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Our History


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Karsten-Patterson Funeral Parlor was the foundation of the present funeral establishment of Peterson Mortuary. The Karsten-Patterson firm was established in 1882 and was owned and operated by a father and son.

The Peterson family has served this community in the funeral profession since 1927, when Harold W. Peterson came to Nebraska City. Harold's father, Gustaf W. Peterson, was associated with the family's firm of the Honey's Furniture and Funeral Parlor of Sutton, NE.

Until 1947, the Karsten-Patterson Furniture and Funeral Parlor was located on the northwest corner of 9th Street and Central Avenue.

In 1947, Harold W. Peterson built the present mortuary, at 11th Street and 1st Avenue. He especially designed the building for a mortuary and was considered then the most modern funeral facility in southeast Nebraska. It featured inside parking for family cars, a chapel accommodating 200 people and a family room able to hold up to 120 family members. At this time Harold changed the firm’s name to Peterson Mortuary. To better serve families, in 1966, an addition was added  to the present Nebraska City facility, which enlarged the family room to hold an additional 65 family members or overflow of friends. Also a larger heated drive-thru garage was added. This would allow the family to be completely private from the time they leave their homes to the time they reach the cemetery.

Harold W. and Louella B. Peterson had two sons, John B. and George B. Peterson. John attended and graduated from the Kansas City College of Mortuary Science in 1953. They carried through the tradition of a father-son owned business when John joined his father in 1956. George joined the firm in 1963 and the family established Peterson Mortuary in Glenwood, Iowa, where he is presently located. John B. and Betty J. Witney were married in 1954 and they had four children, Cheryl, William, Jonna and Alyssa. William W. (Bill) Peterson attended and graduated from the Commonwealth College of Mortuary Science in Houston, Texas. In 1982, Bill continued the tradition of a father-son owned business and established the 4th generation of  Peterson's in the funeral profession and 3rd generation of Peterson's in Nebraska City. Bill has a daughter, Jenna Leigh. 

Peterson Mortuary is a locally, family owned business, which Bill currently manages. To better serve families, Bill holds a life insurance license from the State of Nebraska and Iowa. Bill needs the license for planing and funding an individual’s wishes for a funeral plans. Bill is a representative for Forethought Life Insurance Company and the Homesteaders Life Company.

With more than 25 years of experience in designing memorials for families, John and Bill formed The Peterson Monument Sales. We wish to help a family with a memorialization for a loved one or for their wishes. We can match or duplicate any existing memorial or design custom memorials to a family’s wish.

The Peterson family has served the Nebraska City Community and surrounding areas for many years and will continue to up hold this tradition in the years to come. We respect all family’s wishes and  religious faiths.

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