Pehr August Peterson, who at one time was known as the “Furniture King,” was born in Sweden and moved to Rockford at the age of six. He worked in Wisconsin in lumber camps and saw mills, and then briefly as a teamster and later bookkeeper in Chicago. In 1875, he returned to Rockford and began his career in the growing furniture industry. At the age of 30, he helped found the Union Furniture Company and went on to acquire interest in other furniture companies. He died in 1927, at the age of 81, a multi-millionaire.
Upon his death, he bequeathed $500,000 to build a home “for aged people.” In his will, he named a board of trustees to choose a parcel of land that would be developed to provide a place for elder people of Swedish ancestry to live.
PA Peterson was built and opened in 1941 as a “house” of 12 rooms for those needing care.
The dream and vision of Pehr A. Peterson continues to flourish in the Rockford Community through PA Peterson at the Citadel.
Mr. Peterson was a great philanthropist who believed in community and giving of himself to help others achieve their best.
At PA Peterson we continue to grow and change and give of ourselves to meet the needs of our community. The fact that we are the leader and center of choice in this community is the realization and continuance of that very dream.