Here is a letter written by George W. Peck in 1904. On the back of the envelope are two names.
Joseph B. Treat.
In 1890 when Peck was nominated for Governor of Wisconsin as a democrat, Treat was nominated for Lieutenant governor as a republican in 1890. Treat lost to Charles Jonas by 35,000 voted. He was later elected to be Chairman of the Wisconsin Republican party. I am unable to ascertain any relationship between Treat and Peck.
It appears that Col. Boyle was Col. William J. Boyle. The letters St P RR most likely represent the St. Paul Rail Road. In the biennial report of the Quartermaster General “To His Excellency, George W. Peck, Governor and Commander in Chief” (in 1893) Col. W. J. Boyle of the C., and M. & St. Paul Railway was given thanks for his efforts in moving troops by train to and from camps. (This refers to exercises of the Wisconsin National Guard.)
In 1905 Boyle was active in the committee that worked on the new Milwaukee auditorium. Since he was living in Milwaukee, it is unlikely he is the “Dear Companion” referred to in the letter.
The letter was written on The Milwaukee Club stationary. The Milwaukee Club was founded in 1882 by Milwaukee’s “leading citizens”. Bankers, politicians, and businessman of note were all members. My recollection (perhaps inaccurate) as a kid growing up in Milwaukee in the 1950’s and 1960’s is that this was not a club that allowed “certain people” as members.
The original building constructed in 1883 still exists at 706 N. Jefferson Street
The Milwaukee Club
Milwaukee April 2, 1904
My Dear Companion,
Your kind letter received
and I thank you for your invitation
to visit you next year in your
sunny home. I would like
much to do it but as I said
in a former letter, it is doubt
ful if I shall be able to go
away much for pleasure. I have
delayed answering because I
was making a deal —- a lecture
bureau that desires to —–me on
the road next winter. I have prac
tically— — — authority to date
— during November, December and
January. I told there if the lecture
business was going to kill me off,
it would probably do so in three
months, but if I lived through it
I might want to rest. So it all
depends. If everything turns out
well, I might be able to go to
Florida in February, but it is
all to uncertain to bank on. I
hope to see you at the commandery
meeting next Wednesday, and we
can talk it over. I need not say
that I will be glad to do any-
thing possible to interest others
… your enterprise
I thank you again.Your very cordially,
George W. Peck