Emil Johan Petersen was born in Denmark on January 24, 1854, and died on November 13, 1919.
Petersen received his A.B. degree at Concordia College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1875. He then went on to study at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, achieving his Candidate of Theology degree in 1878. That same year he traveled to his nation of birth to be a student at the University of Copenhagen. Returning to the United States, Petersen served the community of Kilbourn City, WI, as a Lutheran Pastor from 1879-1882.
In 1882, he became a professor at Luther College, teaching classes in German, Latin, and religion until he left the college in 1887. In addition to these courses, he taught stenography, and was the author of a textbook on Shorthand (Lärebog i hurtigskrift for selvundervisning: efter Gabelsbergers stenografi, 1886). In his last year at Luther, 1886-1887, Petersen also served as College Librarian.
In 1889, Petersen turned to missionary work, serving as a Seamen’s and Emigrant Missionary in New York. He continued this service until his death in 1919.
Ref: Norlie, O.M. et al. Luther College Through Sixty Years, 1861-1921. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1922; Malmin, Rasmus et al. Who’s Who Among Pastors in all the Norwegian Lutheran Synods of America, 1843-1927. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1928.