LTC Frederick Peterson

LTC Frederick Peterson

Berlin-Mitte, Mitte, Berlin, Germany
Death 7 Jan 1970 (aged 91)
Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, USA
Burial Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Memorial ID 37166726 · View Source
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The Palo Alto Times, Palo Alto, CA, Jan. 9, 1970
Frederick Peterson, the stormy political figure in San Mateo county politics for decades and the county's first elected county executive, died Wednesday in Palo Alto at the age of 91.
He had lived at 309 Gilbert Ave, Menlo Park.
He was a native of Berlin, Germany, and began his long career of political and civic jousts in 1919 when he first took a seat on the Burlingame city Council.
He became, among many other things,the prime mover in the organization of the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce and the Burlingame chapter of the American Legion, serving as chief officer in each.
In 1929 he was elected to the state Assembly and served until 1936.
So impressed was Gov. Frank Merriam with Peterson's frugal attitude in financing that he named him chairman of the World's Fair Commission in 1939.
Peterson, a Republican, sought the nominations of both the GOP and Democratic parties.
He inaugurated the move to re-establish San Mateo county Supervisorial districts to equalize representation on the basis of population.
He consistently voted for all relief measures, bore down on building and loan irregularities; and introduced measures to prevent judges from taking cases from the hands of juries for instructed verdicts.
Because of his controversies with the board of supervisors, the board refused to appoint him as county executive,so he led a successful movement in 1938 to have the county executive elected -- and he was the candidate who won.
From that time until 1948, Peterson kept getting reelected as county executive. In 1948, however, the county's voters amended the county charter to make the executive's job elective and changed the title to county manager. He unsuccessfully ran for supervisor in 1950.
Peterson's job as executive ended when his term expired in 1951.
Immediately after that, Peterson unsuccessfully applied for the recently-created post of county executive in neighboring santa clara County.
Peterson's fiscal policies led him ino open disputes with man San Mateo civic and governmental agencies. His tilts with the Board of Supervisors over its contribution to a rodeo in the late 1940's, the supervision of juvenile hall and housing of county tuberculosis patients were among many that filled columns in local newspapers.
He was the father of the origianl San Mateo County Charter, a life member of the Burlingame Masonic Lodge No. 400 F&AM, and a lieutenant colonel in the Army reserves, having served as a captain in the army during World War 1.
Survivors include his wife, Gladys, and a daughter, Helen Carol Peterson, both of Menlo Park.

The California Legislature, 1970 Regular Session
Senate Resolution Relative to the passing of Frederick Peterson****The following Resolution was offered by Senator Richard J. Bolwig of the Twelfth Senatorial District

WHEREAS, It is with deep sorrow that the Members receive the news of the passing of Colonel frederick Peterson, a Member of the Assembly from 1932 to 1936; and
WHEREAS, Colonel Frederick Peterson was one of the leading citizens and most dedicated and courageous political figures of San mateo county during the decades of 1930's and 1940's; and
WHEREAS, Before his entry into politics he was engaged in the business of florist, and was a member of the Burlingame florist firm of Peterson and Hayward; and
WHEREAS, He served in the Army Quartermaster corps in World War 1, as captain, and thereafter in the Army Reserve as Lieutenant Colonel; and
WHEREAS, He organized the Burlingame American Legion Post; organized and was first president of the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce; a lifetime member of the Burlingame Masonic Lodge; successfully campaigned for the Burlingame City Council in 1928; and
WHEREAS,In 1932 he successfull campaigned for the 29th California Assembly district seat, and was reelected in 1934, during which term he headed the legislative team that investigated the affairs of the old Pacific States Savings and Loan Corporation; and
WHEREAS, In 1936 , he showed his strength, courate, and perseverence and successfully engineered changes in the original San mateo County Charter, most important of which was making the post of the County Executive elective; and
WHEREAS, In 1938 he successfully campaigned for the new elective post of san mateo County Executive, which he held until 1950; and
WHEREAS, He returned to private life in 1950, sharing these past years with his wife, Gladys, and his daughter, Helen Carol Peterson; and
WHEREAS, Though Colonel Frederick Peterson has passed away, his courage and unyielding drive memorialize the gentleman he was; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the senate of the State of California, That the Members exprss their deepest sorrow for the passing of Colonel frederick peterson, one of the stalwarts of the American Ideal; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit suitably prepared copies of this resolution to Mrs. Frederick Peterson and Helen Carol Peterson.
In Senate
Tuesday, Marcy 3, 1970
Resolution read, and unanimously adopted by a rising vote of the Senate.
Signed: Ed Reinecke, President of the Senate
Attent: Darryl R. White, Secretary of the Senate.

Family Members




  • Created by: helenpatricia
  • Added: 16 May 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 37166726
  • helenpatricia
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LTC Frederick Peterson (15 Oct 1878–7 Jan 1970), Find a Grave Memorial no. 37166726, citing Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by helenpatricia (contributor 46573481) .