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Walter Hyer Peck1853

Walter Hyer Peck
Given names
Walter Hyer
Birth August 28, 1853 39 33
Rockville Twp., Kankakee, Illinois

Birth of a sisterHelen Bremner Peck
December 26, 1855 (Age 2)
Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey

Death of a fatherJohn Peck Rev.
1868 (Age 14)
Paterson, New Jersey

Death of a motherSarah Nichols Bremner
May 30, 1879 (Age 25)

Death of a brotherWilliam Lewis Peck
March 5, 1941 (Age 87)
Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota

LDS baptism March 24, 1971 (Age 117)

LDS temple: Salt Lake City, Utah

LDS endowment May 18, 1971 (Age 117)

LDS temple: Salt Lake City, Utah

LDS child sealing August 25, 1971 (Age 117)

LDS temple: Salt Lake City, Utah

Family with parents - View family
John Peck Rev.
Birth: July 30, 1814 35Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut
Death: 1868Paterson, New Jersey
Sarah Nichols Bremner
Birth: July 24, 1820 22New York, New York, New York
Death: May 30, 1879
Marriage: October 1849New York, New York
11 months
elder brother
William Lewis Peck
Birth: August 17, 1850 36 30Greenville, Sullivan, Indiana
Death: March 5, 1941Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota
3 years
Walter Hyer Peck
Birth: August 28, 1853 39 33Rockville Twp., Kankakee, Illinois
younger sister
Helen Bremner Peck
Birth: December 26, 1855 41 35Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey


Alternate birth place: Rockville, Parke, Indiana.

WALTER H. PECK FAMILY HISTORY ?by Jean Peck Bradley Walter H. Peck was born on August 28th, 1853 in Cook County, Illinois, the son of Presbyterian minister, Reverend John Peck and Sarah Bremner Peck. At the age of 12 he went to work in the offices of the Erie Railroad where he remained for the next 11 years. After the death of his widowed mother and at the age of 28 years he decided to join those hardy souls who found a challenge in new horizons in the West. ?Boarding the train to St. Louis and then on to Bismarck, North Dakota, which was then the end of the rail line. He rode up the Missouri River on the first steamboat of the year, the "Far West", and landed in Fort Benton. The trip took 14 days. Fort Benton was then the last navigable station on the Missouri and was the bustling headquarters for large shipments of furs, wool and supplies and was the gateway for shipments of gold to the East. ?There Walter bought a saddle horse, a frying pan and a small pail. For provisions he had a slab of bacon, a pound of tea, a sack of rice and some dried fruit. With Square Butte as a landmark, he left Fort Benton riding directly across the open fenceless country and eventually ended up on Armells Creek, then in Meagher County on the North slopes of the Judith Mountains. Here Walter found work on a large sheep ranch, taking part of his wages in a share of the lambs. In 1882 he took up a homestead 12 miles north of Fort Maginnis and stocked it with 600 head of sheep. Eventually adding desert and timber claims he increased his acreage to 800 acres and his band of sheep to about 7000. On September 22, 1885 he married Zelinda Stuart. ?Zelinda was born of Quaker parents, one of 7 children, in North Carolina in 1849. During the Civil War her father clung tenaciously to his Quaker beliefs and refused to bear arms. He was bitterly persecuted for his religious convictions, even being hung by his thumbs, but was finally forced to march toward the enemy with a gun tied to his body. He marched on into enemy territory and till the end of the Civil War was sent to work in the salt mines as punishment. These years passed, and at the end of the war he got in touch with his family again and they joined him in Raysville, Indiana to start a new life. Here he rented a small acreage and managed, by working for his landlord whenever possible, to put by a small amount toward moving his family further west into Illinois which was still an open pioneering country at that time. They finally moved to Plymouth, Illinois when Zelinda was a young lady of 19. ?Zelinda's older brother, Julian, ventured out West to Montana and became a sheep man not far from where Walter Peck had settled. A large operator, a Scotchman by the name of William Fergus lived nearby and had a family of three girls and a boy who were nearing school age, but there were no schools in the area. Julian wrote to his sister and she decided to make the hazardous trip West to join him to keep house for him and to keep her anxious parents informed as to his well being as well as to teach the Fergus children. ?She often told most interesting stories of her trip as she boarded the train as far as it went to Bismarck, North Dakota and from there, by stage, where she was the only woman among a group of fur traders. She was impressed with the beauty of the grasslands, the streams and the wild game and as they drove into the Maiden Canyon the driver asked where he could 'drop' his lady passenger. She asked to be taken to thb Hotel but the driver shook his head and in astonishment said "No Ma'am that isn't a fit place for a lady. There ain't no real hotel in these parts....just saloons and lodging houses! I'll take you to Mrs. Ballinger's. She is a white woman and will take good care of you till your brother comes for you." Zelinda spent a few days with Mr. and Mrs. Ballinger and there formed a friendship which lasted through their lives. ?Zelinda, or Linda as she was widely known, stayed with her brother till fall. Then as he was planning to be married and his cabin was quite small she went to live in the home of Granville Stuart. Granville was a boisterous, hearty man of the West (no relation) and was looking for someone to teach his family of children. His wife was a shy, retiring full blood Crow Indian. She taught his children as well as the Fergus children and any others in the immediate area. Eventually Linda and Walter became acquainted and were married, and to this union were born three children: Harry, Helen and John. ?The need for a neighborhood post office became apparent and induced Walter to promote a petition to have one established. They proposed to have the new post office named Ray, shortened from Linda's childhood hometown of Raysville, Indiana, but through some error, perhaps in penmanship, when the official papers arrived, in 1892, to establish the post office in his home the name was given as Roy. ?A drouth, followed by a severe winter caused Walter to lose most of his sheep so he sold his place in 1897 to Oscar Stephens and sent his family to stay with her parents in Illinois to go to school while he planned to run what was left of his band of sheep in the breaks of the P. 62 Missouri for the winter. The next spring he was forced to sell what was left of his sheep and had barely $1,000 to show for his labor. ?About this time he learned of a general store in Garneill which was having financial difficulties. Through his reputation for personal integrity and with no collateral, Walter was able to make arrangements through Sam Phillips of the Bank of Fergus County to become half owner with Frank Hassett of the Garneill property. He soon bought his partner's interest and became sole owner of the W.H. Peck General Merchandise Store which was said to handle anything from a needle up to a threshing machine. Upon taking over the business he sent for Linda and the children. By this time the railroad had been built to Great Falls so from there they came by stage to Utica where Walter met them and they traveled by horse and buggy to their new home 25 miles away. The railroad was built into the area during the next few years and with the excitement of homestead areas opening up and new industry the general store proved to be a thriving business. Peck ran the store until 1917, which also included the post office from 1902 to 1912. He was appointed deputy U.S. Land Commissioner and as such took homestead filings in the area. ?Peck's retired to Lewistown where he died in 1928 at the age of 74. Zelinda lived to be 94 years old. Their youngest son, John, stayed in the Garneill area where he raised a large family, many of them still residing in that area.