Bob Roberts and/or Frank Peterson
Posted by Gayle Nyberg (+10) 8 years ago
While searching for a Frank Peterson in Minnesota, I came across this article in the 1/21/1885 issue of the Freeborn County Standard (Albert Lea, MN) Page 2.

"Bob Sullivan, who shot Bob Roberts at Miles City, is, it is reported, Frank Peterson, formerly of Litchfield, and brother of Emma Jewett, the long distance rider. Roberts also lived in Meeker county some years ago."

There are MANY accounts of this incident that took place on 12/24/1884 in Miles city, MT in newspapers in various states.

I contacted the person researching Emma Jewett and he told me she was adopted and her name was Emma Peterson Jewett.

I find this article very confusing. Does it say the Frank Peterson was Bob (aka Maurice) Sullivan or was he Bob Roberts?

I think I figured out what happened to Bob Sullivan, but all I can find out about Bob Roberts is that he did survive being shot and that "for a good many years worked on the range near Miles City. He dropped dead one day about 15 years after the shooting, while getting down from the seat of a freight wagon in front of the W.E. Harris ranch on Pumpkin Creek."

My grandmother, Josephine (Peterson) Browns death certificate lists Frank Peterson as her father. This is the only place that his name shows up in all of my research. Josephine was born in Minnesota in 1885 and her mother was Anna Peterson.
I am trying to figure out if this Frank Peterson is my grandfather.
Does anyone have any ideas or information about Bob Roberts or Frank Peterson?
Thanks
Gayle Nyberg
Minneapolis, MN
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by Gayle Nyberg (6/8/2013)]
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Posted by Jack McRae (+359) 8 years ago
That is an awkward sentence from the Freeborn Standard. From what I know about Maurice Sullivan, he was born in Augusta, Georgia, and his parents were John and Ellen (Welch) Sullivan. He later was sheriff of Fergus County (Lewistown), Montana, and died in Cripple Creek, Colorado in 1896.

What is the source of your information, in quotes, on the death of Bob Roberts? I am interested in the fracas between Sullivan and Robers.
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Posted by Gayle Nyberg (+10) 8 years ago
I found a very extensive account of this incident, that happened in 1884, in The Billings Gazette second edition (at Ancestry.com) on 12/24/1939 (Image 25 & 30).
At the end of the article it states how Bob Roberts died.
I am headed to Albert Lea, Freeborn County, MN next week hoping they might shed some light on this. I am anxious to find any information about this bizarre incident.
Gayle Nyberg
Minneapolis, MN
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+584) 8 years ago
I looked a bit.
This is the event that led to Dr Carlin & young child being killed which has previously been written about here.

Two women at a Christmas eve dance (2 AM) had some sort of altercation. Roberts & Sullivan involved themselves. Sullivan shot Roberts and left town. He hid out at the ranch house where Dr Carlin had taken his family because Mrs Carlin was due to have a baby soon. The posse came after Sullivan and ensuing gunfire killed the Dr and young child. There were conflicting reports on what happened. Coroner's inquest said unknown who had fired bullets that killed them but it might have been Sullivan. Mrs Carlin maintained it was sheriff's posse.
Sullivan was tried but acquitted. I believe that was for attempted murder of Roberts. Dr. Burleigh defended him and trial was held due to change of venue in Billings.

I would like to see the wording of the confusing article. Morris Sullivan definitely was his name. He was from Georgia and was mentioned in obit there. Bob Roberts was "not to be confused with Bob Roberts long time resident" a cowboy that was bit "reckless but good chap". ,
The Jewett woman is very interesting. She was long distance horse race rider.

Do you have any info on Anna Peterson, such as when she died? She immigrated in 1882. I found her in 1900 census as widow & Josephine as her only child born was with her there, and then Josephine married to Edward E Brown with children in 1910&1920 Minneapolis censuses. Josephine died in 1924.
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Posted by Gayle Nyberg (+10) 8 years ago
Reading the newspaper account it sounds like Bob Roberts is really Frank Peterson.
On the 1885 Minnesota state census for Albert Lea, Freeborn County, I find Anna Peterson. She is listed as being 19 yrs old being born in Denmark, and living with another family. Anna Peterson gave birth to my grandmother, Josephine Georgiana Peterson on May 14, 1885. (Two weeks after the census was taken)
In all future census records Anna states that she is a widow, born in 1865 in Denmark and came to America in 1883.
Josephine's death record states that Josephine's father was Frank Peterson (from Denmark also) and that she was born in Sleepy Eye, MN. Sleepy Eye is a short distance from Albert Lea. I have looked there at all birth records with no luck finding a birth record for her.
When I go to Albert Lea next week I will see if I can find a birth record and marriage record.
****A family story states that Anna Peterson worked in a brothel, and her daughter Josephine was born at that time. Since Frank had been in that area, maybe, when Anna got pregnant, he left and changed his name to Robert (Bob) Roberts.
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Posted by Jack McRae (+359) 8 years ago
Thank you for the reference to the 1939 newspaper. I don't think I would have ever found it otherwise. The D.J. O'Malley columns are interesting and I wish they would be collected in a book. Writing fifty years after the fact he sometimes makes mistakes that he wouldn't have made if he had rechecked original documents and not relied only on memory.

Cindy--where did you get your information about Bob Roberts that you quote?
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Posted by Gayle Nyberg (+10) 8 years ago
After a trip to Albert Lea, MN, I could find no record of Bob Roberts or Frank Peterson. If I decide to persue this line of research, I will try to contact the family of Emma Peterson Jewett.
If anyone finds any further information please post it.
Thanks,
Gayle Nyberg
Minneapolis
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+762) 8 years ago
Cool story, I'd like to hear more, and am curious how the name Jewett became involved, as my ancestors were Jewetts.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+584) 8 years ago
Jack,
Article from Mineral Argus, paper in Maiden, MT 15 Jan 1885.

Gayle,
In pursuit of Emma A. Peterson Jewett genealogy, per history of Litchfield, MN.
Emma born 3 Oct 1860, Chautauqua, New York. Father was Charles Peterson a Scandinavian killed in the army. After his death his family came to Minnesota. In 1870 Col. T. Carloss Jewett and his wife Annie Warren adopted Emma. They were childless and adopted and raised several orphans. Emma learned to ride at the Jewett farm. Her first exhibition was in Minneapolis in 1880. At time of the history (1888) Emma was living in Syracuse, New York.

1870 Meeker Co. MN census for TC Jewett and his wife has Frank A Peterson age 12 laborer born NY parents foreign born living with them. Emma is not listed. She is in 1875.

I will continue to look for Frank. He may be son of Jonas and Laura Peterson of Chautauqua.
.......
There are many Petersons to consider that lived in Chautauqua in 1860. I will attempt to sort them. And then compare them to Petersons in Meeker Co area Minnesota in 1870.

In the Freeborn Co MN history, there is a Peterson family that might be part of the puzzle. I need to trace each person before making any determinations. Here is summary.
In Chautauqua (Busti) New York, John Peterson & Anna Sophia had son Charles Walter Peterson born 1854. In 1877 he married Mary Friedland born in Sweden, immig 1872. Following marriage they moved to Minnesota, Otter Tail County. Mary had older sister Augusta and brother August Friedland. A sister Mrs. Ward of NY and niece Mrs. Edson of NY, both attended her 1928 funeral.
Charles W Peterson had twin brothers Alfred & Albert that remained in NY.
***He had a brother Frank who moved to MN and changed his name to Jones. He was estranged from the family. There is a long article about his life in Oregon. Married Hattie Marshall.
Charles also had two sisters. It is not clear if they moved to MN or not.
I located the family in 1860 & 1870 Busti, NY
1870
John 39
Sophia 39
Charles W 16
Frank 15
Alfred 13
Albert 13
Mary 5

......
In marriage index for Minnesota I could only find
Frank G Peterson to Anna Sholts 2 July 1883 Minneapolis
In 1889 Annie E Johnson married a Frank Peterson in Minneapolis
In 1888 Hannah Pettson married Frank Petrson in St Peter Nicollet

[This message has been edited by Cindy Stalcup (6/22/2013)]

[This message has been edited by Cindy Stalcup (6/23/2013)]
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Posted by Gayle Nyberg (+10) 8 years ago
Wow, Cindy, You did a lot of research. I am going to look to see if this could be "my" Frank Peterson. It is indeed an interesting story. I will post what I find.
Thanks for all of the information.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+584) 8 years ago
Gayle,
Check with the Minnesota Historical Society. According to their website they have Emma Jewett and TC Jewett in their record collection.

TC Jewett held different governmental offices. I read an account of an orphan from an Indian attack (not one of the Petersons) that he cared until child was adopted by a couple. He was sheriff early on, then it appears he became an attorney.

For that time period newspapers and local church records are most likely to record births and deaths. Most states did not start recording reliably until 1910. The Scandanavian community histories for Minnesota and New York may have something also. The Historical Society and smaller county or regional genealogical societies may have any or all of these in their libraries.
I will check in Union civil war database for Charles Peterson. The entry said killed in the army.

[This message has been edited by Cindy Stalcup (6/24/2013)]
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Posted by Jack McRae (+359) 8 years ago
I was in Miles City this week and stopped by the library to check old newspaper microfilm for the death information on Bob Roberts. The projector was in use so Jean Nielsen of the library staff sent me copies today. These are from the weekly version of the Yellowstone Journal and there were some articles in the daily version (according to an index) but they are not on microfilm.

DROPPED DEAD
Bob Roberts, an Old Time Cow Hand, Dies Suddenly.
Yellowstone Journal, October 24, 1896

H.M. Howard arrived in town at 3 o'clock this morning from W.E. Harris ranch on Pumpkin creek with the news that Bob Roberts had died just this side of that ranch early in the evening. Mr. Roberts, in company with Lou Broughton, left yesterday for the latter's ranch and last evening just this side of the Harris place, they got out to put on their overcoats, when Bob tottered and fell dead. Death was probably due to heart failure, brought on by excessive drinking during the past week in town. His most intimate friends have no knowledge of his taking food during that time, and consequently his system must have been in bad shape. Deceased has a brother, a locomotive engineer, at Galesburg, Ill., and a sister at Lexington, Kas., both of whom will be notified of their brothers' untimely death.

Acting Coroner Lovett decided that an inquest was not necessary and so informed the friends of the dead man in that locality, who will probably perform the last sad rites for humanity tomorrow. Bob Roberts was a whole souled fellow who was everybody's friend and the news of his untimely death will be received with sincere regret by all who knew him.

Yellowstone Journal, May 1, 1897
Wm. Bement and others have secured permission from the court for the removal of the remains of Frank Roberts, better known as Bob, who is interred near Harris postoffice, to the Catholic cemetery of this city. A team will leave in the morning for the purpose of bringing the remains in.

Yellowstone Journal, May 8, 1897
The remains of Bob Roberts were interred in the Catholic cemetery yesterday, a large number of friends tending the funeral.

The Custer County Cemetery Index show a Frank Roberts in Old Calvary Cemetery with dates of May 29, 1862 -- October 25, 1896. This is probably the right person even though the death date is a couple of days off.
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Posted by Gayle Nyberg (+10) 8 years ago
I really appreciate all the help given on this site. It has been so interesting reading all of your information.
This is such a bizarre and interesting story.

1/21/1885 issue of the Freeborn County Standard (Albert Lea, MN)
Page 2.

"Bob Sullivan, who shot Bob Roberts at Miles City, is, it is reported, Frank Peterson, formerly of Litchfield, and brother of Emma Jewett, the long distance rider. Roberts also lived in Meeker County some years ago."

My grandmother, Josephine (Peterson) Brown's death certificate lists Frank Peterson as her father. This is the only place that his name shows up in all of my research. Josephine was born in Minnesota in 1885 and her mother was Anna Peterson.
I am trying to figure out if "this" Frank Peterson is my great grandfather. And could he have been the Frank (Bob) Roberts that was shot by Bob Sullivan in 1884 and lived & died in Miles City, MT?

Cindy: This is possibly my Frank:
Frank Peterson to Anna Sholts - 2 July 1883 Minneapolis
(I do have a copy of this marriage certificate)


Jack: Re:
Deceased has a brother, a locomotive engineer, at Galesburg, Ill., and a sister at Lexington, Kansas. Both of whom will be notified of their brothers' untimely death. IF Emma is his sister, who is his brother?

The Jewetts' had a son named Herman that would have been about 20 at the time of Frank's death. (He may have been adopted)

If this the Frank I am looking for, why did he leave his wife Anna? Why did he change his name? Why did he abandon his wife and their baby?

On the 1895 census she lists herself as a widow.
The saga continues.

I realize that we may never know the whole story, but it would be nice to document that he is "my" Frank Peterson.
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