PECKHAM

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  15 - 17

PECKHAM.  For upward of two hundred and fifty years this name has been identified with the annals of New England, and in the Old World it reaches back to the twelfth century.  There were still in 1902 maintained in the beautiful and picturesque region on Putnam Heights the residences – the homes of their ancestors in that historic section – of three of the daughters of the late Dr. Fenner Harris Peckham, of Putnam, Conn., and Providence, R.I.  These daughters are:  Miss Katherine Fenner Peckham;  Mrs. Rosa Frances Peckham Danielson, widow of the late George Whitman Danielson, a prominent journalist and citizen of Providence, R.I.; and Mrs. Dr. Grace Peckham Murray, wife of Hon. Charles H. Murray, a well known lawyer and public official of New York.

The name Peckham in England is applied to a large suburban hamlet of London, in the County of Surrey, four miles distant from the metropolis.  John de Peckham attended Richard I into Palestine in 1191, and from that period on for hundreds of years the name was a conspicuous one in English annals.

(I)            John Peckham, the American ancestor of the family, was admitted an inhabitant of the island of Aquidneck (Rhode Island) March 20, 1638.  He was made a freeman of Newport, March 16, 1641.  He was one of the ten male members in full communion of the First Baptist Church in 1648, and one of its founders in 1644.  He was a resident of that part of Newport which became Middletown, where he was made a freeman in 1655.  Mr. Peckham was first married to Mary Clarke, who died in 1648; the given name of his second wife was Eleanor.  He was the father of twelve children, namely:  John, William, Stephen, Thomas, James, Clement, Sarah, Rebecca, Deborah, Phebe, Elizabeth and Susannah.  From this John Peckham of Newport and Middletown, R.I., the lineage of the late Dr. Fenner Harris Peckham, of Putnam and Providence, is through Stephen, Stephen (2), Stephen (3), Seth and Dr. Hazael Peckham.

(II)          Stephen Peckham, son of John, was one of the earliest settlers of Dartmouth, Mass.  He had a grant of land in Narragansett in 1679, but probably never went there except to speculate.  He also purchased land in Dartmouth in 1679, and was a substantial farmer in that part of Dartmouth now included in the city of New Bedford.  He died April 23, 1724.  His estate in round numbers amounted to 1,807 pound.  His wife’s name was Mary, and their children were:  Stephen, born Feb. 23, 1683;  Samuel, Aug. 17, 1684;  Eleanor, Jan. 12, 1686;  William, Oct. 27, 1688;  Mary, Aug. 17, 1690;  Hannah, Jan. 28, 1692;  John, Jan. 15, 1697;  Deborah, June, 1699, who married Jan. 19, 1727, Thomas Nye;  Joseph, Feb. 2, 1701;  Jean, Jan. 23, 1703, married April 4, 1729, to Thomas Delano; and Isaiah, Sept. 14, 1705, married April 19, 1736, to Ruth Morton.

(III)       Stephen Peckham (2), born Feb. 23, 1683, was twice married.  His father had left him in his will the northerly part of the homestead, which had been divided into four parts, one for each of his sons.  The children of Stephen Peckham (2) and his wife Content were:  James, born Oct. 4, 1716;  Stephen, Sept. 14, 1718;  Seth, Nov. 29, 1723, who probably died when young;  Content, Feb. 16, 1729; and George, Oct. 25, 1732.  The children by the second wife, Keturah Arthur, were:  Elizabeth, born July 5, 1741;  Eunice, Dec. 6, 1742; and Richard, Dec. 16, 1744.  Mr. Peckham died in June, 1764.  His estate in round numbers amounted to 512 pound.

(IV)       Stephen Peckham (3), born Sept. 14, 1718, married (first) about 1739, Sarah Boss, born July 5, 1724; she died Dec. 12, 1768, aged forty-four years.  He married (second) Elizabeth White, born Dec. 22, 1740.  Mr. Peckham inherited and bought from his father portions of the old homestead, so that he possessed one-half of the entire farm, his brother Richard inheriting the other part.  His wife Elizabeth died April 12, 1791, in the fifty-first year of her age.  His children by the first marriage were:  Elizabeth, born Dec. 22, 1740;  Peleg, Sept. 27, 1744, who died Aug. 12, 1771;  Mercy, Feb. 23, 1746;  Stephen, April 6, 1748;  Seth, Oct. 31, 1750;  Jonathan, Feb. 8, 1753, who married Widow Hannah Soute, a daughter of Peleg White;  James, May 11, 1756;  Sarah, June 9, 1758;  Lydia, Jan. 9, 1761;  Amy, Feb. 18, 1763;  Joseph, Jan. 27, 1766.  Of these Stephen and Seth moved to the town of Gloucester, Providence Co., Rhode Island.

(V)         Seth Peckham, born Oct. 31, 1750, in Dartmouth, married, Jan. 26, 1775, Mercy Smith, daughter of Capt. John and Sarah (Hopkins) Smith, the latter a daughter of Thomas Hopkins, of a family quite famous in the history of Rhode Island.  Mr. Peckham lived on a farm in Gloucester, and was probably occupied in agricultural pursuits.  During the war of the Revolution, on one of the alarm calls (1777), he performed seven days’ service as a member of Capt. Joseph Kimball’s company, in which his (Mr. Peckham’s) brother-in-law was a lieutenant.  Mr. Peckham died in 1826.  His children were:  Hazael, born Nov. 16, 1777;  Thomas, Jan. 10, 1780, married to Anna Sweet;  Sarah, June 20, 1782, who married Chad Taylor;  Seth, October, 1784, who married Deborah Keach, and lived in Gloucester;  Mercy, in 1787, married in 1807 to Josiah Wescott, of Scituate, R.I., a son of Rev. John Wescott; and John, 1793, married in 1820 to Hannah, daughter of Gideon Smith of Scituate.

(VI)       Dr. Hazael Peckham, son of Seth, born Nov. 16, 1777, married in 1797, Susannah Thornton, born Oct. 8, 1776, daughter of Jeremiah Thornton, of Burrillville, and his wife Esther Wright, of Providence.  Their children were:  Paris, born in 1798;  Smith, 1800, who died in 1878;  Amey, 1801, who married William Day;  Susan, 1809, who married Dr. Justin Hammond;  Hazael, 1810, who died in 1888;  Pamelia, 1816, who married Rhodes Hopkins and died in 1886; and Fenner Harris, Jan. 27, 1820.  None are still living.

(VII)    DR. FENNER HARRIS PECKHAM, son of Dr. Hazael, was born in the town of Killingly, Windham Co., Conn., Jan. 27, 1820.  After pursuing a course of academic studies, he entered the office of Dr. Justin Hammond, a widely known physician of Windham county, where he studied medicine.  He later continued his studies under Profs. Knight and Hooker of New Haven, and was graduated from Yale Medical College in 1842.  He commenced the practice of his chosen profession in East Killingly, but soon removed to what is now known as Putnam Heights, where he continued until 1852, building up a successful practice.  In the year last named he removed with his family to Providence, R.I., where he continued practice, and where he remained up to the time of his death.  He was one of the best known physicians in the State, and took a deep interest in his profession.  While in Connecticut he was a member of the State Medical Society, and when he removed to Providence he became a member of the Rhode Island Medical Society and was its president twice.  For a number of years he was physician and surgeon of the Marine Hospital at Providence, and was a member of the medical board of the Economical Life Insurance Company.  In addition to attending to his regular practice, he made reports and addresses on special subjects, and he also contributed to medical literature a monograph on “Hydrophobia,” the first presented before the American Association, and on the “Topographical Geological Condition of the Second District of Rhode Island,” found in the report of Dr. Baxter in “Statistics of Volunteer Service.”

On the opening of the Civil war Dr. Peckham volunteered his services for the defense of the Union, and was commissioned Aug. 15, 1861, surgeon of the 3d Rhode Island Heavy Artillery.  He had first been assigned to duty with the 2d R.I.V. at Washington, and afterward had charge of the medical department of Camp Sprague, after the first battle of Bull Run.  He joined the 3d regiment after the command had reached and taken possession of Port Royal, S.C., but the enervating character of the climate, and his arduous duties, compelled him to resign his commission in February, 1862.  In April, 1863, he was appointed surgeon of the board of enrollment of the second district of Rhode Island, and at the request of Gov. J. Y. Smith, officially visited Fortress Monroe, continuing his efficient services with the board until the termination of the Rebellion.  He was noted for his upright character and gentlemanly demeanor, and was highly respected.  He died Feb. 17, 1887, and was buried in Swan Point cemetery.

In 1840 Dr. Peckham was married to Catherine Davis, daughter of Capt. William Torrey, and the marriage was blessed with children as follows:  Katherine Fenner, born in February, 1841;  Rosa Frances, Oct. 28, 1842;  Fenner H., Feb. 11, 1844;  Ella Lois Torrey, Sept. 12, 1846;  Grace, Oct. 16, 1848; and Mary Davis, Feb. 10, 1853, who died Nov. 11, 1895.

(VIII) Katherine Fenner Peckham graduated from Mt. Holyoke College, and from the Woman’s Medical College, Philadelphia, with the degree of M.D.  She practiced in Boston, but now makes her home at Putnam Heights.  She is a member of Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter, D.A.R., Worcester, Massachusetts.

(VIII) Rosa Frances Peckham Danielson received her elementary education in the schools of Providence, and was graduated in 1862 from the Providence high school.  Subsequently she went abroad, and at Paris, France, passed ten years in the study of art and painting, in which line she became quite proficient.  Her paintings have been exhibited in the Salon of the French capital, and called forth favorable comment.  More recently she has worked in miniature painting.  Her later years, however, have been chiefly given to the training of her children.  On Jan. 25, 1881, she became the wife of George Whitman Danielson, of Providence, who died March 25, 1884.  They had two children:  Whitman, born Dec. 17, 1881, now a student at Harvard; and Rosamond, born Nov. 6, 1884, now a student at Bryn Mawr College, Pa.  Mrs. Danielson is one of the founders and a charter member of the Providence Art Club, and also a member of Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter, D.A.R., of Worcester, Massachusetts.

(VIII) Dr. Fenner Harris Peckham, Jr., only son of Dr. Fenner H. Peckham, was born in East Killingly, Windham Co., Conn., Feb. 11, 1844.  He was educated in the schools of Providence, and read medicine under his father.  After fitting himself for college he entered the medical department of Yale, whence he was graduated in 1866.  He became associated with his father in the medical profession, and after the death of the latter continued alone in the practice of his profession up to a few years ago, when he practically retired, relinquishing his practice to his son, Charles F.  Like his father, he served during the Rebellion, entering the service as hospital steward in December, 1861, upon leaving the high school; later he was lieutenant in the 12th R.I.V.  The Doctor inherits his father’s literary tastes, and has written for the public press on matters of interest.

On Oct. 29, 1867, in Providence, Dr. Peckham married Mary H. Olney, daughter of Elam and Helen (Fuller) Olney, and they have three children.  Charles Fenner, the eldest, graduated from Columbia College, N.Y., in 1890, with the degree of M.D., and is now a popular young physician of Providence, R.I., having succeeded to his father’s practice; he was a surgeon of the Rhode Island Naval Reserves, in the Spanish-American war, with the rank of lieutenant.  Alice, the second, is at home.  William Torrey graduated from Brown University in 1897; he married Alice Hetherington Dike, Oct. 22, 1901.

Dr. Fenner H. Peckham is a Republican in political faith.  His religious connections, like those of his family, are with the Episcopal Church.  He is a member of the A.F. & A.M., affiliating with Whatcheer Lodge, and also unites with the Loyal Legion, Massachusetts Commandery; Rodman Post, G.A.R., the Squantum Club; the University Club; the West Side Club (former president); the Central Club; and the Agawam Hunt and Long Meadow Golf Clubs.  He is State commissioner of birds from Providence county, R.I., and chairman of the commission and member of the Anawan Club.  In professional circles he holds membership in the Rhode Island Medical Society and the American Medical Association, and is United States pension examining surgeon.  Dr. Peckham is also prominently connected with the mercantile and banking interests of Providence.  He is president of the Hope Webbing Company, vice-president of the Providence Telephone Company, director of the Narragansett Electric Lighting Company, Mechanics National Bank, Free Masons Hall Company, Providence & Springfield Railroad Company, and Wood River Branch Railroad Company, and trustee of the Mechanics’ Savings Bank.

(VIII)    Dr. Grace Peckham Murray, another daughter of Dr. Fenner Harris Peckham, attended the private and public schools of Providence and was graduated from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., in 1867.  In 1882 she graduated from the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary.  After having obtained her degree she was interne and resident physician of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children for three years, after which she commenced her private practice in New York City, in which she is at present engaged.  For many years she was attending physician to the hospital, and was engaged in the College and dispensary work for that institution.  In 1902 she received the appointment of Professor of Women’s Diseases at the New York Post-graduate School, which position she now holds.  For three years she was sent as a delegate to the New York State Medical Society by the New York County Medical Society, of which she is a member, which entitles her to life-membership in the State Medical Society.  She also belongs to the New York Academy of Medicine; the New York Neurological; and the Women’s Medical Association of New York, of which she was president for four years; she is vice-president of the National Social Science Association.  She has been on the editorial staff of the New York Medical Record and contributed many medical articles to the current medical literature of the day, most of which have been widely copied and some of which have been incorporated into medical text books of this country and Europe.  She is associate editor of the Women’s Medical Journal.  She has a reputation as writer of popular articles relating to medical and hygienic subjects and is a regular contributor to the well known secular magazines.  She is also a member of many social and literary clubs, among which are the National Arts, the Wednesday Afternoon, the Barnard Club, N.E. Society, and the Manhattan Chapter of the D.A.R.

In 1893 she was married to the Hon. Charles H. Murray, of New York, who is very prominent in legal and political circles of New York City and State.

(VIII)  Ella Lois Torrey Peckham Baldwin, another daughter of Dr. Fenner Harris Peckham, like her sisters is a woman of broad culture and was educated in the public schools of Providence and in Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., where she was graduated in 1867.  The following years she was married to Charles Clinton Baldwin, son of the late Hon. John D. and Lemira (Hathaway) Baldwin, who with his brother John was associated with his father as proprietor and conductor of the Worcester (Mass.) Spy.  The children of this marriage were four in number.  Katherine Torrey was educated in Worcester, studied art in Paris, France, and has exhibited her work in the Paris Salon; she married Lynde Sullivan, a prominent lawyer of Boston, and has a son, John Langdon Sullivan, born March 12, 1903.  Edith Ella was also educated in Paris in art.  Her work has been exhibited in the Champ de Mars Salon of Paris, and at the Society of American Artists in New York.  Grace Peckham was educated at Bryn Mawr College, Pa., and also graduated at Drexel Institute Library School, Philadelphia.  Rosa Danielson died in 1893, at the age of eleven years.  Mrs. Baldwin and her family are all members of All Saints Episcopal Church, and she is active in church matters.  She was organizer of the Worcester County Mt. Holyoke Alumni Association, and filled the office of president for twelve years; was the founder of the Fortnightly Club of Worcester; and is a very active member of the Woman’s Club of that city, having been its president from 1896 to 1898; is also a member of the building committee of the club house, and a director of its corporation; has been vice-president and an active member of the Massachusetts State Federation of Women’s Clubs, of the Worcester Art Society and Public School Art League, and has taken deep interest in club life; she has also shown an interest in the summer schools of Clark University; is a prominent member of the D.A.R., being a charter member of Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter, Worcester, Mass., and in addition to her varied interests is a very devoted wife and mother. 

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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