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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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N. JAY PECK of the firm of Beard & Peck, dealers in furniture, and undertakers, is one of the leading, as well as one of the most widely known of the younger class of men, who are doing business in the prosperous village of Cortland. In his mercantile career he has devoted his time and his talents to many branches of trade, and success has ever seemed to be his lot.

Mr. Peck is a son of Lyman and Jane (Taylor) Peck, and a grandson of Lyman Peck, Sr. He was born near Solon village, September 6, 1862. His grandfather was born at Solon, Cortland County, received a good common school education, and was, until his retirement from active life, a successful tiller of the soil. He retired in 1870, and moved to Cortland village, where he lived until 1873. His wife departed from this life June 25, 1890. They had six sons and one daughter born to them. In politics, Lyman Peck, Sr., was a Republican, and in church matters an active Methodist.

Lyman Peck, Jr., father of our subject, was born on the home farm in Solon. After his school days were over, he became a farmer, and so continued for several years. He then with his brother, Rufus Peck, went into business at Solon, N. Y. He was a clean-cut business man, and always did well in a financial way. He was ever a consistent Christian, and a true member of the M. E. Church. He also followed his father’s political precepts, and was a Republican of prominence and influence, being at one time town clerk of Solon. His business life closed in 1878, when he retired and came to Cortland to live. Here he died in January, 1886. His widow survived him by two years. The children who made up his family were: Clinton D.; N. Jay, our subject; Carrie, wife of R. H. Beard; Charles B.; and Jesse T.

The subject of this personal notice was trained in the public schools, and pursued a most thorough and comprehensive course at the Cortland State Normal School. He then became a clerk in the grocery store of C. W. Stoker of Cortland, a position he retained for seven years. At the end of this term, Mr. Peck struck out for himself, conducting for one year a good boot and shoe business. His next enterprise was a partnership in the grocery line with his brother, Charles B. Peck, which occupied his time and attention for the succeeding three years. The present business was then inaugurated under the style of Beard & Peck, and has up to this writing continued to thrive and broaden. Beard & Peck carry the heaviest assortment of furniture and allied lines of any house in Cortland County. They also conduct an undertaking business, which is second to none in this section. They occupy a large four-story brick building, 125 feet by 25 in ground dimensions, located on Main Street, which is thoroughly equipped and fitted so as to adequately store and display the many articles that go to make up their immense stock. They are in close touch with the best sources of supply, and their high business standing and unquestioned integrity enable them to buy in the best markets and of the best makers. This enterprising firm also conducts a branch store at Marathon, under the style of A. C. Baker & Co., which is credited with doing a very good business.

Besides being a notably shrewd and experienced man in the business life of Cortland, Mr. Peck is no less prominent in many other fields of activity. He is a steadfast supporter of the Republican party, and a prime factor in matters of party expediency. He is a member of the school board, and is one of the best friends Cortland’s most excellent Fire Department has. For two years he was chief engineer of the department, and is now an active member of Orris Hose Co., No. 2. He is president of the Business Men’s Association, and in fraternal affairs is a member of the J. L. Lewis Lodge, No. 478, I. O. O. F. In social life he is fully as popular and influential as in business or civil lines. He is happily married to Harriet R. Pendleton, a daughter of Harvey Pendleton, and is the father of one child, Hazel R. To his home, his village, state, and nation he is equally devoted. He is a gentleman of culture and refinement, and takes a broad and liberal view of all matters of life. Well-directed management and careful methods have won him success, while a nature full of genuine warmth and kindliness has brought him friends without number, wherever his business has taken him.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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