Horace Edwin Hayden.

Genealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) online

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died February 2, 1809. Jesse Peck and Ruth
Hoyt had children : Nathaniel, born December
12, 1756. died February i, 1777: Eliphalet, born
March 19, 1758; Jesse, born December 22, 1759;
Benjamin, born September 24, 1761 ; Lois, born
October 28, 1763, married Israel Nickerson ;
Calvin, born September 3, 1765 ; Luther, born
June 12, 1767; Daniel, born August 21, 1769;
Mercy, born October 29, 1771, died November
30, 1776: Esther born August 13, 1773, died
December 25, 1776.

Luther (6), son of Jesse Peck and wife Ruth
Hoyt, lived first in Danbury, Connecticut, re-
moved in 1794 with his family to what is now
called Middlefield Center, Otsego county. New
York. He was for many years a class leader of
the Methodist Episcopal church, and was distin-
guished for his fidelity to every duty, and his
, devotion to the cause of Christianity. His fam-
ily was remarkable. All his five sons became dis-
tinguished clergymen of the Methodist Episco-
pal church, and two of them eminent authors.
Five of the grandchildren also were prominent
clergymen of the same denomination. Luther
Peck married, September 27, 1787, Annis Col-
lar, who died October 23, 1839. Her father en-
listed in the Revolutionary army and died at Val-
ley Forge while in service. Luther died Sep-
tember 30, 1848. The children born to this
couple were :

Rachel, born November 8, 1788, married, De-
cember 26, 1804, John Bennett, and settled in
Brocklestraw, Pennsylvania.

Martha, born July 31, 1790, married, March
15, 1810, Joshua Jaquays, and settled in Brockle-
straw, Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth, born, July 22, 1792, died Novem-
ber 30, 1822.



THE WY0:MING and LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



73



Luther Hoyt. born Xovumber 3. 1793.

George, born August 8, 1797, died Alav 20,
1876, at Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Andrew, born April 29. 1800, died Mav 6,
1887.

Mary, born November 8, 1801, died Novem-
ber 14. 1822.

William, born December 7, 1802, died March
16. 1883, married Charlotte \\'allen, Januarv i.
1828.

Anna, born March 9, 1806, married February
23, 1824, Solomon Crowell, and settled in Chau-
tauqua county. New York.

Susanna, born August 26, 1808 ; married.
August 5, 1827, Royal Blanding, and settled in
Chautauqua county. New York.

Jesse Truesdell, born April 4, 181 1, elected
bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church in
1872, died May 17, 1883 : married Persis W'ing,
October 13,, 1831.

George (7), son of Luther and Annis (Collar)
Peck, was born in Middlefield, Otsego county.
New York, August 8. 1797, and died in Scran-
ton, Pennsylvania, May 20. 1876. He was the
second in point of age of the famous five sons of
Luther Peck, all of whom were ministers in the
Methodist Episcopal church. George Peck uni-
ted with the church in 1812, and was licensed as
an exhorter in 18 15. He received a local preach-
er's license in 1816, and served on the Cortland
(Kew York) circuit without remuneration. In
the same year he joined the Genesee conference
on trial. In 1821 he had charge of the church at
Paris, New York, which was a station as dis-
tinguished from a circuit ; and during the two
following years was stationed at Utica. In 1824
he was appointed presiding elder of the Susque-
hanna district. He had much to do with Caze-
novia Seminarv before he became its successful
president in 1835. His interest in educational
matters was always intense. It is claimed that
he "was the originator and the first moving spirit
in the founding of Wyoming Seminary." "One
evening in the latter part of October, 1839, he
delivered an address in the old church at Forty
Fort on the subject of education, in which he ad-
vanced the idea that a Alethodist Seminary was
needed in the Wyoming \'alley, and that Kings-
ton furnished as good a location as could be
found for such an institution." One of his biog-
raphers further claims that he "was the origina-
tor of the first cours.e of study prescribed by the
General Conference for traveling preachers."

His election to the editorship of the Metho-
dist Quarterly Rcviezc "marked a new era in the



history of the magazine, the more liberal policy
adopted by the church enabling the editor to de-
vote his time and ability chiefly to its advance-
ment, and to call to his aid an able corps of paid
contributors. The result was that the literary
excellence of the journal increased with marked
rapidity, while, owing to the greater liberality in
publication, the mechanical execution and ele-
gance of appearance formed a decided contrast
with the preceding volumes." After eight years
of very successful work on the Revien' he was
made editor of the Nezv York Advocate. Here
his statesmanship was manifest in many lines.

He had joined the Genesee Conference, but
became a member of Oneida Conference at its
organization, was a member of New York Con-
ference during the years of his editorial work,
and in 1852 returned to his former fields of labor,
becoming a member of Wyoming Conference at
its .organization. He served the church as del-
egate to General Conference in thirteen sessions
of that body, being a delegate from 1824 to 1872.
His sotmd judginent and skill in debate were
here of great service to the church. Wesleyan
University conferred the degree of A. M. upon
him in 1835, and in 1840 Augusta College gave
him the degree of D. D. He was a member of
the Evangelical Alliance which met in London, in
August. 1846.

Almost throughout his entire ministerial ca-
reer Dr. George Peck was a valuable contributor
to the literature of the Methodist Episcopal
church, and in other fields of literary effort he
enjoyed a reputation as a faithful and accurate
writer. His publications, all extant, are : "Uni-
versaHsm Examined," "History of the Apostles
and Evangelists," "Scripture Doctrine of Chris-
tian Perfection." "Rule of Faith," "Reply to
Bascom," "Manly Character," "History of Wy-
oming" (1858, a rare and valuable work), "His-
tory of Methodism Within the Bounds of the Old
Genesee Conference," "Our Country, Its Trials
and Its Triumphs," "Life and Times of George
Peck."

Dr. Peck's fields of labor as a clergyman may
be noted as follows: 1816, Broome circuit. New
York state, junior preacher: 1817. Cortland:
1818, Wyoming; 1819. Bridgewater: 1820.
Canaan: 1821, Paris; 1822-23. Ltica : 1824-25,
presiding elder Susquehanna district ; 1826, ^^'y-
oming: 1827, \Mlkes-Barre ; 1828-29, Ithaca.
New York: 1830, Utica; 1831-32, Cazenovia ;
1833-34, Auburn; 1835-38. principal Cazenovia
Seminary; 1839. presiding elder Susquehanna
district; 1840-47, editor Methodist Quarterly



74



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Rciiczv and general book editor of the Book
Concern; 1848-51, editor Christian Advocate;
1852-53, Wilkes-Barre : 1854, presiding elder
Wyoming district; 1855, presiding elder Bing-
hamton district; 1856-57, Scranton mission
(now Elm Park Church) ; 1858-61, presiding
elder Wyoming district ; 1862-65, presiding elder
Lackawanna district ; 1866-67, Providence ; 1868,
Dunmore ; 1869-72, presiding elder Wyoming
district; 1873-76, superannuated.

We close this sketch by an estimate of one of
his contemporaries : "I view him as one of the
most remarkable men of our times — one whose
genius and piety are indelibly stamped on the
ecclesiastical polity and wonderful growth of the
church ; whose wise counsels and herculean la-
bors are interwoven in its development. For the
past fifty years of his whole life he has been
distinguished by a devoted love to the church
and unswerving loyaltv to honest convictions of
truth."

Dr. George Peck married, June 10, 1819,
Mary ]\Iyers, who was the daughter of Philip
Myers and wife Alartha Bennet (See Myers and
Bennet families.) They had children:

George Myers Peck, born at Forty Fort,
Pennsylvania, April 17, 1820, died at Scranton,
Pennsylvania, February 16, .1897 ; married, July
18, 1839, Sarah Louisa Butler, who died May
30, 1902, daughter of Merit Butler and wife
Sabina Bigelow.

Luther Wesley, born at Kingston, Pennsyl-
vania, June 14, 1825, died at Hyde Park, Scran-
ton, Pennsylvania, March 31, 1900; entered
Wesleyan College, 1840; graduated at the Uni-
versity of New York, 1845 ; received the degree
of A. M., New York University in 1848, and
D. D., same, 1878; until his death a clergyman
of the Methodist church ; married, January 18,
1847, Sarah Maria Gibbon, and had children —
Helen, Mary E., Emma D., Frances A., Sarah
M., Susan G., Jessie T., Fanny M., and George
L., the latter being a lawyer in Scranton, Penn-
sylvania.

Mary Helen, born April 10, 1827, educated
at Rutger's Institute, New York City, married,
January 18, 1847, Rev. J. T. Crane, graduate of
Princeton College, and a clergyman of the Meth-
odist Episcopal church. They had nine children.

William Fisk, born September 17, 1828, died
April 17, 1829.

Wilbur Fisk, born September 11, 1833, grad-
uated in medicine at the University of the City
of New York; was surgeon in the armv, 1861-



1865 ; married, January 20, 1857, Sarah Jane-
Dean, and had children : George, Louisa, Luther,.
Mary Catherine, Wilbur and Arthur D.

George Alyers Peck (8) , eldest child and son of
George Peck and wife Mary Myers, was born at
Forty Fort, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, April
17, 1820, and died at his house at Green Ridge,
Scranton, Pennsylvania, Februarv 16, 1897. He-
was educated at Cazenovia Seminary at Cazeno-
via, Madison county, New York, and at the age
of nineteen years left school to take charge of his
father's farm in the Wyoming Valley in Penn-
sylvania. After five years thus profitably em-
ployed he determined to enter the Methodist
ministry, having prepared himself to that end
while working the parental acres. He joined the
Oneida ( New York) Conference in 1845, be-
coming a member of Wyoming Conference at
its organization in 1852. His pastoral record is
as follows: 1845, Salem; 1846-47, Canaan;
1848-49, Beach Pond; 1850-51, Mount Pleasant;
1852-53, Pittston; 1854-55, Wyoming; 1856-57,
Providence: 1858, supernumerary; 1859, Owego,
New York; 1860-61, Pittston; 1862-63, Carbon-
dale ; 1864-65, Providence ; 1866-68, presiding
elder Lackawanna district ; 1869-70, Unadilla,
New York; 1871, Berkshire; 1872-75, supernum-
erary; 1876-77, Cherry Ridge; 1878-79, Salem;
1880-81, Clifford; 1882-83, Park Place (Court
Street) and Green Ridge (Asbury Church) ;
1884-96, superannuated.

Rev. George Myers Peck married, July 18,
1839, Sarah Louisa Butler, daughter of Merit But-
ler and wifeSabina Bigelow, of Onondaga comity,.
New York. The Butlers were a Dioneer family in
the vicinity of Pompey Hill in Onondaga county,
and the locality was originally known as Butler
Hill, so called in allusion to Ebenezer Butler,,
the pioneer, who was a grandson of Jonathan
Butler, one of two Irish adventurers who came
to Connecticut in 1710, and who is said to have
acquired the lands there by purchase from the
Onondaga Indians, who willingly exchanged,
their title for Ebenezer Butler's pony, saddle and.
bridle. This Ebenezer was a soldier of the Rev-
olution, serving with the New York state troops.
He attained the remarkable age of ninety-six
years ; his son Jesse and his wife Louisa Soper.
both lived to be ninety-two years old. Alerit
Butler, a son of Jesse and Louisa, died at
eighty-eight, and Sabina Bigelow, Merit Butler's
wife died aged eighty-three years. George-
M}-ersPeck and wife Sarah Louisa Butler hadl
children :



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



75-



]\Ierit Butler Peck, born October 8, 1840,
died from an accident in Kansas City, Missouri,
January 25, 1898.

George 2d, born July I, 1843, died in Dalton,
Pennsylvania, May 12, 1858.

Luther Wesley, born March 22, 1845, living
at Green Ridge, Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Josiah Eaton, born June 18, 1847, died Octo-
ber 24, 1865.

William Henry, born Alay 28, 1852, now liv-
ing in Scranton, Pennsylvania, cashier of the
Third National Bank.

William Henry Peck (9), youngest child of
George Myers Peck and wife Sarah Louisa But-
ler, was born at Pleasant ]\Iount, Wayne county,
Pennsylvania, May 28, 1852. At the age of
eighteen years he secured a position as clerk in
the First National Bank of Scranton. He served
efficiently in that capacity for a period of twelve
years, until March 7, 1882, when he resigned in
order to accept appointment as cashier of the
Third National Bank. This bank is numbered
among the most substantial and best managed
fiduciary institutions in Pennsylvania, and its
career which has been of the most creditable,
alike conducive to the interests of stockholders,
depositors and other customers, has been shaped
in large degree by Mr. Peck, who has served as
cashier to the present time, and who as a finan-
cier enjoys the unbounded confidence of the
community. The bank safely passed through
the financial panic of the year following its es-
tablishment (1873), and jts growth has been
steady and. permanent. November 5, 1877, ^^'
nioval was made to its new building, one of the
then architectural ornaments of the city, and
which contains very convenient and attractive
banking rooms. February 5, 1892, the bank was
rechartered for a further period of twenty years.
Its total resources amount to $4,717,934.29, its
deposits to $3,402,876.24, its capital is $200,000,
and its surplus and undivided profits are $865,-
000. The officers are : William Connell, presi-
dent ; Henry Belin, Jr., vice-president ; William
H. Peck, cashier ; directors : William Connell,
James L. Connell, James Archibald, Henry Be-
lin, Jr., George H. Catlin, J. Benjamin Dimmick,
Luther Keller, William D. Zehnder, William H.
Peck.

Mr. Peck's high standing among the finan-
ciers of the state is attested by his election in
1904 to the presidency of the Pennsylvania
Bankers' Association, of which he was one of the
organizers in 1895. He is a member of the
Scranton Board of Trade, and chairman of its



finance committee, and has borne a large part in
the promotion of the material interests of the
city. He is a member of the Wyoming Histor-
ical and Geological Society, a trustee of Syra-
cuse University, in whose welfare he takes a
lively interest, a member and trustee of the Elm
Park Methodist Episcopal church, and treasurer
of its board of trustees, and president of the
Scranton Bedding Company, one of the enter-
prising and prosperous corporations of Scranton.-
He possesses highlv cultured tastes, and is an
ardent floriculturist. His particular delight is
in the cultivation of water lilies, of which he has.
many varieties, having the only pond of lilies
in the city of Scranton.

Mr. Peck married, at West Pittston, Penn-
sylvania, March 11, 1873, Miss AI. Arminda.
Kyte, and to them have been born six children,
all born in Scranton : William Joseph, born
January 24, 1874, married Lawson Hart, Octo-
ber 6, 1897 ; Alice Louise, born October 13, 1877,
married Frank A. Kaiser, November 12, 1901 ;
Grace Arminda, born September 3, 1880; Han-
nah, born September 21, 1884, died August 6,
1887; Mary, born and died April 12, 1888; Nel-
son, born April 30, 1891.

THOMAS J. FOSTER, founder and presi-
dent of the International Correspondence Schools
of Scranton, enjoys a national reputation as the
author of an absolutely unique educational meth-
od — that of teaching the industrial sciences
through improved text-books for home study,
under guidance and assistance rendered the stu-
dent through the mails. The origin and develop-
ment of this now world-renowned institution
forms a narrative of great interest.

When a young man Mr. Foster was publish-
er of a paper at Shenandoah, Schuylkill county,
a town of twenty-five thousand inhabitants, and
he made it phenomenally successful, working its
circulation up to fifteen thousand. His office be-
came headquarters for merchants, mine operators
and miners alike, and a certain feeling of inti-
macy sprang up between them. The prevalence
of accidents and great number of fatalities that
were constantly occurring, due to ignorance of
mine conditions as well as ordinary dangers, sug-
gested to him the necessity of educating miners
and those in charge of mines in the theory and
scientific principles involved in their various du-
ties, not only for the benefit of the individual, but
for the protection and safety of human life, by
familiarizing them with the conditions and dan-
gers of the mines. A fatal mine explosion in>



76



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



1873. near Shenandoah, in which several of the
prominent men lost their lives, was a source of
special inspiration Mr. Foster had for undertak-
ing such a task. He first published a "Mining
Manual" for the enlightenment of the miners,
which he distributed among them, and the eager-
ness with which they received it encouraged him
to begin the publication of a journal, Tlie Mining
Herald, in 1881, and which he conducted suc-
cessfullv for several years. In the autumn of
1887 the title was changed to Tlic Colliery En-
gineer. The growth of the publication was such
that the following year it was decided to move
the publication offices to Scranton, the metrop-
olis of the anthracite coal region. In 1890 the
business was incorporated under the name of
the Colliery Engineer Company.

In the fall of the same year Mr. Foster con-
ceived the idea of teaching the theory of coal
mining to miners who desired to qualify them-
selves for certificates for competency as mine
foremen, which were required of all men aspir-
ing to that position by the mine law of 1885,
and he established what was known as the Col-
liery Engineer School of Mines. The course of
instruction was prepared with special reference
to the'needs of miners, many of whom were bare-
ly able to read and write, and who did not have
time to give to study except as it was taken from
the hours which they were accustomed to de-
vote to rest and recreation. The lessons were
issued in the form of carefully prepared pamph-
lets, with questions following. The course be-
gan with the most elementary subjects, and by
easy steps the student was taken to the higher
branches, and all subjects were taught in a sim-
ple and concise manner, all superfluous matter
being eliminated so that every line in the course
had a direct bearing upon the subject taught.
Aids to the understanding of the text were af-
forded bv means of elaborate cuts, diagrams, etc.
It was a startling experiment, and was ridiculed
and antagonized by many scholastic institutions
and educators, but Mr. Foster never for a mo-
ment faltered in his faith as to the ultimate suc-
cess of his method. He was encouraged from
time to time by the rapid advance of the students
who had qualified themselves under this instruc-
tion for successfully filling oflicial mining posi-
tions. The writing, editing, illustrating and com-
position, etc., of the first course involved constant
labor for a period of twelve years, and an out-
lay of $35,000. A few years after the establish-
ment of the schools, owing to the fact that the
■ Colliery Engineer magazine had developed into



a general mining journal, its name was changed
to Mines and Minerals.

As the correspondence system of instruction
had developed into many fields, the various de-
partments of the schools were grouped under the
name of the International Correspondence
Schools, and the enterprise was subsequently in-
corporated under the style of the International
Textbook Company as proprietors. From the
beginning the history of the schools has been
one of astonishing growth. Probablv their most
distinctive and remarkable feature consists in
the method of obtaining their more than three-
quarters of a million (eight hundred thousand)
students who have been enrolled in the institu-
tion. The system of obtaining enrollment and
the making of the student after enrollment af-
fords an interesting chapter, and is important no
less as an educational than as a financial feature
of the schools. They have an armv of some
fifteen hundred solicitors, or field men, scouring
the cities, towns and country side for student ma-
terial, talking up the advantages of education,
and the practicability of their methods. The ed-
ucational sentiment they create is far-reaching.
They use diligent efforts to interest a prospective
student, and, after enrolled, they keep in touch
with him, lending him their continued encour-
agement and assistance. The value of this ed-
ucational sentiment thus created and represented
by a vast army of students, cannot be overesti-
mated. As the prime purpose of educational in-
stitutions is to inspire study, and prepare stu-
dents for a life career, the Correspondence
Schools, with their vast enrollment of stu-
dents, has no equal as an educational me-
dium. Another strong feature of the in-
stitution is its text-books. Since a verv large
proportion of its students lack even an element-
ary education, the te.xt-books must necessarily
be simple, and suited to the comprehension of un-
educated and untrained minds. Thev contain
no superfluous matter, and only the important
and essential features of the subject in hand is
treated. Constant revision of these text-books
is made, all changes being in the nature of sim-
plification, and more and more interesting and
attractive. So well have these ends been con-
served that more than three times as manv stu-
dents now complete the respective courses as
did formerly. Students are provided with in-
quiry blanks to be filled out and forwarded to
the Schools for any information or enlightment
required upon any subject under study. These
inquiries formerly imposed herculean labor to



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS..



77



answer, but the simplicity and particularity of
the revision now in use have in great measure
obviated the necessity for inquiries, and relieved
the institution of much of its former burdens.
Xo labor or expense has been spared in making
this revision. The highest technical authorities
have been employed, and the revised text-books
are widely recognized as standard authority, the
best evidence of the fact being their adoption in
leading colleges throughout the land.

While the thoroughness and simplicity of
text-books and the system of correspondence ob-
viates the necessity of a resident teacher, another
great feature in the system of education and
courses of study is found in the absolute freedom
of the student to elect what he desires to study,
and when he is able to study. He may give one,
two or three hours a day ; he may drop his course
and take it up again when he chooses ; for, when
once an enrolled student of the institution, he
is considered a student for as long a period as
he desires, and the Schools stand ready at all
times to render any required assistance.

At the present time the management con-
ducts thirty schools, teaching nearlv all the ap-
plied sciences and the commercial and higher
branches. Alore than a million dollars has been
invested in the preparation of courses, and a
quarter million of dollars is being annually added
to this amount. In all, more than four and a
half million dollars has been expended in the
development of the enterprise, more than one-
fifth of which is represented by buildings and
the printing plant. The latter is an elaborately
equipped establishment, from which is issued all
the printed matter necessary to the conduct of
the business, including artistic illustrative work.
The buildings, erected at a cost of more than
five hundred thousand dollars, comprise three
structures, the combined area of which is about
seven acres, as follow^s : The Administration De-
partment, two buildings, approximately fifty feet
by one hundred and twenty-five feet, and fortv-
five by sixty-six feet, five and four stories in
height, respectively ; the Instruction Department
and Printery, covering an area of one hundred
and sixty-seven by four hundred and sixtv feet,
two and three stories in height, heated bv steam
and lighted by electricity from plants on the
premises.

The faculty, headed by Thomas J. Foster as
president, numbers thirty-one principals of
Schools, and thirteen assistant principals. These,
as previously stated, have had under their in-
struction, in one form or another, more than



eight hundred thousand persons, and they have
helped thousands to higher and better remu-
nerated positions, in every field of industrial and.
commercial life, and also in various of the pro-
fessions. The great value of these allied Schools
is attested by many facts, but bv none more sig-
nificant than that one hundred and thirty-two



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 16 of 130)