Among the ranchmen and fruit growers in the region about Salinas, few have been more successful in recent years than Peter N. Bondesen. He was born in Denmark, June 8, 1866, and is a son of Nels and Celia (Smith) Bondesen. His father was a weaver by trade and in his boyhood Peter attended the local schools, where he picked up the rudiments of a practical education. When he was fifteen years of age he came to America alone and went directly to the home of his brother, Hans Bondesen, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. For some time he worked as a farm hand in Wisconsin and North Dakota. He then traveled over nearly all the western states, working here and there as opportunity offered.
In 1887 Mr. Bondesen reached California for the first time and found employment in the orange groves about Fullerton, Orange county, where he helped to build the first house. He was then for seven years in charge of the Newell ranch. In 1910 he removed to the San Luis Obispo district and followed ranching there for six years, or until 1916, when he purchased the place known as the McKinnon ranch, near Salinas, where he still resides. This ranch contains five hundred and thirty-six acres, of which two hundred acres were placed under irrigation shortly after it came into his possession. Since then he has irrigated the entire ranch, a large part of which is devoted to raising beans for the market. The orchard of forty acres has been kept in good condition and has proved to be a source of revenue every year. The ranch was supplied with substantial buildings when Mr. Bondesen bought it. These he has kept up and has added others, until he owns one of the best pieces of property in the county.
On July 18, 1896, Mr. Bondesen was married to Miss Mariakka Tryk, and to this marriage have been born eight children: Celia, who is now Mrs. C. A. Deiess of Salinas; Irene, the wife of Jack Prader, also of Salinas; Henry and Victor, associated with their father in working the ranch; Frank, who was accidentally shot and killed while hunting in 1921, at the age of nineteen years; Jennie and Harry, students in the Salinas high school, and Rose, who is attending the grade school. Mr. Bondesen is a thirty-second degree Mason, a life member• of the Mystic Shrine, and belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.
Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California’s history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925.