New York Times,

June 17, 1913

The only passenger on the Atlantic Transport liner Minnehaha, which arrived from London last night, who did not seem to mind the heat was Dr. J. M. Peebles of Los Angeles, Cal., who will be 92 on March 23 next. Dr. Peebles has arranged to start on his sixth trip around the world in the Fall of 1915. Dr. Peebles is over six feet tall, with snow white hair and beard and clear gray eyes. He told the reporters last night that he owed his good health to avoidance of drugs, eating proper food, and regular rest and exercise.

"I have been a vegetarian for sixty years," said Dr. Peebles, "and neither drink nor smoke, but I am not a bigot. I was born in Bennington, [Whitingham] Vermont, and was one of the seven founders of the Independent Order of Good Templars in New York State. I stayed in the East until I was 28 years old. I contracted tuberculosis and then went to California to save my life, and have lived there practically ever since."

"What is the real secret of your vitality at the age of 91?" he was asked.

"Just behaving myself, proper living, and always being up and doing account for it," said Dr. Peebles. "I have the will power to compel myself to do things instead of sitting in a corner talking about the by-gone days, when I stood on the anti-slavery platform with Garrison and other good men before the war."

"I feel that I am in the morning of my youth, and have no fear of death because I believe that it merely means the shedding of the outer shell and going to sleep, to wake up in a new world."

Dr. Peebles, who was accompanied by R. Peebles Sudall, his adopted son, was anxious to have the reporters know that he was opposed to vaccination and to vivisection. He was in the active practice of medicine for fifty years, and still treats some of his old patients. He served as a surgeon in the civil war, and was appointed a Consul in Asiatic Turkey by President Grant during his first term, but only served eighteen months of his term of office, as he found the life too tedious for endurance.

At the present time Dr. Peebles is a correspondent of thirty-one newspapers and peridocals, of which nine are in India. Two are Mahommedan papers. He made his first trip across the Atlantic in 1865 in the Cunarder Persia, an iron paddle wheel steamship of 3,300 gross tons, with a speed of 14 knots.

Mr. Sudall said that Dr. Peebles when at his home in Los Angeles generally arose about 4:30 o'clock in the morning and breakfasted about 5 o'clock. He is accustomed then to go to his rose garden. He retires as a rule between 8 and 9 o'clock at night unless he has a lecture to deliver. He intended to attend the international convention of spiritualists in Geneva this month, but the London fogs affected his throat. After lying in bed for a week Dr. Peebles got up and said he was going back to California.

From the New York Times
Printed June 17, 1913


Dr. Peebles Does Things Instead of Talking of By-Gones