|The following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
Todd Peterson was a pre-War United States Senator. In the year 2067, Peterson decided to build a secret bunker to house himself and his family should war break out. Senator Peterson was a wealthy man in his own right, but lacked the funds necessary for such a project. Through secret dealings with Poseidon Oil and a covert branch of the government known as the Enclave, the final funding for the project was attained. A construction site was chosen in southern Colorado and work began.
Ten years after the construction was completed, war did indeed break out. Senator Peterson was in Washington DC at the time and, much to his chagrin, was taken completely by surprise. The senator made a desperate attempt to gather his family and reach the bunker, but his small plane never arrived.
The bunker might have remained lost were it not for a surviving member of the senator's family, corporal Ben Schilling, who became one of the founding members of the Brotherhood of Steel which, many years later, renamed it to Maxson bunker.