After a successful business career in the provision trade, covering a number of years, Mr. Peckham identified himself with investment banking. Today he is one of the best-known investment bankers in his native city, Newport, enjoying, to an unusual degree the confidence of his numerous customers. Other phases of the community’s life, too, hold his interest and for many years he has been prominently active in fraternal and social organizations, as well as in civic affairs. Thus he represents a high type of useful, vigorous, public-spirited citizen.
Harold A. Peckham was born in Newport, September 17, 1873, a son of the late Felix and Mary J. (Young) Peckham. His father, who was born at Middletown in 1800, spent the earlier part of his career in farming, but later engaged in the stationery business and also in banking. Mr. Peckham’s mother, now also deceased, was a native of Windsor, Connecticut. Having received his early education in the public grammar and high schools of his native city and having graduated from Rogers High School, Mr. Peckham attended Chauncey Hall School, Boston, Massachusetts, and then the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After he left college, he entered the insurance business in Boston, becoming connected with the John C. Paige Company, with which he continued for a year and a half. At the end of this period he returned to Newport and, together with Albert C. Landers, Jr., he formed the firm of Landers & Peckham, dealers in butter and eggs. This partnership continued until 1920, when Mr. Peckham withdrew and entered the investment banking business, becoming connected at that time with Gillespie, Meade & Company, with which firm he remained until 1924. At that time he went with the firm of Prince and Whitley, investment bankers, of which he was the manager until 1926, when he became associated as manager with another well known investment banking house, Morrison & Townsend, with offices at No. 33 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. During the World War Mr. Peckham attended the second Plattsburg Training Camp. For many years he has taken an active and helpful interest in civic affairs, having served for several years as a member of the Newport Representative Council and, since 1922, as a member of the Newport Park Commission. His clubs include the Miantonomi Club, the Newport Reading Room, the Newport Rotary Club, the Discussion Club and the Wanumetonomy Golf Club. He is also a member of the Newport Chamber of Commerce, the New England Order of Protection, the Royal Arcanum, the Improved Order of Red Men, as well as of several Masonic bodies, the latter including St. Paul’s Lodge, No. 14, Free and Accepted Masons, and Newport Chapter, Royal Arch Masons. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party, while his religious affiliation is with the Congregational Church.
Mr. Peckham married, in 1896, Sarah P. Landers, like himself a native of Newport. Mr. and Mrs. Peckham are the parents of one son, Harold L. Peckham, a veteran of the World War, during which he served with the United States Marine Corps.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.