Lee County Biography

Nathan A. Petrie
Ashton Township


Nathan A. Petrie is a member of the banking firm of Mills & Petrie, and is a gentleman who enjoys the confidence of the business community, where his word is considered as good as his bond. Character must always tell in its effect upon those who meet it, and there is no such argument for intelligence and uprightness as an intelligent and upright life.

Nathan A. Petrie was born in Parish, Oswego County NY November 14, 1843 and is the son of Rudolph and Elizabeth (Vrooman) Petrie, the former being born in Herkimer County and the mother in Schoharie County NY. Mr. Rudolph Petrie was an agriculturist by calling and cultivated his estate in such a manner as to bring him a handsome income. They both passed from this life in Parish NY after having become the parents of seven children.

Our subject wa the youngest member of the household and remained uner the parental roof until reaching his 19th year in the meantime receiving a good education in the schools of his neighborhood and the knowledge of books gained hterein has been supplemented by thorough and systematic reading until today he is a man of culture and education. When starting out in the world to battle with life for himself he was only 19 years of age, but thinking that the advantages offered a young man in his circumstances were better in the Prairie State than in NY he came West to Lee County. For 2 1/2 years succeeding his advent into this county our young hero was in the employ of S.F. Mills in Ashton engaged in his grain elevator and lumber yard, doing all the work given him to perform in such an admirable and conscientious manner that in a short time Mr. Mills took him in as his partner and they have since continued together in their various changes of business to the present time. That one fact alone speaks volumes for the character of our subject.

In 1865 the firm of Mills & Petrie engaged in the mercantile business in Ashton, carrying a complete stock of goods well fitted to supply the needs of the village and country household, and by their honest and courteous treatment of their customers did an extensive business. They continued as merchants in Ashton for four years, when in 1869 they sold out their store and engaged in the banking busienss, the bank being known throughout the State as the Ashton Bank, and which receives a flattering degree of patronage from the people of this section. The firm owns two farms in addition tot heir bank,which they rent.

Mr. Petrie of this sketch has been Supervisor of Ashton Twp. for 2 years and was Notary Public for 16 years. We are thus gratified to be able to place in the hands of our readers a sketch of Mr. Petrie, who is so well known and highly esteemed personally. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, always casting his vote and influence to the support of that body.

Miss sarah E. Howard became Mrs. Petrie in 1880, their marriage being solemized in Ashton. She was born in Port Clinton, Ohio and was the daughter of Wm. and Mary Howard, the latter of whom died in Jefferson County Neb.; the father is residing in that county. Mrs. Petrie is an estimable lady and is beloved by everyone who has the pleasure of her acquaintance. She is well fitted to be the wife of a gentleman who is so thoroughly esteemed as is her worthy husband.

Portrait & Biographical 1892 Lee County Page 344

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N. A. PETRIE, of the firm of Petrie & Mills, bankers, Ashton, was born in 1842, near Syracuse, New York, and is the son of Rudolph and Elizabeth (Yrooman) Petrie, natives of New York. His parents were of German descent, and his maternal grandfather was captain of a fort in the pioneer times of New York, and was killed and scalped by the Indians; and a son was also killed and mutilated in the most horrible manner. The Vroomans are an old established family of New York. N. A. Petrie received a fair education and came to Lee county in 1858, and went into partnership with his present partner, Mr. S. F. Mills. Mr. Mills is a native of New York, born in 1830 near Utica, and is the son of Loran A. and E. (Petrie) Mills, natives of New York. Mr. Mills' father was colonel of the state militia. His father was of Scotch extraction, his mother of English descent. He came to Ashton in 1854 and engaged in the grain and lumber trade and was joined by Mr. Petrie in 1858. In 1861 they gave up the grain and lumber trade and engaged in the mercantile trade, and in one year sold $109,000 worth of goods, their yearly average being $80,000. In 1867 they quit the mercantile business and opened a private banking house in Ashton, in which business they still remain. They were both married in 1879 at the same ceremony: Mr. Petrie to Sarah E. Howard, daughter of William and Mary Howard, natives of England, who emigrated to America in 1856 and settled in Ohio, and Mr. Mills to Louisa Getman, daughter of Daniel and Mary (Vrooman) Getinan, natives of New York. They live in the same house on a beautiful farm one mile west of Ashton Mr. Petrie has held the office of notary public tbr twelve years, and is elected for four years more. He has been trustee of the township four years arid still holds the office, and was supervisor for two years. They constitute a firm of live business men, who have the business confidence of the community.

Source: History of Lee County Pg. 623

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