Hamilton Murray Peyton

Hamilton Peyton. (Image: Duluth Public Library)

As a lumberman and banker the name of Hamilton M. Peyton has been closely identified with northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota for more than half a century, and his residence of sixty-three years at Duluth and Superior makes him one of the veteran business men of that city. For fully forty years Mr. Peyton has been at the head of one of the large banks of the city, and no citizen is more honored for his commercial integrity and his public spirit than this pioneer of the north country.

Born in Geneva, New York, March 17, 1835, Hamilton M. Peyton is a son of Rowzee and Eliza (Murray) Peyton. His father, a native of Virginia, was a planter in that state, and afterward lived at Geneva, New York. The mother was a native of New York city. Hamilton M. Peyton was liberally educated, spending two years in Hobart College, beginning in 1851, and in 1855 was graduated Bachelor of Arts from Rutger’s College at New Brunswick, New Jersey. His primary business experience was in a manufacturing establishment at Chicago up to the spring of 1857. His brother-in-law was at that time registrar of the land office at Hudson, Wisconsin, and in 1858 Mr. Peyton took charge of the office, and after the transfer of his brother-in-law was so well pleased with the north country that he remained. In 1858 he opened a private bank at Superior, Wisconsin. In 1859 Mr. Peyton engaged in lumber manufacturing, building a small sawmill on Connor’s Point. In 1881 the firm of Peyton, Kimball & Barber was created. They built a large sawmill, and continued successfully in lumbering until 1905.

Mr. Peyton has been a resident of Duluth since 1873. When the American Exchange Bank, now known as the American Exchange National Bank of Duluth, was organized in 1879 the directors chose him for the office of president, and his name has headed the official directory of that institution ever since. As a banker he is one of the oldest in northern Minnesota, and his influence for forty years has been steadily directed to the improvement and advancement of Duluth as a great commercial center. Mr. Peyton is also a director in the Gowan, Lening, Brown Company, wholesale grocers.

His social relations are with the Kitchi Gammi Club, the Duluth Country Club, the Commercial Club and the Delta Phi College Fraternity.

He is a vestryman in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. In 1864 he married Miss Martha Newton, a native of New York state, and they are the parents of eight children, four sons and four daughters.


Hamilton M. Peyton, son of Rowzee Peyton, a native of Virginia and Eliza Murray, a native of New York City, was born March 17, 1835, at Geneva, N. Y. Entered Hobart College in 1851, spent two years in that institution and graduated at Rutgers College, New Brunswick, N. J., in 1855, with the degree of B. A. Was employed in a manufacturing establishment in Chicago until the spring of 1857, when he went to Hudson, Wis., to take supervision of the register’s office of the United States land office then located there. In 1858 went to Superior, Wis., and opened a private bank. The year following he engaged in the lumber manufacturing business and built a small saw mill on Connors Point. In 1881 the firm of Peyton, Kimball & Barber was created and a saw mill of considerable capacity built, which was operated very successfully until 1905.

Mr. Peyton transferred his residence to Duluth, Minn., in 1873. Was made president of the American Exchange Bank (now the American Exchange National Bank) at its organization in 1879 and has continued in that position since. Mr. Peyton married Miss Martha Newton, a native of the state of New York, in 1864, and now has a family of eight children, four of them boys, who are now engaged in business at Duluth.

Hamilton H. Peyton is an enterprising and wide-awake young man who has already made his mark in his chosen calling. He is a native of Minnesota, and was born at Duluth on June 9, 1875, and is a son of H. M. and Martha (Newton) Peyton, of that city. He acquired his preliminary education in the public schools of his native place, and supplemented this with a thorough course at Harvard University, where he was graduated with the class of 1901. On his return from college, he was employed in the American Exchange Bank at Duluth for a time and later filled a responsible position in the Superior State Bank at Superior, Wis. In 1902 he took up his residence at Proctor, Minn., and with others established the Proctor State Bank, of which he was elected cashier, an office which he still holds, 1910.

The other officers of the bank are B. M. Peyton, president; J. W.Kreitter, vice-president, and F. C. Mitchell, assistant cashier.

The bank has a capital of $20, 000, with a surplus of $5, 000, and under the careful and conservative management of those in charge of its affairs, is regarded among the reliable financial institutions of the section.

Mr. Peyton is actively identified with several fraternal, business and social organizations, being a member of the Masonic order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Commercial Club, the Duluth Boat Club and the Northland Country Club.

In 1904 Mr. Peyton married Miss Olive Lewis, of Superior, Wis.


  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
  • Woodbridge, Dwight and John Pardee, eds. History of Duluth and St. Louis County Past and Present Vols. 1 – 2. C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago: 1922.
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