Biographical Works of Peggy Hake

Weekly Articles from the Miller County Autogram-Sentinel

Peggy Smith Hake was born in Miller County, near Iberia, at the end of the Great Depression of the mid 1930s. She was born on a farm in southwest Richwoods Township on land that had been homesteaded by her great, great grandparents, John Levi and Nancy (Keeth) Whittle who came to Miller County from Edmonson County, Kentucky in the mid 19th century. Her ancestral roots are deeply embedded in the land and the history of Miller County. Peggy is the daughter of G. Oliver Smith and Verlie A. (Wyrick), both natives of Miller County. She is a graduate of Iberia High School and spent 12 years in the Iberia school system. For several years she lived in Kansas City and reared her children there. While in Kansas City, she was employed with Indian Springs State Bank of Kansas City, Kansas where she advanced to associate vice president. In 1979, she moved back to her home area near Iberia and spent some time in politics, serving as the county's first woman county judge and commissioner.

 Peggy Smith Hake
Peggy Smith Hake

Historical and genealogical research began near mid-life for Peggy. In 1975, her grandfather, Henry Franklin Smith, a native of Miller County, died at the age of 92 years and with his passing came an interest of her ancestry. Realizing she had let her best source of information pass on, she began her search of her heritage through the means of personal research in old records that were found in dusty files at courthouses, archives, libraries, and museums. Microfilm was scanned for hours in the National Archives branch office in Kansas City; old newspapers, crumbling with age, were read from cover to cover and most importantly, she took trips to the counties in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia where her ancestors once lived. Records were made available to her and the information acquired put 'the icing on the cake' for her plans to permanently record the history of her ancestral families. In 1990, she made a very interesting trip over the old Oregon Trail re-tracing the route that her ancestors used to resettle in America's Northwest in the state of Oregon. On a beautiful mountainside in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon, she located the graves of her great, great, great grandparents (the Bilyeu family) who had ventured west in the early 1850s.

She has written 3 books pertaining to Miller County history including: "IBERIA ACADEMY AND THE TOWN, ITS HISTORY in 1988"; "PIONEER FAMILIES OF MILLER COUNTY, MISSOURI: Journey to the Past @1990"; and "THEY LEFT A LEGACY: Historical Stories of Miller County, Missouri @1992". For many years she has written a genealogical column for "The Miller County Autogram-Sentinel" newspaper called WINDOW TO THE PAST. For 18 years Peggy edited and published a newsletter of Miller County history called "Seeking 'n Searching Ancestors" with members from all over continental America as well as Hawaii and Alaska. As time progressed, her historical articles have been placed on a website on the internet to be shared by other researchers interested in Miller County's history. The URL address is:

Today she remains active in the Miller County Historical Society as a charter member and secretary; board member of the Miller County Senior Citizens Services Board; member of Iberia VFW Ladies Auxiliary #6167; Iberia American Legion Auxiliary; Iberia Community Club; St. Anthony Sunshine Gals Club; St. Anthony Senior Citizens Club; the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation of South Dakota; and several historical/genealogical societies across America.

Peggy and her husband, Ambrose H. Hake, whose ancestors were immigrants from Germany, live on Whispering Hills Farm in Osage Township in the beautiful Osage River country of northeast Miller County. She is the mother of 4 children (Kathy of Independence, MO, Kerry of Pleasant Hill, Kelly of Jefferson City, and Kirk of Iberia); 9 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; 4 stepchildren (Bill of Eldon, Becky of Rolla, Donald of St. Elizabeth, & David of Arkansas); 3 step-grandchildren and 4 step great-grandchildren.

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