William Samuel Peck (1837-1903)

Courtesy of Carnegie Branch Library for Local History. Boulder Historical Society Collection, 216-4-12-2.

William Samuel Peck was born 28 March 1837 in the parish of St. Pancras in Camden (later part of London) Middlesex, England.

• William was the first-born son of the Peck family. They lived in St. Pancras until the time the entire family immigrated to America.

• It is not currently known why they immigrated, but they left London and arrived in New York on May 19, 1855 on the ship Southampton.

• It isn’t known yet where the family lived for five years after their arrival, but by 1860 the family is found in Taylors Falls, Chisago, Minnesota, just along the border with Wisconsin across the river from St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. William is listed as a painter living with his family in the national 1860 census.

• By 1862 William was living in St. Croix Falls, Polk, Wisconsin and this is where he was living when he enlisted during the Civil War on August, 21 1862 in the neighboring county at Hudson, St. Croix. Two months later, William mustered in to Company D of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry as a Private under Captain Fulton.

• Company D traveled to St. Louis, Missouri in May 1863 to guard the supply boats for General Alfred Sully’s Northwest Indian Expedition up the Missouri River and into Dakota Territory.

• In August 1863 Company D traveled up river to assist in the building of Fort Sully on the north bank of the Missouri River along Farm Island about four miles east of modern-day Pierre, South Dakota.

• During his time at Fort Sully, William, along with many other of the men, suffered from disease, particularly scurvy, from the poor conditions and lack of nutrition.

• William was stationed at Fort Sully until October 1864 when his company traveled to Sioux City, Iowa, St. Joseph, Missouri, Quincy, Illinois, and finally Louisville, Kentucky by the end of November.

• The regiment officially mustered out on September 20, 1865 and William returned to Wisconsin.

• William tried to return to his trade of sign painting and graining after returning to St. Croix Falls, Polk, Wisconsin, but was sick for at least a month.

• In the spring of 1866 he moved to St. Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota.

** More to come soon **

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