August 21, 2013

Milwaukee Legal Families: Miller and Peckham

While meandering around the Miller-Peckham family of Milwaukee I became intrigued by the lawyers and judges.  Pennsylvania born Andrew Galbraith Miller (1801-1874) brought the family (including son Benjamin then 8) to Milwaukee upon his assignment there as a Territorial Judge in 1838.  Benjamin too became a lawyer and married Isabella Peckham, daughter of Albany NY lawyer George Williams Peckham 1796-1873 who moved the family to Wisconsin in the mid-1850s. Isabella was surrounded by lawyers: her father, 2 brothers, her father-in-law, her husband and 2 of her 3 sons.

There were some notable lawyers in the extended family such as her paternal uncle Rufus Wheeler Peckham 1809-1873 lawyer, Congressman and NY Supreme Court judge and his son Rufus 1838-1909 who served on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Isabella’s fascinating brother George Williams Peckham 1845-1914 not only trained as a lawyer, but as a doctor, then pursued teaching science in Milwaukee and became a spider expert. He certainly broke the pattern. His sons did not pursue a legal career.

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