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Capt. Thomas Peel 1841- 1914


Posted By: Volunteer 4 Peel (email)
Date: 11/9/2007 at 15:08:26

Portrait and Biographical Album of Des Moines County, Iowa; Chicago: Acme Publishing, 1888.
p. 358-359

Thomas PEEL, captain and pilot of the steamer "Park Bluffs," residing at 1226 S. Tenth st., Burlington, was born in Allegheny Co., Pa., in 1841, and is a son of Allen P. and Margaret (Nevill) PEEL. The former was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1808, receiving there a common-school education and remaining upon the farm until 1831, when, bidding good-bye to the Emerald Isle, he crossed the Atlantic, landed in America and took up his residence in Allegheny County, Pa. He there became acquainted with and married Margaret NEVILL, and to them there were born thirteen children, only five of whom are yet living: Samuel, a resident farmer of Lee County, Iowa; Vincent, a steam-boat captain, residing at Burlington; Thomas, the subject of this sketch; Allen, a resident of Washington Twp, Lee County is engaged in farming; and Margaret, wife of Charles DAVIS, also a resident farmer of Lee County, Iowa.

After coming to America Allen P. Peel was for some time engaged in running upon the Monongahela River, but, after the locks were placed in, this business was discontinued. He then was engaged in farming and was also quite an extensive coal dealer, in which business he continued until coming West in 1854. Taking up his residence in Keokuk, he at once purchased a farm in Montrose Township, making that his home until 1856, when, disposing of his land, he became the owner of 325 acres of timber land and eighty acres for farming purposes in Green Bay Township, Lee County. By care and cultivation it became one of the best farms in the community, and there Mr. Peel resided until his death, which occurred May 30, 1886, at the age of seventy-eight years and three months. He was a member of the Christian Church for thirty years, uniting with that body in 1856, and his earnest Christian life may well be an example to others. His wife yet survives him, residing at the old home in Lee County, and she, too, is a member of the Christian Church. Prior to coming West they had both been members of the Baptist Church, but in after life had united with the Christian.

Residing upon his father's farm during his early life, Capt. Thomas Peel attended the common schools until the age of fourteen, when he was employed in the wood-yard at Peel's Landing, which was situated on the Mississippi River ten miles below Burlington, continuing in that employment with his father until 1865. He then followed steamboating in summer, returning again to the wood-yard in winter, and he was thus engaged alternately until 1874, being then employed solely upon the steamboat for six years. He became captain and pilot in 1880, and now owns an interest in the steamers "Prescott" and "Park Bluffs." Capt. Peel's reputation since attaining to that position is unspotted, his care and attention are given exclusively to the labors to be performed, and since his life began as captain he has never had an accident happen, and the public feel safe when Capt. Peel is at the wheel.

On the 23d of November, 1869, the marriage of Thomas Peel and Mary L. BURKE was celebrated. She is a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of D. W. and Julia A. (Nolton) Burke. Her father died about the year 1867; the mother still survives him and is a resident of Burlington. Six children grace the union of this worthy couple: Minnie, Ella, George, Charles, Thomas and Lee. In his political views Capt. Peel is liberal, though generally casting his ballot with the Democratic party. He is a strong advocate of temperance principles, believing in the enforcement of the prohibitory law, and takes a special interest in religious and educational advancement, while the furtherance of any enterprise for the public good finds in him a ready supporter.

Socially, he is a member of the A. O. U. W. and V. A. S. Capt. Peel and wife are both members of the Christian Church, and as citizens and neighbors are highly respected by all.

Aspen Grove Cemetery

Lee Biographies maintained by Sherri Turner.
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