Biography of Silas C. Peckham
Rensselaer County, NY Biographies





Peckham, Silas C., was born in the town of Petersburg, June 18, 1841. Be is a descendant from Sir John Peckham, who with a brother came from England and settled in Newport, R. I., in 1638; the brother died soon after. Sir John reared a large family and his descendants for a hundred years were in the ship building and the shipping business. Abel Peckham, great grandfather of Silas C., was a native of Westerly, R. I. He was a farmer by occupation and reared four sons and two daughters. He and his two sons were minute men during the Revolutionary war. Joshua, his grandfather, was born in Westerly, R I., in 1770. He was a ship carpenter by trade and soon after the Revolutionary war he, with two of his brothers and two sisters, removed to Rensselaer county and settled on the wild forest land in the town of Grafton; here he made a home and became prosperous. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was married twice; his first wife was Sarah Stetson, by whom four sons and three daughters were born. His second wife was Sarah Burdick, to whom were born two sons and two daughters, and ten of his children grew to maturity. He died in 1851. Stephen, the father of Silas a, was born in the town of Grafton in 1803; he was a blacksmith during his younger days, but he soon left this and engaged in the business of drover, which he followed extensively for many years, driving to New York, Buffalo and Boston; his last years were spent on his father's homestead; his wife was Cornelia Van Brown; she was born in 1806 and was a daughter of Nathan Brown and granddaughter of Elder Elijah Brown. They reared five sons and five daughters, all of whom grew to maturity. He died in 1883 and she died in 1888. Silas C. Peckham received his education in the common and select schools and when nineteen years of age began to teach. He went to Chicago, Ill., where, in March, 1863, he enlisted in the famous Chicago Board of Trade Battery and served in that until the close of the war. This battery has recorded to its credit seventy nine battles, eleven of which were the hardest fought battles of the war. The principal battles in which Mt Peckham participated were Chickamauga, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Noon Day Creek, Atlanta, Nashville, Pulaski, Selma, and Wilson's raid. He received a dangerous wound in the battle of Noon Day Creek by a musket ball entering and passing through his hip; the ball he has now in his possession. After his return from the war he taught school one term and then settled on his present farm, where he has since resided, doing general farming. He is a life member of the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also a member of the Chicago Battery Association, and of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland, and of Tappan G.A. R. Post of Berlin. In 1861 he married Harriet E. Allen, who was born in the town of Petersburgh, and is a daughter of Dr. Amos and Betsey (Avery) Allen. They have one child, Allen, who is a commercial traveler for a drug house in New York.

From:
Landmarks of Rensselaer County
BY: George Baker Aaderson
Published By: D. Mason & Co. Publishers
Syracuse, NY 1897


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