brother-in-law, Mabel and Gordon. Mildred passed away in 1974. George was born in 1920 at the home farm near Ossian. He attended the rural school and graduated from Ossian High School in 1937. Since there was no public transportation of students at the time, he often stayed in Ossian with his grandfather and aunt, Eber and Edith DeCou, during his high school years. He and his grandfather would pass the time by playing checkers in the evenings.

After completion of high school George started farming with his brother Eldo. Looking for ways to supplement their farm income they began selling corn for the small and unknown company, Pioneer Seed. Eldo later quit selling corn but George continued for 49 years and at the time of his retirement in 1988 he had been affiliated with Pioneer Hybrid International longer than any other employee of the company. He received many awards for top sales.

In 1943 George married Ethel Nerlie. Ethel was born in 1918 in rural Springfield Twp., the daughter of Gunder and Laura Nerlie. (See Nerlie story for further information) They have lived on the farm purchased from George’s parents for their entire married life. They raised hogs, corn, had a dairy herd for several years, and were always busy in the spring with the corn business. Ethel took care of the May rush while George did his own field work. George did the summer sales for delivery the next spring. Both Ethel and George have been actively involved in the community. They are members of the South Winneshiek Golf Club. George has served on the South Winneshiek school board and on church council. Ethel served as a 4-H leader for several years and taught Sunday School and has served on committees affiliated with Northeast Iowa Mental Health. They are active members of Ossian Lutheran Church. They continue to work on the farm. George is crop farming and they both work with their yard and vegetable and flower gardens. A hobby for several years has been to raise a large sweet corn patch and to give the corn away to family and friends. George and Ethel are the parents of 3 children: Janice, Gloria, and Nancy.

Janice is married to Dave Siefken. They are the parents of 2 sons, Bryant and Kevin. Bryant lives in Lindstrom, MN and is married to the former Jami Dueland. He is a technical trainer for Dorsey and Whitney Law Firm. She works in the computer imaging department of Merrill Publishing. Kevin lives in Albert Lea, MN and his special friend is Trena Heller. He is a lawyer with the firm of Christian and Peterson. Dave and George farmed in partnership for about 20 years, until Dave accepted a position at Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission. Janice has been employed as an elementary teacher in the South Winneshiek school system since 1971. Dave is a 30 year veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve, retiring with the rank of captain. Gloria married David Olson and they had one daughter, Alexis. They have divorced. She is now married to Thom Burns and lives in Golden Valley, MN. Alexis is a senior at Hopkins High School. Gloria works at Hennepin County Welfare in the City County Building in downtown Minneapolis. Thom is a retired Navy officer and is editor of two boating magazines: Northern Breezes and Waterlines. Nancy is married to Rob Bolson and they live in Decorah. She is a special education teacher at North Winneshiek Community School. Rob is a self-employed woodworker. Nancy is on the Opportunities Homes Board of Directors, Rob is on the Decorah Library Board, and they are both active members of Izaak Walton League.

Peckham, Nathan and Martha (Rockwell) and Descendants

(Virginia A. Boese)

Bio Photo

Nathan Peckham farm house, Bloomfield township,
Castalia, ca. 1875. Nellie Peckham and George Peckham
on ponies. Nathan Peckham seated on lawn.
Martha Peckham seated on lawn, behind her is
Henry Dean, other man unidentified. Will Peckham
on porch with Eliza Dean and unidentified lady.

Nathan Peckham was born 1 Aug 1819 at Endfield, CT and was the youngest of five children born to Rowland and Susan (Champlin) Peckham. The early family lived in England at what was known as North Downs, Southwest Kent at (Peac Ham) “house on the peak.” Nathan's family name was found on the land ownership records at Newport, Rl in 1638. Nathan was a sailor in his youth. Later, by trade he was known as a stationer who sold paper, pens, diaries, toys, jewelry and also made spectacles at 10 State Street in Hartford, CT Nathan buried three wives and two children in Hartford. In 1867 he married Martha A. Rockwell, daughter of Ahuel and Mary (Halloway) Rockwell of Becket, MA. Nathan was a successful businessman and in 1870 he sold his business in Hartford and came to Iowa with his wife, Martha, daughter, Nellie (from a previous marriage) and his two year old son, George W. and bought an acreage in Bloomfield Twp. In 1871 he built the house, which still stands, where his son, William was born in July 1871. Prior to building of the house, the family lived across the road in a small house owned by Henry Dean and his wife Eliza (Rockwell) Dean


Complete OCR transcription

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