About George Wilbur Peck
George Wilbur Peck (September 28, 1840– April 16, 1916) was an American writer and politician who served as the 17th Governor of Wisconsin.
Peck was born in 1840 in Henderson, New York, the oldest of three children of David B. and Alzina P. (Joslin) Peck. In 1843, the family moved to Cold Spring, Wisconsin. Peck attended public school until age 15, when he was apprenticed in the printing trade. He married Francena Rowley in 1860 and they had two sons.
Peck became a newspaper publisher who founded newspapers in Ripon and La Crosse, Wisconsin. His La Crosse newspaper, The Sun, was founded in 1874. In 1878 Peck moved the newspaper to Milwaukee, renaming it Peck's Sun. The weekly newspaper contained Peck's humorous writings, including his famous "Peck's Bad Boy" stories.
In the spring of 1890 Peck ran for mayor of Milwaukee. A Democrat, Peck was elected despite a Republican majority in the city. The state's Democratic leaders took notice and made Peck the party's nominee for the 1890 gubernatorial race. Peck won the election, beating the incumbent William Hoard, and resigned as Milwaukee's mayor on November 11, 1890. He was reelected as governor in 1892, defeating Republican John C. Spooner, but lost a third term to William Upham in 1894. He ran again in 1904 but lost to the incumbent Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Peck died in 1916 at age 75 of Bright's disease and was buried at Forest Home Cemetery. After his death, his "Peck's Bad Boy" writings became the basis for several films and a short-lived television show.