George H. Peck, who was well known among the settlers of El Monte district in the late sixties, and for some thirty years following, was born in Burlington, Vermont, March 4, 1819. A graduate of the University of Vermont, and a law student, Mr. Peck after a few years of extended travel by land and sea, took up the practice of law in Burlington. After a few years, failing health compelled him to give up his law profession. He sought recuperation in travel, taking work instead of leisure, by shipping before the mast on several voyages, which took him to many ports in Europe, South America, and West India Islands.
Returning in 1846 to Vermont, he engaged in business until 1849, when he made the voyage to California, vial the Isthmus, arriving in San Francisco aboard the Steamship Oregon, on December 1st of that year, engaging in various lines of endeavor such as vegetable and hay merchant, mining, farming, and principal of schools in San Francisco and Sacramento. Other pursuits up to 1868, included the practice of law, the conducting of commercial and industrial schools and other educational work in San Francisco. In 1869, Mr. Peck came to El Monte and located on a ranch northeast of that city, and entered upon agricultural pursuits, which he conducted quite successfully for over twenty years. He also operated a large dairy.
Politically, he was a Republican taking a great interest in the affairs of that party and serving as a delegate in many conventions. From 1874 to 1876, he served as Superintendent of Public Schools in Los Angeles County, and was a member of the Southern California Historical Society. Mr. Peck was twice married, and to the first union were born two sons, John H. F. Peck engaged in business in Los Angeles, while George H. Jr., was for several years, active in the development of the El Monte district. A sketch of his life is given elsewhere in this volume. The Peck family remained on the El Monte Ranch until 1900 when they moved to Los Angeles. Mr. Peck, Sr., died in 1906.
© 2001 by Ray Ensing