Biography of Perry Peck

Perry Peck is the owner of one of the fine farms of Licking county, having one hundred acres of valuable land in Harrison township about three miles from Pataskala. Upon his place he has all modern equipment known to the model farm of the twentieth century and here he is extensively engaged in stock-raising, making a specialty of American Merino sheep, Jersey cows and Duroc Jersey Red hogs. His business interests, most carefully conducted, are proving to him a profitable source of revenue.

Mr. Peck was born in Union township, this county, May 2, 1854. His paternal grandparents were Solomon and Elizabeth (Nutt) Peck, in whose family were eight children, including Dexter Peck, whose birth occurred at Topsham, Vermont, April 25, 1833. He was only five years of age when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Ohio, the family home being established in Harlem township, Delaware county. There amid pioneer conditions he was reared to manhood, but when a young man came to Licking county and spent his remaining days in agricultural pursuits in Union and Harrison townships. He wedded Miss Comfort Parkerson, who was born in Etna township, Licking county, and was a daughter of John and Mary (Slack) Parkerson. Her father’s birth occurred in Sawley, England, July 25, 1793, while his wife was born in Pennsylvania about 1796. With his parents, John and Anna Parkerson, he crossed the Atlantic to Connecticut about 1800 and on leaving New England became a resident of Zanesville, Ohio, where his marriage was celebrated. He served his adopted country as a soldier of the war of 1812, holding the rank of colonel. Following his marriage in Zanesville he removed to Licking county and for some time resided in Etna township but his last days were passed in Kirkersville, this county, where he died when about eighty years of age. His wife passed away in 1874. John Parkerson, the grandfather of Mr. Peck, was one of a family of seven children, namely: Martha, John, Samuel, Ann, William, Thomas and Edward.

Following his marriage Dexter Peck established his home on a farm in this county and throughout his remaining days devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits in Union and Harrison townships. In his chosen life work he met with gratifying success and at one time was the owner of about three hundred acres of rich and productive land, but divided this with his children. He died upon the home farm on the day following the seventieth anniversary of his birth, while his wife died in 1886 at the age of fifty-two years. He was a member of the Kirkersville Baptist church and in early life gave his political allegiance to the democracy, while later he became a supporter of the Republican party. Unto him and his wife were born six children: Perry, of this review; W. F., deceased; Willis R., living in Lima township; Mary J., who has passed away; Anna V., the wife of Charles Camp, of St. Albans township; and Loren B., of Harrison township.

In taking up the personal history of Perry Peck we present to our readers the life record of one who has long been widely and favorably known in this part of Licking county, having for more than a half century made his home in Harrison township. He. was only three years old when his parents removed to a farm in this township and within its borders he has since remained, his youthful days being largely devoted to farm work in assisting his father. The public schools afforded him his educational privileges and his training in the work of the fields well qualified him to take charge of farming interests on his own account at the time of his marriage. He has remained upon his present farm since October, 1874, and has here an excellent tract of land of one hundred acres, pleasantly situated about three miles from Pataskala and six miles from Granville. When he took possession there was upon the place a little one-story house containing four rooms and the farm was surrounded by a rail fence. There were no trees in the yard and the place was in a somewhat dilapidated condition, but with characteristic energy he began to till the soil and improve the farm and it is today one of the fine properties of Harrison township. In 1885 he erected a commodious residence containing nine rooms. He has also built all the necessary outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock, has an excellent granary and three good barns. He has also placed one thousand rods of tile upon the farm and has set out fruit of all kinds. In addition to raising the cereals best adapted to soil and climate he has been extensively and successfully engaged in stock-raising, making a specialty of American Merino sheep of the best Vermont blood. He has won various premiums on his sheep when exhibiting at fairs, has now about one hundred and twenty-five head and in the spring of 1908, from six head which he bought in Vermont, he sheared one hundred and thirty-five pounds of wool, this being taken from five ewes and one ram. He likewise owns a fine herd of Jersey cows, also raises Duroc Jersey Red hogs and White Plymouth Rock chickens. He keeps always on hand stock of high grade, having some of the best blooded stock to be found in this part of the state.

In the year 1874, when but twenty years of age, Mr. Peck laid the foundation for a pleasant home life in his marriage to Miss Mary C. Williams, who was born in Liberty township, Licking county, November 4, 1854, a daughter of John and Mary (McArney) Iliff, the former a native of Perry county, Ohio. The mother died when her daughter Mary was but three months old and she was then adopted by Charles Williams and took his name. John Iliff was a son of James Iliff, a native of Pennsylvania, who became one of the early settlers of Perry county, Ohio. Mary McArney was the daughter of the Rev. John A. McArney, a Methodist preacher. Mrs. Peck had one brother, James Iliff, and a sister, Mattie Iliff, both now deceased. Her father married a second time, had six children by that union and died in Nebraska. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Peck were born three sons: Charles D., who died at the age of one year, one month and one day; Addis Iliff, who died at the age of seventeen years; and a son who died in infancy.

In his political views Mr. Peck has always been a stalwart republican and for seven years served as township trustee, while he has also filled the offices of road supervisor and school director. He belongs to the Wesleyan Methodist church and takes an active and helpful interest in its work, contributing generously to its support and doing all in his power to further its. growth and upbuilding. Honorable and upright, manly and sincere, his life record commends him to the confidence and good will of all who know him.


Brister, Edwin M. P. Centennial History of the City of Newark and Licking County, Ohio, 2 vols. S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1909.

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