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John L. Peyton
John Lawrence Peyton, originally from Proctor, Minnesota, was well-known throughout the western Great Lakes region as a banker, artist, and award-winning author.
Before his death, Peyton recalled:
"I was born on the hill above the studio where I live now [in Proctor, MN]. The forest was near in those days, and the network of lakes and rivers stretched from here into the Canadian wilderness. I learned to use paddle, paintbrush, and snowshoes before I was old enough to start grade school."
Although Peyton studied at Exeter Academy, Yale University, Yale Art School, and the Art Student’s League of New York, and then entered the family banking business in Minnesota, his heart never left the Northwoods wilderness – a love and respect that is embodied in his decades of painting and writing. His books include The Stone Canoe and Other Stories (1989) which won the Minnesota Book Award for Fiction in 1991 and the St. Louis County Historical Society’s Presidential Award for nonfiction in 1990, Voices from the Ice (1990) for children, Faces in the Firelight (1992), his autobiography, Bright Beat the Water (1993), and The Birch: Bright Tree of Life and Legend (1994).