Peck, John M.

Born: 1789-10-31 Litchfield County, Connecticut

Died: 1858-03-16 Rock Spring, Illinois

Of Puritan ancestry, Peck grew up on his father's farm in Connecticut, where he attended school. At the age of eighteen, he taught school for a time and then became a Baptist minister. On May 8, 1809, he married Sarah Payne, who was the sister of Eli Payne. In 1811, the couple moved to New York, where he taught school, preached, and organized churches. In 1817, he brought his wife and three children overland in a small wagon, settling first in Shawneetown, Illinois. In 1827, he established the Rock-Spring Theological Seminary and High-School at Lebanon, Illinois, where he was professor of theology. He was a founder of Shurtleff College of Alton, Illinois. In the early 1850s, he was the head of a Baptist college in Covington, Kentucky. He was also an author, writing among other things, A Gazetteer of Illinois in Three Parts. He made his home in Rock Spring, Illinois, where he died in 1858 from exhaustion.

John Reynolds, The Pioneer History of Illinois (Chicago: Fergus, 1887), 253-54; Gravestone, Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MO; John M. Peck, A Gazetteer of Illinois in Three Parts (Jacksonville, IL: R. Goudy, 1834).