Amasa Parker Peake, the adjutant general of the state of North Dakota, was commissioned as a brigadier general and appointed as adjutant general on January 7, 1909, by the governor of North Dakota.
General Peake was born in Crow Wing, Minnesota, in 1861, at a time when the area was considered the extreme northern frontier. His father, the Reverend E. Steele Peake, served as a missionary of the Episcopal Church to the Chippewa Indians from 1856 until the Indian uprising and massacre in 1862. During that time, the family escaped from the Indian country and took refuge at Fort Ripley, Minnesota. In August 1862, General Peake’s father accepted the chaplaincy of the Twenty-eighth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He sent his wife, Mary Parker Peake, and their young son to spend the next three years with friends and relatives in New York state. After the muster out of his regiment in the fall of 1865, Reverend Peake became the rector of the Episcopal church in Austin, Minnesota. However, due to his health being affected by his service in the south, he moved to San Jose, California, in August 1866 to serve as the rector of Trinity Church. In 1871, he took charge of St. Luke’s Church in San Francisco. Thus, the majority of General Peake’s childhood and youth were spent on the Pacific coast, and he received his early education at St. Matthew’s Military School in San Mateo, California, where his military interests were nurtured. After the family relocated to northern Minnesota, he continued his education at Shattuck Military School in Faribault, Minnesota.
In June 1881, at the age of nineteen, General Peake settled in Valley City, North Dakota, where he has resided ever since. After working in a general store for a year, he secured a position in one of the town’s banks and became its cashier in 1886. In 1889, he left banking to pursue the more lucrative business of real estate, collections, and loans, in which he achieved great success.
In 1897, General Peake became involved in the lignite coal industry and currently owns a 50% interest in the Consolidated Coal Company, operating on the Northern Pacific and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railways. In 1906, he ventured into the copper mining industry in Butte, Montana, where he acquired the property that is now known as the Butte & Superior Copper Company, which is expected to become one of the most profitable dividend-paying ventures in Butte’s history.
General Peake married Anne Teale Holister in June 1888, and they have six children: George T., who attends Shattuck School in Faribault, Minnesota; Esther A., Elizabeth H., Charlotte L., Amasa Parker Jr., and James Edgar. Their ages range from eight to nineteen years.
During his time as a student in military schools, General Peake developed a strong interest in military affairs. In 1885, when the Territorial National Guard was organized, he joined the company formed in Valley City and was selected as its first sergeant. He was promoted to captain in 1889 and attained the rank of major two years later. In 1893, he became lieutenant colonel, and in 1895, he became colonel of the First Infantry Regiment of the North Dakota National Guard. He held this position until his promotion to brigadier general and appointment as adjutant general in 1909.
General Peake served as the president of the board of management of the State Normal School in Valley City, North Dakota, for eight years. He also represented his district as a member of the legislature. He has a keen interest in educational work and firmly believes in mandatory physical training for both boys and girls. His endeavors have been successful, and he has faithfully served the state whenever called upon.
C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.