Jacob Peak was an officer at Ross's Landing in the Indian removal of 1837-1838. One of his sons, C. Standifer Peak, plied steamboats up and down the Tennessee River.
The Peaks trace back to William Peak, who was a quartermaster sergeant in Capt. Henry Lee's unit from Pittsylvania County, Va., in the Revolutionary War. After the war, he moved to Kentucky. His brothers, Aaron, Jesse and Abel, also were in the Revolution.
Jacob, a son of William, was born in 1769, and he married Mary Jones, who was born the same year. Their marriage was Jan. 14, 1789. Her sister, Lydia, married Abel Peak in 1794 and they lived at Franklin County, Va. Other brothers and sisters in the Jones family were Joseph, Jeremiah, Susan, Sarah, Thomas and Frances.
Jacob Peak in 1806 bought a farm on the Clinch River in Anderson County from Revolutionary veteran William Roberson. Jacob Peak died at Anderson County in 1853. His second wife was Patsy. Jacob Peak had 13 children. James died in Kentucky in 1825. Elizabeth married Abraham Hagler and lived at Oldfort in Polk County, while Chloe married a Griffith. Violette married Benjamin Hagler and stayed at Anderson County. Susannah married Thomas Hagler, and they lived in Roane County. Mary Jemima married Jacob Rector and resided in Kentucky. Byrd married Harriet Williams and
moved to Scott County, Ill. Absalom married Rebecca Butler and also moved to Scott County. Luke married Malinda Prigmore and settled in Meigs County. Rhoda married William Butler and was in Anderson County. West married Nancy Pickle and lived in Scott County, Ill. William married Sallie Tunnell and resided in Anderson County. He was a purchasing agent for the Confederate Army and was taking a raft of supplies down the Tennessee River when the raft ran aground. He became ill due to exposure and died near Dalton, Ga., on June 14, 1864, leaving 10 children.
Another son, Jacob Jr., was the Jacob who was the removal officer. He was born March 1, 1797, and married Keziah Prigmore. He was stationed at Dahlonega, Ga., under Gen. Winfield Scott, then was dispatched to Ross's Landing. Jacob Peak was elevated from captain to major. He also served under Andrew Jackson in the Creek Indian War and raised a company for the Mexican War. He located on the river in Meigs County. He established a store where the Watts Bar created a deep, still pool that was an ideal landing place for flatboats and rafts. It was called Pin Hook Landing - supposedly after two travelers picked up a bent brass pin on a nearby hill. Maj. Peak established a ferry at Pin Hook, and he acquired the Watts farm and island. Pin Hook became an important landing - especially after the advent of the steamboat. It offered the advantage of warehouses on both sides of the river. Jacob Peak died Oct. 15, 1853. Mary Jones Peak had died in 1846. The landing they helped establish was later called Peakland by the post office. Found among the papers of Jacob Peak were many interesting documents relating to his removal service, including the muster roll of his company.
Luke and Malinda Prigmore Peak also moved to Meigs County. Their children were Thomas J., James K. Polk, William Dallas, Luke C., Jacob A., Mary, Lucinda and Standifer. The three oldest sons enlisted in the Confederacy's 26th Tennessee Infantry June 1, 1861, and the fighting took them to Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain
and Missionary Ridge. James K. Polk Peak lived at Pin Hook Landing, and he was at Spring City when he died at age 84. William D. moved to Davenport, Wash.
James S. and William Carroll Peak continued their father's commercial venture by the river. The Watts farm and island went to another son, C. Standifer Peak. Daughters of Jacob and Keziah Peak included Sarah Elizabeth who married Tom Allen, Violette who married Frank Sharp, and Margaret G. who married Will Nixon. The Nixons lived in Chattanooga.
C.S. Peak, who was born in 1839, grew up in the heyday of the steamboat era. He took a position under the pioneer steamboatman, John L. Doss, and married his daughter, Maggie Doss. When the Civil War broke out, Capt. Peak volunteered for the Confederacy. He was given charge of the Tennessee that had been owned by Capt. Doss. It earlier was operated as a steamer and freight hauler between Knoxville and Decatur, Ala. Most of the deck hands were slaves of Jacob Peak. Capt. Peak used his boat to keep the armies of Nathan Bedford Forrest at Kingston and Kirby Smith at Knoxville supplied with provisions. On one occasion, Capt. Peak escorted the wife of Gen. Forrest from Chattanooga to Kingston and showed her such courtesies that Forrest sought him out to personally thank him. Capt. Peak was able to operate until federal troops took possession of Chattanooga and closed off the river to Confederate boats. He then ran his boat up the Hiwassee River and burned it at Kincannon's Ferry so it would not fall into federal hands. Capt. Peak applied the torch himself. He then joined Forrest's command and was in the fierce fighting at Chickamauga. He was seriously wounded at Philadelphia, but was able to take part in the Georgia campaign.
After the war, Capt. C.S. Peak went to St. Louis and bought the steamer Last Chance - one of the best steamboats on the Mississippi River. He also was captain of the Mary Byrd. He was in the grain and warehouse business with L.J. Sharp, then became president of the East Tennessee Lumber and Manufacturing Co. His first wife, Maggie, died in 1873. He later married Virginia Lee Watters. Capt. C.S. Peak was living at 216 Union Ave. in Highland Park when he died in 1905 after a bout of appendicitis.
John Walter Peak, son of C.S. and Maggie Peak, was born in 1866 near Kingston. He studied at Georgetown College in Kentucky and gained a law degree from the University of Virginia. J. Walter Peak moved to Chattanooga in 1897 and opened a law office. He took over the East Tennessee Lumber Co. after his father's death and also organized the Chattanooga Box Manufacturing Co. He was in the state Senate from 1901 to 1905. He died in 1923. J. Walter Peak married Mrs. Frances Henry McCann in 1897, and their children were Marjorie L., Frances and C.S.
William C. Peak, son of Jacob and Keziah Peak, was born in 1832. He went in the mercantile business at Sewee in Meigs County when he was 18. He later operated at Pin Hook Landing with his son-in-law, Smith Brady Hornsby. W.C. Peak was not physically able to fight in the Civil War, but he “ferried Southern troops across the Tennessee River and delayed any service to Federal forces.” A Democrat, W.C. Peak served a term in the state House in 1873-1875 representing Meigs, Cumberland, James and Rhea counties. In 1855 he married Nancy Porter Matlock, daughter of William and Sarah Dodson
Matlock, and they had a large family. It included Luke Lyde, Savannah Ellen who married Samuel Jackson Hornsby, Adelia Key, Ada Lou who married William Dickey Browder, Wilbur Bascom, Melville Cox, Jacob Standifer who married Cora Peak Hagler, and Sallie Pearl who died when she was 13. W.C. Peak died at Morgan Springs in 1898. Adelia married Smith Hornsby, who was in the state Senate in 1891-1893.
Melville Peak helped operate Peak and Hornsby at Pin Hook, then he came to
Chattanooga in 1914 and was associated with Shelton Mills. He was living at 404 S. Moore Road when he died in 1940. He married Iva Sherman. Their children were William Carroll, Wilbur Neil, and Josie Irene who married Arthur Lee Dickerson.
Luke L. was also active in the Pin Hook store, then he headed Shelton Mills after coming to Chattanooga in 1885. He was a leader at Centenary Methodist Church. He lived on Vine Street many years and was at 378 S. Crest Road when he died in 1938. Wilbur Bascom Peak was a physician in Meigs County.
The Pin Hook Ferry, which operated for over a century, was north of where Watts Bar Dam was built. After the dam was constructed, the ferry was moved below the dam and operated until a bridge was built over the dam. The Tennessee Valley Authority acquired the Peak property at Pin Hook and the old Peak home was taken down.
Bill Ewing of Cleveland has researched the Peaks.