Larson and Peterson Families

lindsborg-family-well-represented

 

The Larson Brothers

cpls-willard

Brothers Homer and Willard Larson were both fortunate enough to be able to stay by each other’s sides for a majority of their time in war. The brothers are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Pete Larson of Lindsborg.[1] Photos of Homer can be found in the 1917 edition of The Daisy, Bethany College’s annual yearbook at the time. Homer was a junior at Bethany during the ‘16-’17 school year, and was a member of the football team as pictured below.[2]

"The Daisy" 1917
[4]
Jr. '17 from "The Daisy"
Jr. ’17 [3]
 

Of the few letters found in the Lindsborg Record from the brothers themselves, it is evident that both of the brothers were keeping eyes on each other for their safety and support. A letter to home from Homer was placed in the Lindsborg Record in the November 8, 1918 edition. Within the letter dated for October 8th, Sgt. Homer Larson speaks highly of the actions of one of their previous battles. While it is told that Willard himself was slightly injured during this battle, it can be deduced that the outcome of this confrontation left a hopeful and positive impression on most all of the boys.[5]

Two letters were received from Sgt. Willard Larson himself regarding his wound. From the first letter, dated October 10th, 1918, Willard tells that he is currently located in a base hospital in Bordeaux, France, and is recovering well. The second letter goes into a little more detail on just what the wound was. Willard mentions the recovery of his jaw as well as his cheek. Willard also mentions the hospital’s dental surgeon, so it can possibly be assumed that Willard suffered a bullet to the cheek/jaw. His stay there will be approximately three months and puts him quite safely out of the war to its end.[6]

Homer Larson Letter
Homer Larson Letter[7]
Willard Larson Wounded
[8]
w-larson-letters
[9]
 

 

 

 

 

 

The Peterson Twins

Ralph and Clarence Peterson were also part of this family war affair. These twins both attended Bethany College as well and held multiple roles on campus. They both graduated in 1915. Ralph was on both the basketball and baseball teams, was the senior class secretary, and competed on the debate team as well. Clarence was the Senior class president and was a captain on both the baseball and Basketball teams. After schooling, it is known that both boys went on to be successful high school  teachers, both about a thousand miles apart from each other, however. They continued to hold leadership roles as Ralph became a Corporal and Clarence became a first Lieutenant in the armed forces.

Clarence and Ralph Peterson Article
Clarence and Ralph
Peterson Article [11]
When the war came around, it seems these twins could not be separated even by 1,000 miles. They received consecutive draft numbers, even with them being so far apart. In August 1917, they both left for the service. In December, Clarence sailed to France on a converted German liner, and three months later, Ralph sailed on the same ship headed to Scotland. Then, some time later, when Americans were scattered all over France, it just so happened that the Peterson twins were brought to adjoining villages just a few miles apart, even with them both being in different branches of the service. They were reunited, and got the chance to talk for about three days while in France.[10]


 

[1] The Lindsborg Record. 1918. “Willard Larson Wounded.” November 8: 1.

[2] 1917. The Daisy.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] The Lindsborg Record. 1918. “Willard Larson Wounded.” November 8: 1.

[6] Ibid.

[7] The Lindsborg Record. 1918. November 8: 4.

[8] The Lindsborg Record. 1918. “Willard Larson Wounded.” November 8: 1.

[9] Ibid.

[10]The Lindsborg Record. 1918. “Clarence and Ralph Peterson and Their Part in the World War.” November 1: 1.

[11] Ibid.