“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alton in Madison County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

John Mason Peck

John Mason Peck Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 15, 2019
1. John Mason Peck Marker
Inscription.  On this site in 1831, John Mason Peck (1789-1858), pioneer Baptist preacher, author, and educator, established the school which became Shurtleff College. In 1817, Peck had left his home in New England with a vision "to bring the lamp of learning and the light of the gospel" into the undeveloped West. He, his wife Sally, and three children endured an arduous four month trip in a small one-horse wagon, setting in Rock Spring, near O'Fallon, Illinois.

There, in 1827, Peck founded Rock Spring Seminary, the first institution of its kind in the State of Illinois. In 1831, the seminary was moved to the growing city of Alton, where, in 1836, the name was changed to Shurtleff College, recognizing the gift of $10,000 from Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff of Boston.

John Mason Peck is well described as a missionary and a teacher, an author and an editor, a geographer and a cartographer, and a promoter of churches, schools, and western settlement. For thirty years, he was undoubtedly one of the strongest advocates of education and righteousness in the entire Mississippi Valley. He traveled hundreds of miles by horseback or wagon, often under
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most difficult circumstances, while his wife and children bore his long absences with fortitude.

Peck was one of the foremost ministerial opponents of slavery in Illinois and provided great support to Governor Edward Coles' successful anti-slavery effort in 1824. In 1851, he was honored with a Doctor of Divinity degree from Harvard University. He died on March 16, 1858, and is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.
Erected 2000 by The Shurtleff Fund and the Illinois State Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionEducationSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society series list.
Location. 38° 54.23′ N, 90° 8.646′ W. Marker is in Alton, Illinois, in Madison County. Marker is on College Avenue (Illinois Route 140), on the right when traveling west. It is within walking distance from the Robert Wadlow Statue and the SIU Dental School's Advanced Education Clinic. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2800 College Avenue, Alton IL 62002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Robert Pershing Wadlow (within shouting distance of this marker); College Avenue Presbyterian Church and the Old Rock House
John Mason Peck Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 15, 2019
2. John Mason Peck Marker
To the left of the marker is the Advanced Education Clinic.
(about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); College Avenue Presbyterian Church (about 800 feet away); Elijah Parish Lovejoy (about 800 feet away); A National Cemetery System (approx. 1.4 miles away); Alton National Cemetery (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Cost of Freedom (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Elijah Parish Lovejoy (approx. 1˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alton.
More about this marker. The marker was dedicated on September 7, 2000.
Also see . . .  John Mason Peck's Wikipedia page. (Submitted on September 17, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 18, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 17, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 287 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 17, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 13, 2024