Born in Brooklyn New on December 4, 1857, Charles Peabody was from a famous old family that launched the Black Ball Line in 1818 out of a New York pier. He was a stockbroker on Wall Street, temporarily leaving the family’s profession on the sea.
Through family connections he was appointed special agent for the West Coast, where he managed the U.S. Revenue Cutter service. Leaving for the West at age 25 in 1882, he met a Miss Lilly Macaulay on the train.
Lilly’s father was William J. Macaulay, an early day lumber king on Vancouver island. As Charles pursued Lilly over the next few years, his father-in-law liked the cut of his jib and the two, along with Robert Dunsmuir, formed the Victoria Lumber & Manufacturing Co. at Chemainus, British Columbia.
Peabody became business manager and soon married Lilly on May 27, 1891. They made their home in Port Townsend, where Peabody had become prominent in the coal industry, logging operations and the Merchants Bank. Peabody and Oakes became partners in the Pacific Wharf Company there in 1891 and steered it through the financial shoals of the 1893 panic. On January 21, 1895, the partners, along with others, formed the Alaska Steamship Company. They bought the 140-foot steamer Willapa and placed her on the route to Southeastern Alaska in direct competition with the established Pacific Steamship Company. Back at the end of 1897, Charles E. Peabody reorganized the Alaska Steamship Company and his fleet expanded rapidly as the Klondike gold stampede mounted. In 1898 the stockholders formed the Puget Sound Navigation Company [PSN] as an inland water subsidiary.
Captain Peabody came to Alaska and joined the Arctic Brotherhood here in Skagway in 1900.
He also urged Bracket to build the road. He died on this day, August 12, 1926 of appendicitis in Seattle.