Biographical Sketches

  Resources :





Perkins Research Kansas Biographical Sketches

FRED PERKINS. To acquire a name that is a synonym of business integrity and honor and that is entitled to the respect of an entire community is of itself one of the highest goals to which the ambition of a man can aspire. It is not something that can be attained in a few short years. It is the result of long continued energy, fair dealing and strict probity. The people of Labette County know Fred Perkins not only as an old settler of that section but as a man who has carried a fine force and wholesomeness of character into all his relations with the community. For many years he has been and still is an active farmer in the county and in later years has built up an extensive business in farm loans and is president of the State Bank of Oswego. He is one of the comparatively few Kansas men who can trace their ancestry in an unbroken line to the time when the Massachusetts Bay colony was established. His original American ancestor was John Perkins, who was born at Newent, Gloucestershire, England, in 1590. He sailed from Bristol, England, on December 1, 1630, with his family, and landed at Nantucket, Massachusetts, in May, 1631. He died in 1654. His son, Jacob Perkins, was born in England in 1624 and was six years of age when the family left England. He died in Massachusetts in 1699. The next generation was headed by Matthew Perkins, who was born in Connecticut and died in Chaplain of that state in 1773. Matthew Perkins, who was a farmer, married his wife when she was fifteen years of age, and their first child was born when she was sixteen. She became the mother of twelve children and lived to be eighty-seven years of age. In the next generation was Ephraim Perkins, who was born at Chaplain, Connecticut, in 1745, spent his life as a farmer and died at Becket, Massachusetts, in 1813. Becket was the home of a number of generations of this family. Ephraim Perkins was the great-grandfather of Fred Perkins. The grandfather was Origen Augustus Perkins, who was born at Becket in 1785 and died at Becket in 1854. He spent all his life as a farmer. Fred Perkins was born at Becket, Massachusetts, September 16, 1845, and is a son of C. O. Perkins. His father was born at Becket, September 22, 1820, and died at Thomasville, Georgia, in May, 1887. He was reared and married at Becket and was not only a farmer but a prominent business man of his town. His home throughout his life was at Becket, though his interests led him to various other states. He paid his first visit to Kansas in 1871, and spent much of his time in this state thereafter. In his home state and town he served as chairman of the school board many years, and was a republican and a member of the Congregational Church. C. O. Perkins married Serepta C. Snow, who was born in Becket in 1824 and died there in 1845. Of their marriage Fred Perkins was the only child. The father then married a sister of his first wife, Olive C. Snow. She was born in 1818 at Becket and died there in 1884. She became the mother of two children: Belle Perkins died in girlhood at Becket; Blanche Perkins lives at Dorchester, Massachusetts, the widow of R. F. Alger, who was a minister of the Baptist Church. His early life Fred Perkins spent in his native Town of Becket. He attended the public schools there and in 1865 graduated from the Wilbraham Academy. For two years he was also a student in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Mr. Perkins has been continuously identified with Southeastern Kansas since 1870 and was thus one of the early pioneers of Labette County, locating there soon after the Indians left, and the land was open for settlement. He began farming at Oswego, and farming is the vocation that furnished him at least the foundation for his generous prosperity. He still owns about 900 acres, divided into several high class farms, situated north, south and west of Oswego. He devotes this land to diversified farming and is one of the leading raisers of Hereford cattle in the county. His comfortable home is situated on North Street in Oswego. He also owns the office building on Commercial Street where his own offices are. He is president of the State Bank of Oswego, and is senior member of the firm of Fred and C. S. Perkins, dealers in farm loans. They are one of the old and reliable firms in this line, and their business covers Southeastern Kansas, Southern Missouri, Northern Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. While getting his creditable success Mr. Perkins has not neglected the public welfare. For fifteen years he served as a member of the city council of Oswego, and is president of the Labette County Good Roads Association. He is an independent republican, a member of the Oswego Commercial Club, and in Masonry is affiliated with Oswego Lodge No. 63, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Oswego Chapter No. 13, Royal Arch Masons, and Oswego Commandery No. 7, Knights Templar. In September, 1869, at Becket, Massachusetts, Mr. Perkins married Miss MARY E. MAY of Woodstock, Connecticut. Her father, Thomas May, was a farmer. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Perkins three now survive. A brief record of the children is as follows: Thomas Perkins, who died at the age of fourteen months; Charles Snow Perkins, who is a graduate of the State Normal School at Emporia and is now junior member of the firm of Fred and C. S. Perkins, farm loans, at Oswego; Clitus Perkins, who died at the age of eleven months; Olive May Perkins, who died at the age of one year; the fifth child died in infancy unnamed; Kate S. Perkins, a graduate of the Oswego Woman's College, is the wife of W. E. McGregor of Oswego; Elizabeth M. Perkins, also a graduate of Oswego College, is the wife of Ray Taylor; a jeweler at Oswego.

Source: Transcribed from volume 4, page 1943 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.


FRED PERKINS, one of the best known business men of Labette county, Kansas, is president of the Oswego State Bank, and has been engaged in negotiating farm loans for the past twenty years. He is an extensive land owner, and has some of the finest farms in the Neosho bottom. Mr. Perkins was born at Becket, Massachusetts, in 1845, and is a son of C. O. and Joanna Sarepta (Snow) Perkins. His father was a native of Massachusetts and lived there all his life, although he spent a considerable portion of his time in Oswego, engaged in the loan business. He died at the age of sixty-seven years. He married Joanna Sarepta-Snow, who died at an early age. Their union resulted in the birth of one child, Fred, whose name appears at the head of these lines. Fred Perkins received his primary schooling in his native town and took an academic course at Wilbraham, Massachusetts, after which he spent a year in the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. He then returned to the East, and in 1868 went west to Bolivar, Missouri, where he was located on a ranch for a period of two years. In I870 he moved to Oswego township, Labette county, Kansas, and engaged in farming and stock raising with great success. For several years past he has had the finest herd of Hereford cattle in Southern Kansas, and was the first to introduce that breed in this section of the state. He is an extensive land owner and possesses some fine land in the Neosho bottom, made valuable by his perfect system of tiling which he also introduced in this vicinity. He was one of the organizers of the Oswego State Bank, in 1888, and has since served as one of its directors. He was elected to the office of president in 1893, the duties of which position he has since discharged in a most capable manner. By efficient management the bank has been made one of the leading financial institutions of this part of the state, and it enjoys a liberal patronage from the leading citizens. Mr. Perkins has been engaged in the farm and loan business for about twenty years and has been financial agent of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company for Southern Kansas and Southern Missouri, - placing all of that company's loans in this territory. Mr. Perkins was united in marriage in 1869 with MARY E. MAY, of Woodstock, Connecticut, and they are the parents of three children, as follows: Charles S. Perkins, Kate S. Perkins, and Elizabeth M. Perkins, Charles S. Perkins was educated in the Oswego High School and the State Normal School, at Emporia, and is now engaged in business with his father; he married Eleanor Allen, by whom he has two children, - Clinton Perkins and William Fred Perkins. Kate S. Perkins and Elizabeth M. Perkins were educated at the Oswego College for Young Ladies, from which they graduated. Fraternally, the subject of this sketch is a member of the blue lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Chapter No. 15, R. A. M.; and Commandery No. 7, K. T. Politically, he favors the principles of the Republican party.

Source: History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

L. MURRAY PERKINS, a record of whose life is an unusual and exceedingly interesting one, is one of the best known citizens of Baxter Springs, Kansas. He traces his ancestry in the Perkins line to John Perkins, who arrived at Nantucket in Captain Pierce's ship "Lion," in 1631. He died at Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1654. His son, Jacob Perkins was the father of Joseph Perkins, "The Deacon," who was the first of that name to settle in Norwich, Connecticut.

Joseph Perkins was born June 21, 1664, and died in August, 1726. On May 22, 1700, he married Martha Morgan and their son, Joseph, who was a physician, was born October 25, 1704, and died in 1794. Dr. Joseph Perkins was the father of Dr. Elisha Perkins, who was born January 16, 1741, and died September 6, 1799.

On September 23, 1762, Dr. Elisha Perkins was married to Sarah Douglas, who was born April 18, 1744, and died August 10, 1795. She was a daughter of Lieut.-Col. John Douglas and a granddaughter of Deacon William Douglas, of Plainfield, Connecticut. The last named was a great-grandson of Robert Douglas, who was born in Scotland in 1588. William Douglas, a son of Robert, and known as "Deacon," was also born in Scotland, in 1610. In 1640 he landed at Cape Ann and settled in Boston. He moved to New London, Connecticut, in February, 1660, and became the head of one of the most worthy families in the colony. His education for those times was very liberal. His son, also named William and known as "Deacon," was born in April, 1643, and his grandson, Deacon William Douglas, the grandfather of Sarah (Douglas) Perkins, was born February 19, 1672. Among the Probate Court records, saved after the burning of Plainfield, Connecticut, in 1781, by the British, was found the will of the last named, Deacon William Douglas. His son, Lieut.-Col. John Douglas. was born July 28, 1703, and was a man of no little importance in his day. He was lieutenant-colonel of the 8th Connecticut Regiment, the best equipped of any in the colony; they wore scarlet coats, which had been taken from a prize vessel. Two of Colonel Douglas's sons,—Gen. John Douglas and Col. William Douglas,—acted with distinction in the Revolutionary War. As noted above, his daughter Sarah married Dr. Elisha Perkins, the great-grandfather of our subject.

Dr. Elisha Perkins was the father of 10 children, and of these the one in direct line of descent to L. Murray Perkins was Benjamin D. Perkins, born June 24, 1774. He was educated at Yale and finally went to London, England, to study medicine, and our subject still preserves the card, dated January 1, 1799, that entitled him to admission to the lectures on anatomy. Dr. Benjamin D. Perkins married MARY MURRAY, a daughter of John Murray, Jr., of New York, and Catherine Bowne, his wife. Dr. Perkins died October 13, 1810. He was the father of two children: Caroline Perkins, who died unmarried and in her minority; and Benjamin D. Perkins Jr.

Through the marriage of Dr. Benjamin D. Perkins and Mary Murray, our subject traces his descent from Robert Murray, who was owner of the famed country home called Murray Hill, now included in New York City, and for many years considered the most aristocratic residence portion of the metropolis. Robert Murray's father, John Murray, who was familiarly known and spoken of as "The Good," was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1699. He was a gentleman of Clan Athol and a Presbyterian by birth and was active in the Wars of the Pretenders. He came to America with his son Robert in 1722. John Murray, Jr., was the brother of Lindley Murray, the grammarian, and author of the English grammar which bears his name and is a universal textbook. Mrs. Robert Murray, the mother of Lindley and John, is said by Rev. T. Dewitt Talmage to have saved American independence by detaining Lord Howe to dine with her, long enough to permit Israel Putnam to cross the lower end of Manhattan Island and join the forces of George Washington, before Howe was able to overtake him. This detention and the stories told by the fair friend saved 4,000 men, who otherwise would have been cut off and captured. Through John Murray, Jr.'s wife, Catherine Bowne, the subject of this sketch is descended from Thomas Bowne, who was born in England in 1595, and landed in Boston in 1649. In company with his son John, he erected in 1661 the house in Flushing, Long Island, known as the Bowne house, in which George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, preached in 1662. Because the house was used for Friends preaching, John Bowne was deported for trial to Holland by the Dutch Governor, Peter Stuyvesant. However, after an investigation by the authorities, he was returned to his home, and Governor Stuyvesant was severely censured for his action in the matter.

Benjamin D. Perkins, Jr., was born in 1807 and died in September, 1831. He received his education in New York City, where he was born, but lived with his parents in their home at Flushing, Long Island, where he was occupied in farming on a large scale. He married MARY SHOTWELL of Rahway, New Jersey, who was born February 2, 1809, and died December 25, 1876. They were the parents of two children: L. Murray Perkins, our subject; and Benjamin Douglas Perkins, who was born April 2, 1832 and died August 3, 1888.

L. Murray Perkins was born at Flushing, Long Island, September 6, 1829. His education was obtained in West Town Boarding School and Haverford College, institutions of the Society of Friends, located near Philadelphia. He finished these courses of study at the age of 16 years. Since early childhood he had evinced a desire to visit the country where coffee grew, and in 1847 he made a trip on the bark "Z. Ring" to Rio Janeiro, Brazil, where he remained some time. In 1849 he went around Cape Horn to California. Before leaving New York he had obtained a map of the world and each day's run was marked upon it, as well as the ship's course. This map went around the world after our subject left the ship at California and it was later returned to him. It is preserved among many other souvenirs of his travels. He returned home in 1850, but soon went to Europe, and again went to Europe after a short visit home in 1851. In 1852, he returned to America and on December 24th of that year was united in marriage with CAROLINE CAMPBELL of Rahway, New Jersey, who died February 4, 1861. On February 24, 1874, he formed a second union with ELIZABETH R. ENDERS, also of Rahway, New Jersey. The time intervening had been spent in farming in New Jersey. In 1882, he came West to Baxter Springs, Kansas, where he has since resided. By his first marriage he became the father of four children, namely: Benjamin Douglas Perkins, born January 16, 1854, and deceased February 24, 1861; Frank Marbury Perkins, born May 16, 1856, who married NETTIE MULLIN, of Iowa, and has two children,—Grace E. Perkins and Frank M. Perkins; Ira Campbell Perkins (who resides in Sapulpa, Indian Territory, of which city he is mayor), born December 25, 1858, who married ELLA BURGESS, of Ohio, and has three children,—L. Murray Perkins, Jr., Caroline C. Perkins and Ruth E. Perkins; and Carrie Campbell Perkins, born September 16, 1860, deceased August 14, 1861. Mr. Perkins has a palatial residence in Baxter Springs, surrounded by beautiful and well kept grounds. His home is adorned with many curios collected during his travels in almost every country on the globe, rivaling in some respects those of the Smithsonian Institution. Included in this collection are antiquities from Rome: articles from the ruins of Pompeii; curios from Ceylon; a large ebony spear inlaid with ivory from India; a beautiful robe from Canton, China; a variety of things from Scandinavia, including a pair of mounted owls and a reindeer; a Turkish water pipe; Persian rugs; Japanese jinricksha and a set of shoes for house and street wear; Egyptian relics; a variety of mounted heads of elk, moose and bison from Norway and America; a snake-covered cane from the Philippines; Turkish, Egyptian, Chinese and Japanese embroideries; and giant clam-shells from New Guinea, weight 405 pounds. This is a very valuable collection and excels anything of the kind in the State of Kansas. A cousin of our subject, Hon. George Perkins Marsh, born in 1801, was resident minister at Constantinople, also minister at Turin when it was capital of Italy, and later at Rome, being appointed by President Lincoln. He died at Val Ambrosia, July 24, 1882, and was buried in a Protestant cemetery at Rome. Members of all legations united in showing him honor by attending his burial. Another cousin, Susan Marsh Lyman, is wife of United States Senator Edmunds, of Vermont. Mr. Perkins is a member of the Friends' Church, but the rest of the family are Presbyterians. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge and Royal Arch Chapter.

Source: History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904

HENRY CLAY PERKINS, of Perkins & Son, civil engineers and surveyors, of Leavenworth, was born at Homer, Cortland county, New York, April 16, 1832, a son of Augustus and Martha (Williamson) Perkins. His parents were both natives of Vermont, who removed to New York state. They belonged to some of the early New England families, who settled in the country at an early day. Henry C. Perkins received his elementary education in the schools of East Bloomfield, Ontario county, New York, and then studied civil engineering, which profession he has followed all his life. In 1854 the family moved to Danville, Ind., and lived there for ten years. On Jan. 10, 1862, Mr. Perkins enlisted as a private in the Fifty-third Indiana infantry, and served under Col. Walter Q. Gresham. The next year he was promoted to first lieutenant and adjutant. He was at the siege of Vicksburg, at Atlanta, and was with General Sherman during his famous march to the sea. At the close of the war he returned to Danville, but two years later went to Indianapolis, where he was engaged in railroad work. In 1886 he came to Leavenworth, where he has since resided. Mr. Perkins is one of the pioneer railroad construction men of the country, having built some of the first roads in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Utah. He helped build the first line of the Chicago & Alton, and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, from Naples to Hannibal, Mo. He has also been engaged in civil engineering and general construction work. Mr. Perkins served three terms as county surveyor, and is one of the well known men of Leavenworth. He was reared in the Republican party, casting his first vote for John C. Fremont. He has always taken an active part in politics, and works in the interest of the party. He is a member and acting quartermaster of the Grand Army of the Republic, Custer Post, No. 6. In 1855 Mr. Perkins married MARY L. STEEL, and three children were born to the union, two of whom are living: Mrs. E. T. Joslin, of Spencer, Ind., and C. F. Perkins, who is an express messenger on the Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati & St. Louis railroad, running between Cleveland and Cincinnati. Mrs. Perkins died in 1865 and Mr. Perkins married MARTHA A. KING for his second wife. She was a native of Fulton, Mo., and was reared in Danville, Ind. Three children were born to them, Henry Clay, and two who died in infancy. He was educated in the public schools, and at the age of fourteen years began to study surveying with his father, and has been engaged in general engineering, construction work and as surveyor, and has served two terms as county surveyor of Leavenworth county. He married Annetta McCreary, of Atchison county, and five children have been born to them: Cora, William, Albert, Margaret, and Louise. Mr. Perkins was reared in the beliefs of the Republican party, is one of its stanch supporters, and always does his part toward winning victories at the polls.

Source: Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912

LUCIUS H. PERKINS who resided at Lawrence from 1877 until his accidental death on June 1, 1907, contributed much more to the life of Kansas than the achievements of an able lawyer, great as those were and much as they distinguished him in professional circles. By his varied attainments and accomplishments, by his interest in literature and the broader humanities, he singularly enriched the thought and public opinions of his times. In a generation when the thoughts and energies of the people of Kansas were necessarily concentrated upon the fundamental problems of existence and constructive business, be exemplified that better balance between the practical business man and the thoughtful idealist and scholar. He proved that the successful lawyer could also have time for pure literature. He gained financial independence if not wealth by a large legal practice, and at the same time was one of the leaders of the literary life and affairs of the state. The ordinary facts of biography can be briefly told. He was born on a farm in Racine County, Wisconsin, March 5, 1855. His parents were both natives of Onondaga County, New York and were among the pioneers of Southeastern Wisconsin. His father, Otis G. Perkins, was a farmer, was rated as successful and well to do, and in addition possessed the virtues of sterling integrity, thrift and energy. The later Mr. Perkins was also possessed of a long and honorable lineage. The Perkinses appeared in English history as early as the tenth century and were at that time an old and powerful and rich family. They possessed large estates surrounding Ufton Court, the ancestral stronghold in Berkshire. Some of the descendants still own that estate. The first American of the name was John W. Perkins, who come to America in the ship Lion in 1631, and became a member of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Ipswich. The family later removed to Norwich, Connecticut, and the Perkins had their family seat there for nearly 200 years. From Connecticut they moved to Northern New York and from there this branch came to Southern Wisconsin. In the long line of American and English ancestry there were soldiers, sailors, lawyers, judges and statesmen. Lucius H. Perkins had a farm training, was taught the virtues of industry and energy, and at the same time was given a liberal education. In 1877 he graduated in the classical course from Beloit College of Wisconsin. Then aspiring to a place in the world befitting his talents he came from Wisconsin to Lawrence, Kansas. He soon articled as a student of law in the office of Judge Solon O. Thacher. After two years of diligent study he was admitted to the bar in 1879, and in the following year was graduated with the first class of the law school of the state university. He was president of the State Bar Association for a period. Perhaps he attained his lasting fame by reason of his connection with the state university. He was one of the first to be appointed on the State Board of Law Examiners connected with the university and was retained in that position until his death. With all the burdens and demands imposed upon him as a successful attorney he was throughout his life a scholar and a student. He devoted a great amount of time and energy to general literature, philosophy, and the science of government and constitutional and international law. He never put off the role of a student. In 1897 he entered upon a course of post-graduate study and after three years was awarded the degree Doctor of Civil Laws by the University of Chicago. Mr. Perkins was entrusted with a volume of important litigation, not only in Kansas but in other states. His practice afforded him a liberal income, and he used it wisely in forwarding the many movements with which he was identified at different times. What has been called his greatest service to his profession was the work he did to bring about a uniform system of examination for admission to the bar throughout the United States. As chairman of the national committee, composed of representative lawyers from different states, he did more than any one else to reduce the system of bar examinations to a science. Again and again he was quoted as the highest authority on the subject by the leading universities and by eminent lawyers. From his youth up he was a devout Christian and long a member of the First Congregational Church of Lawrence. For over twenty years he was one of the active workers in the republican party. His logical mind, his gift as a debater and speaker, and his insight into economic questions enabled him to perform a notable service for hi; party and for the country when the free silver craze was at its height in 1896. He not only saw the fallacies in the financial arguments that were so common at the time, but had the better ability to explain and expound these fallacies and show the better side of a sounder monetary system. Under the direction and at the request of the county central committee he prepared and delivered four subjects on financial topics and was a speaker in much demand during that presidential campaign. While he was a member of several fraternal orders he was especially zealous in the Masonic Order. From 1883, when he was made a Master Mason, until the day of his death he devoted his time, his talents, and his money to the up building of the order, which to him stood for all that is purest and noblest in the life of man. His genial manners, his kindly smile, his keen intellect and warm heart endeared him to all who came under their spell. He meant much to Masonry in Kansas. He was at his best in the Scottish Rite, and his zeal and marked ability in its work brought him the highest honor within the gift of the Rite, that of Sovereign Grand Inspector, with the honorary thirty-third degree. On May 15, 1882, Mr. Perkins married Miss CLARA L. MORRIS, daughter of Dr. Richard Morris, a physician who located in Lawrence shortly after the close of the Civil war. Mrs. Perkins was a graduate of the University of Kansas and at the time of her marriage a member of the university faculty. She possessed the culture that made her a companion in study and aims as well as the helpmate of a home. Mr. and Mrs. Perkins had four children: Bertram Allan Perkins, born April 14, 1883, and died when four years old; Clement Dudley Perkins, born August 2, 1885, and now a resident of San Bernardino, California; Rollin Morris Perkins, born March 15, 1889, is at present an assistant professor in the law department of the Iowa State University, and Lucius Junius Perkins, born March 11, 1897, is now a student at Kansas University. Mr. Perkins was fond of travel, gave his family many advantages in that direction and at one time he and his wife and children spent three years abroad. Much of that time he spent in the British Museum pursuing special study along his favorite lines. Devotedly attached to his home, loving the companionship of his fellow men, it naturally followed that his geniality at home was at its best. He could be and was dignified, but at times he acted as a boy again. He played ball with his own boys, and the home was a rendezvous for all the neighboring boys. Considering the breadth of his culture and attainments, it is not strange that he was often thought of in connection with some of the larger honors of the profession. At one time his name was prominently suggested for appointment to the Kansas Supreme Court, and his elevation to such a position would have been as creditable to the state as a personal honor to himself. To those who did not know Mr. Perkins personally, and to future Kansans who may wish to understand more of his life and purpose the preceding statements are inadequate as a complete picture. One of his old friends was Hon. Charles Scott, president of the Kansas Historical Society and editor of the Iola Daily Register. Mr. Scott in an editorial appearing in the Register after the death of Mr. Perkins expressed a tribute sympathetic but just, and supplying much that has been left unsaid above. This editorial in part is quoted as follows:

"Lucius H. Perkins had good fortune, the best of all good fortunes, to be well born. For 200 years or more the family from which he sprang has been important people in the communities in which they happened to live. Not rich, but thrifty. Not geniuses, but strong in character and common sense. From this sterling sturdy stock Lucius Perkins came into the world endowed with a robust and athletic body, with a keen and vigorous mind, and with a character that instinctively rejected and despised the things that were mean and base and degrading. Born to neither poverty nor riches, he reached in a large measure the advantages of both those conditions. Poverty was not so far away but that the boy was bred to work and to learn by earning it the value of a dollar. And riches were not so far far away but that books and music and a college education were within reach. And so the young man when he came of age fronted the world well armed for the battle. "And the victories came. Not easily always, for the world does not surrender even to the boldest and most fortunate without a blow, without many blows given and taken. There were many long years when it was hard to tell which way the balance would turn, years of tireless toil and unremitting vigilance and relentless persistence. The sturdy body was tested to the utmost and the keen-edged intellect must parry and thrust in ceaseless fencing with adroit opponents and adverse conditions. But in the end the victories came. Victories which brought an assured and honorable professional position, the opportunity, gladly embraced, for notable and important public work, and wealth enough to assure the spacious home for which his hospitable soul thirsted and the comfort and maintenance of the family which was his soul's delight. "And as the struggle had not embittered him, the victories did not destroy the sweet and simple kindliness and modesty that made men love him. In the tiny cottage that for so many years was his home he received his friends with the same warmth of hospitality which in later years he greeted them in the stately mansion which he had built with such loving care and in which he had looked forward to keeping 'open house' through the golden years of the slowly declining afternoon of life; and he welcomed his friends by the hundred in the new home with its rich and luxurious appointments with the same modesty and lack of affectation which marked his manner in the small beginning days.  "And the reason he could do this was because by his nature his mind was large and broad, while by training and culture his soul had attained to the full stature of unselfish and noble manhood. All of his life he was a student, not of his law books only, but of the world's best literature, not forgetting the old classics with which, in their original tongues, he was as familiar on the day of his death as he was at the end of his college course. He was not only a student of books all his life, but he was a lover of nature and a lover of men. He loved the growing things, and on his home lawn were innumerable trees, shrubs and vines that he had set out or planted with his own hands and had tended as lovingly as if they were living souls. He enjoyed far beyond the capacity of most men the society of his friends, and he was lavish in his entertainment of them. During the past winter alone, the first winter in the new home, a thousand or more of his friends had at one time or another been welcomed under his roof with a hospitality which had no limit except that of time and opportunity. And this lavish hospitality had in it no hint or suggestion of mere vanity or self exploitation. It sprang from a kindly, sympathetic, loving nature to which the society of family and friends was as natural and as necessary as sunlight."

Source: A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918

FRANCIS M. PERKINS, President of the Perkins Trust Company of Lawrence has been a prominent factor in financial and business affairs of that city and of the state at large for more than forty years. He was the first of his family to come to Kansas. Mr. Perkins was born in Racine County, Wisconsin, on a farm June 21, 1846. His parents were Otis Goodspeed and Julia Ann (Bender) Perkins. His father was a descendant of John W. Perkins of Ipswich, Massachusetts, who came to Massachusetts Colony in 1631 and was originally from Ufton Court, the large family estate of Berkshire, England. A large part of this old English estate is still owned by a member of the family. For fully 200 years the Perkins family lived in Connecticut and from that point they spread westward to New York and thence to Wisconsin. Mr. Perkins' parents were among the pioneers of Southern Wisconsin, locating there when Wisconsin was still a territory. Francis M. Perkins is a brother of the late Lucius H. Perkins, the distinguished lawyer of Lawrence whose career is sketched on other pages. Francis M. Perkins grew up on a Wisconsin farm, and his people being well to do he was given a liberal education. He spent two years in Beloit College, was a teacher for some time, and finally became identified with merchandising in Milwaukee. In 1875 he came to Kansas, and having friends at Lawrence, KS located there and embarked in the mortgage investment business. Two years later his brother Lucius H. Perkins came to Lawrence, KS fresh from Beloit College, and after graduating from the law department of Kansas University in 1880 became associated with Francis in business. Francis M. Perkins conducted his enterprise under the firm name of Perkins & Company. Like other institutions that grow and flourish its beginning was humble. It was scarcely known outside of Douglas County for some years, but in time has become one of the leading institutions of Kansas, the scope of its operations is at least state wide, and the integrity and scrupulous business policy which have marked its course have proved individual benefits to thousands of the patrons. In 1910 the Perkins Trust Company was organized with a capital of $100,000. In 1912 the company built its present home at the corner of Sixth and Massachusetts streets. Mr. F. M. Perkins has been president of this company from its organization. He and his brother in their business associations have done much for Lawrence. In connection with the Trust Company they bought the Citizens State Bank in 1914, and this bank is operated in connection with the Trust Company. Francis M. Perkins is a republican in politics, is a third degree Mason, and throughout the more than forty years he has lived in Lawrence his name has come to be recognized as synonymous with ideal citizenship.

Source: A Standard History of
Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918

ELIJAH PERKINS, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Richmond, was born in Bath County, Ky., November 13, 1833, and at eighteen years of age removed to Park County, Ind., where he followed agricultural pursuits. He came to Franklin Co. in Nov., 1867, farmed in Harrison Township twelve years, in Pottawatomie a year, after which he moved on to his present farm in Richmond Township. He owns 160 acres, all well improved, has an orchard of eight acres and is engaged in raising and fattening cattle for the Eastern markets. Mr. Perkins was married in Parke County, Ind., February 14, 1854, to SARAH E. MAGILL. They have a family of nine children living, and two dead.

Source: History of the State of Kansas - William G. Cutler - 1883


   Search this site                 powered by FreeFind


 Site design by Perkins Research ©