Glendale, California Biographies

Charles L. Peckham

        Charles L. Peckham, of the firm of Peckham, Green & Ray, insurance adjusters, Los Angeles, was born in New York City, March 17, 1867, a son of Charles Vasser and Amelia (Nichols) Peckham. The Peckham family in America dates back to about 1710, and is of English ancestry. Many of the Peckham family have been prominent in public life, among whom is found the name of Rufus Peckham, an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, and Wheeler H. Peckham of New York City. Captain Luther Nichols, the grandfather of Mr. Peckham, went to Chicago. He let the citizens against the Lager Beer Rioters in 1857 and received a gold medal for his bravery. This medal is now in Mr. Peckham’s possession.

        Mr. Peckham was reared in New York City, where his father was a prominent insurance man. After graduating from the public schools of New York City, he attended Kent Law College, from which he graduated with the class of 1894. He established himself in Chicago as an insurance attorney and remained there for twenty years. In 1906, at the time of the earthquake and fire at San Francisco, he was sent there to make adjustments, and remained at that work for a year. The adjustment on the Palace Hotel, which was the largest single adjustment ever made up to that time, the amount being placed at $1,250,000.00, was made by Mr. Peckham. He came to Southern California, and selecting Glendale for his future home, has become a thorough Glendalian, believing in Glendale and declaring it to be the best conducted municipality in the country.

        Soon after coming to Southern California he established himself in business in Los Angeles. In 1921 the firm of Peckham, Green & Ray was formed. Mr. Peckham is well known in insurance circles, being the first president of the American Association of Adjusters for Insurance Companies, and a charter member of Chapter No. 1, District of Southern California. The firm of Peckham, Green & Ray are the only insurance adjusters in the United States whose business covers automobile, fire and marine adjustment. Mr. Peckham is a Knights Templar Mason and Shriner, a member of the Shrine Club, a Past Commander of Glendale Commandry, No. 53, Knights Templar, a member of the Eastern Star, and belongs to both the Glendale and Los Angeles Chambers of Commerce.

        At Chicago, Illinois, November 21, 1889, Mr. Peckham married Lillian Chandler, daughter of Cornelius C. Chandler, a sketch of whose life appears elsewhere in this volume. They have three children: Francis Anna, wife of Oliver Ennis of Glendale; Gladys, a senior in Glendale Union High School; and Vasser, a student in the grade school. Mrs. Peckham is a Past President of the Women’s Relief Corps, and its present musician; Patriotic Chairman of the Glendale Union High School and Columbus Avenue Parent-Teacher Association’ a charter member of the Thursday Afternoon Club, the Glendale Mutual Benefit Reading Circle, the Glendale Music Club, and is social secretary of the Mutual Benefit Reading Circle; a member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club, the Daughters of Veterans, and Glen Eyrie Chapter, Order Eastern Star. She is an accomplished musician and vocalist, having received her instrumental training under Miss Weston, of Chicago, a pupil of Madam Carino of London; and her vocal teacher was Professor Kowalski, of Kimball Hall, Chicago. Mrs. Ennis is a violinist, having been a student of Professor Fisher of Missoula, Montana, and also of Professor Lowinsky of Glendale. Gladys is a pupil of Professor Joad Anderson of Los Angeles. The family are members of the Congregational Church, Mr. Peckham being a trustee and Mrs. Peckham a member of the choir. Their home “Casa De Rosa” is at 615 North Central Avenue.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 379-380.