and cured the meat hanging above.” 

Carl and Mathilda had five children: Oscar, Albert, William, Amy and Leonard. For a while, Oscar operated an auto shop at 4800 South and Highland Drive.

As a young girl, Amy assisted the prominent Walker family by picking flowers whenever they had dinner parties. She recalled picking armfuls of sweet peas for the occasions. Later, she became a cook for Charles Walker and married Clarence Faulkner, who was the Walkers’ chauffeur. They married in 1922, and in 1930 built a brick home on part of the original Petersons’ farm.

The Faulkners had two daughters, Mary and Doris who both attended Oakwood Elementary School. After graduation from the University of Utah, Mary taught third grade at the very elementary school she attended.

Doris worked for a few companies as a secretary then later for the City of Holladay where she provided pictures of the Holladay area for the walls of City Hall.

Two historical books were referenced for this article: “Cottonwood Early Days” compiled and researched by Mary E. Faulkner, Assistant Researcher Fern H. Wingo, and edited by Doris F. Salmon. The second historical book is “Mt. Olympus and Holladay” compiled by Alice M. Olsen and R.L. Olsen.