Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
OSCAR L. PEAK, M. D. The name of Dr. Oscar L. Peak, of Springfield, will be held in lasting honor as one of the able physicians who has given loyal service in behalf of suffering humanity in Greene county. Those who know him best are unrestrained in their praise of his genial disposition and his ability as a physician. The large success which has crowned his life work, coupled with his ripe experience and kind heart, has enabled him to bring comfort, hope and confidence to the sick room and he has brought sunshine into many a home.
Doctor Peak was born in Buffalo, Dallas county, Missouri, November 20, 1849. He is a son of Reuben T. and Juliet F. (Johnson) Peak. The father was born in McMinn county, Tennessee, in 1824, and his death occurred in St. Joseph, Missouri, June 11, 1907. The mother was born in Steubenville, Ohio, July 16, 1828, and her death occurred August 2, 1852, in Buffalo, Missouri. The Doctor's father received a good college education in Illinois, and after coming to Missouri in pioneer times he taught school in Buffalo. He was also a minister in the Baptist church in later life. A part of his earlier life was devoted to merchandising. His family consisted of six children, namely: Dr. Oscar L., of this sketch; Loren J., deceased; Mary A. lives in St. Joseph, Missouri; William C. lives in Aline, Oklahoma; Edward C. lives in Modena, Utah, and Dr. Frank is a practicing physician in Pratt, Kansas.
Dr. Oscar L. Peak received a good common school education, later attending Shurtleff College in Illinois, after which he took a course in a medical college in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was graduated with the class of 1878, and in 1886 he took a post-graduate course in St. Louis, Missouri. He began the practice of his profession in Pratt county, Kansas, in 1878, and remained there until 1893. He took an interest in public affairs there and was county superintendent of public instruction of Pratt county, Kansas, in the eighties. He was United States pension surgeon in Pratt county for over ten years. He enjoyed a good practice in that field, but in 1893 he left it and took up his residence in Springfield, Missouri, where he has since remained. He first established his office on the south side of the public square, later moving to the north side of the city, with an office at 410 ½ East Commercial street, where he is still located. He has built up a large practice and is one of the best known general practitioners in the county.
Doctor Peak was married, April 13, 1880, in Pratt, Kansas, to Elizabeth Viola Moore, who was born in Van Buren county, Iowa, June 6, 1862. She is a daughter of Thaddeus S. and Samantha A. (Richey) Moore. The latter was a daughter of James E. and Elizabeth (Parker) Richey. Mr. Moore was a cabinet maker by trade. He was born in 1834 and is now living in California. He is a first cousin of Thomas Moore, the famous Irish poet. The mother of Mrs. Peak was born in 1837 and died September 8, 1885. Mrs. Peak is a graduate of the Woman's Medical College of St. Louis. This college suspended operations several years ago.
Five children have been born to Doctor Peak and wife, namely: Burt, born February 22, 1881, in Pratt, Kansas, died February 28, 1882; Bird C., born May 20, 1882, married William A. Minor, superintendent of Lieut W. Weiler's force pump factory at Rochester, New York, and they are the parents of one child, Oscar E. Minor; Bessie O., born September 12, 1883, married, June 1, 1912, Rev. Paul B. Waterhouse, of Pasadena, Cal., a graduate of Princeton, and they are now living in Hachiman, Japan, where they are engaged in missionary work in Omi Mission. A son was born to them in Tokyo, Japan, February 19, 1915. He was christened Gordon Merrill. Mrs. Waterhouse is a graduate of Drury College, where she was an honor student. She is also a graduate of Hartford (Connecticut) Theological Seminary; Reuben T., born April 30, 1891, lives in Springfield. He attended Drury College, after having graduated in the Springfield high school, later being graduated from the Western Dental College in 1914. He was married in October, 1914, to Miss Helen V. Trenary, of this city. He has an office with his father and is making a good start in his profession; Oscar L., Jr., born .May 23, 1893, died June 13, 1893.
Doctor Peak is a Republican, of the progressive wing of the party. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights and Ladies of Security, in which he has been financier for a period of ten years. He is also a national trustee of this order. He and his family are members of the First Congregational church. Mrs. Peak is president of the Greene county district of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. They are both very active workers in the temperance cause.
Springfield-Greene County Library