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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

PECKHAM, GEORGE GRANT GUY

PECKHAM, GEORGE GRANT GUY

PECKHAM, GEORGE GRANT GUY (1 Aug. 1874-8 Aug. 1945) was a pioneer in automobile sales in Cleveland, building one of the largest car dealerships in the state. Pekham was born in Troy, Ohio, the son of George Washington and Lavine Jane (Shilling) Peckham and was educated public schools until age 18 when entered commercial school in Dayton to study bookkeeping. He organized his own carriage sales company in Dayton and began to sell electric cars as the automotive industry developed, founding Peckham Motor Car Co. in 1903. When his business was destroyed by the Dayton flood in 1913 leaving him $40,000 in debt, he was able to buy the Cleveland Buick factory distributorship, pay off his debt with help from JEREMIAH J. SULLIVAN, founder of Central National Bank, and organize Ohio Buick Co. The automobile was becoming a necessity rather than a luxury, and under Peckham's leadership Ohio Buick became the largest in the state at one time. He also headed Motors Realty Co. and Peckham Estates Co.

In addition to his automotive activities, Peckham was actively involved in the war effort during WORLD WAR II as president of the Canadian-American Truck Co. and treasurer of the National Munitions Corp both with offices in New York.

Peckham Married Elizabeth Finch of Dayton 5 Jan. 1898, and they had a daughter Phyllis. A resident of SHAKER HTS., he died suddenly of a heart attack in New York City and was buried at Knollwood Cemetery.