Posted By: Allison Tuinstra (email)
Date: 8/2/2010 at 14:00:01
(Written by Allison Tuinstra)
Perly was born to William and Margaret (Miner) Awmiller on September 13, 1846, in Morgan County, Ohio. Margaret died that year, probably in childbirth, at 23 years of age. (Cemetery records)
William married Mary Ann Miner, Margaret’s sister, in 1848. (Marriage records).
Perly’s younger half-siblings were Hamilton, William, Spence and Sadie.
When Perly was about 10 years old, the family moved to the township of Wells in Appanoose County, Iowa. There Perly grew up to be an industrious and respected citizen.
He had an interesting and varied career. He was a schoolteacher for some time, and he also “led wagons across the plains as they settled the West.” (Letters from Fleta).
For most of his life Perly was a farmer, and was very progressive. He raised cattle, and “was the first farmer to put up barbed wire fences in this area.” In addition, “He purchased land near his father’s farm and started a fruit tree nursery.” “He…sold nursery stock for all the orchards around here for some years.” He “was very successful at that. People from all over came to buy nursery stock from him, his being the first one in this part of the state.” (Letters from Fleta.)
Perly had “180 acres of farm and timber land.” (Obituary) Perly’s farm was located in Section Three of Dean, a community within Wells Township. (1878 plat record).
In the 1896 Plat Book of Appanoose County, IA, Perley was described as:
“Proprietor of Awmiller Nurseries,
Grower and Propagator of Fruit Trees,
adapted to Iowa soil and climate.
Nothing offered for sale but tested stock
warranted to grow and produce.
Our family has a copy of one of his old advertisements, which reads:
This is my agent; he is very modest; nothing cheeky about him. He does not encroach upon your time and patience trying to sell you trees or novelties that are fancy only in price.
But he simply tells you, if you have the time to look, that Awmiller’s Trees are
AS GOOD AS ANYBODYS.
True to name, and will grow; and you don’t have to pay $20 for $10 worth of trees.
TRIBUNE PRINT, Moulton, Iowa
Perly was a member of the Iowa State Horticultural Society. In 1898, he is quoted in the Society’s yearly publication:
“Perly Awmiller of Appanoose county writes that "the small fruit crop was immense in quantity but poor in quality, being injured by dry weather. Gooseberries were never better, but principally native sorts, which sold for 25 cents per gallon. Apples almost a failure; a few growers had some to sell 50 cents per bushel."
As far as we have been able to gather the conditions of the counties in the second district—bordering on the Missouri line—this is a good sample, the apple crop being short, the reason not given by any of the correspondents.”
Perly was highly respected in his community. Fleta Siebert, his great-niece had nothing but praise for him. She wrote,
“My father always told the story of how he came to be named Pearly. A few days after he was born they were still trying to find a name approperite for their 1st born son and his sister looking out the window said oh there goes Perly Awmiller he was cutting across their farm walking to Dean & she said lets call the baby Perley and they did! My father worked a lot for Perley Awmiller when he was growing up and always told me what a good man he was and how smart he was too.”
The 1895 Iowa state census listed Perly as a Presyberterian, but his obituary says that he was not a member of any church. Other census records simply list his religion as Christian.
In 1872, Perly was elected as one of the Clerks of Wells Township. (Centerville Citizen.)
He was also a member of the I.O.O.F. of Dean. (Obituary)
Perly died April 13, 1920, of “hardening of the arteries” (Obituary) and was buried in Row 47 of Oakland Cemetery in Washington Township, Appanoose County. (Cemetery records). Pearly Kirby, Fleta’s father and Perly Awmiller’s namesake, helped him in his last days and helped prepare his body for burial. (Letters from Fleta.)
“PEARLY AWMILLER DEAD
“Pearly Awmiller died at his home in Wells t’p, Tuesday morning, of hardening of the arteries and other troubles. He was born in Morgan county, Ohio, Sept., 1846, and with his parents, Wm. Awmiller and wife, moved to Iowa, in 1858. Two brothers – Spence at home and John of Brush, Colo., and one sister, Sarah Awmiller, are the surviving relatives, besides a niece, Mrs. Dora Hamlin, at Gary, Colorado.
“Mr. Awmiller was a quiet man and taught school in an early day. He acquired 180 acres of farm and timber land and at one time cultivated a nursery. He belonged to no church, but was a member of the Dean I.O.O. F. and that order officiated at the tomb. The burial took place at Oakland, on yesterday afternoon. Peace to the ashes of this old pioneer.”
Letters from Fleta:
Sorry I was so slow in answering your letter.
Our folks left Pa. and went to Meigs Ohio then after staying awhile came into Iowa settling along the Chariton river near the Mo. Border. I really don’t know much more as the Awmillers all seemed to be quiet folks that stayed to themselves with the exception of Perl Awmiller he led wagons across the plains as they settled the West. He taught in the rural schools in So. Iowa He was the first farmer to put up barbed wire fence in this area. He started and operated a nursery & sold nursery stock for all the orchards around here for many years. He was considered a wise & just man.
“One of the other sons was Perley, according to dad who loved and respected him, worked for & with him, did business with him and cared for him in his last illness and helped prepare his body for burial he was highly educated intelligent and progressive. He purchased land near his fathers farm and started a fruit tree nursery and was very successful at that. People from all over came to buy nursery stock from him, his being the 1st one in this part of the state. He taught school and raised cattle and farmed. All of his brothers were educated people including grandpa Billy. This Awmiller family were all rather small quiet people never given to harsh language or abusive behavior, they were also very conservative about money matters.”
“Official Abstract of the Vote of Appanoose County” Centerville Citizen, 1872, from Ancestry.com’s repository.
Cosby, Phyllis. Moulton Correspondent. “Local newspapers still favorite source of information.” Daily Iowegian. September 26, 2008. http://dailyiowegian.com/correspondents/x519481310/Local-newspapers-still-favorite-source-of-information. Accessed August 2, 2010.
Even with transportation being slow back then, I noticed in the 1882 news that many residents were traveling some distances. Perly Awmiller and his brother William were “visiting the scenes of their childhood on the placid banks of the beautiful Muskingum River in Morgan Co. Ohio.”
Iowa State Horticultural Society. Proceedings, Volume 30.
http://books.google.com/books?id=0lPOAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=%22Aumiller,+Perley%22&source=bl&ots=o-XtpSwg0Z&sig=JOe1Gn-YfCtyIp6gZpd0WFAfnUs&hl=en&ei=Z_ZWTNiBCoeesQPzoazZAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Aumiller%2C%20Perley%22&f=false Accessed August 2, 2010.
MEMBERS RECEIVED FOR 1895, AFTER THE PUBLICATION OF THE ANNUAL REPORT.
Aumiller, Perley Moulton
Iowa State Horticultural Society. Transactions, Volume 32. “Director’s Report of the Second District by A. Branson, New Sharon” “Awmiller, Perley Report from Appanoose County”
http://books.google.com/books?id=LSZJAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=%22Perly+Awmiller%22&source=bl&ots=pIkLmgAK1Z&sig=N7IRCNJWaVW5Qdfp3Usu2ByURN4&hl=en&ei=uvRWTKKQKo7GsAP29LTaAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Perly%20Awmiller%22&f=false Accessed August 2, 2010.
“Wells Township.” The History of Appanoose County..., Iowa. Chicago: Western Hist. Co., 1878. Wells Township. Transcribed by Alice Wayne Daniels for Iowa Biographies Project. Rootsweb. www.rootsweb.com/~iabiog/appanoose/h1878/h1878-wells.htm. Accessed August 2, 2010.
Awmiller, H. J., far., S. 33; P. O. Moulton.
Awmiller, P., far., S. 3; P. O. Dean.
Awmiller, Wm., far., S. 3; P. O. Dean.
“1896 PATRONS’ DIRECTORY.” PLAT BOOK OF APPANOOSE COUNTY, IOWA, which is drawn from actual Surveys and County Records by the Northwest Publishing Co. 1896. http://iagenweb.org/appanoose/1896patronsdirectory.html. Accessed August 2, 2010.
Awmiller, Perley Proprietor of Awmiller Nurseries, Grower and Propagater of Fruit Trees, adapted to Iowa soil and climate. Nothing offered for sale but tested stock warranted to grow and produce. Moulton 3
Other land records
1896, Wells, Appanoose, Iowa. U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918. Ancestry.com. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=LandownershipAtlas%2c&rank=0&=%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c&_80000002=&_80000003=Awmiller&gskw=&gs2co=1%2cAll+Countries&gs2pl=1%2c+&year=&yearend=&sbo=1&sbor=&ufr=0&wp=4%3b_80000002%3b_80000003&srchb=m&prox=1&ti=0&ti.si=0&gss=angs-d&pcat=44&fh=0&h=4361910&recoff=4. Accessed August 2, 2010.
1915, Wells, Appanoose, Iowa. U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918. Ancestry.com. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=LandownershipAtlas%2c&rank=0&=%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c&_80000002=&_80000003=Awmiller&gskw=&gs2co=1%2cAll+Countries&gs2pl=1%2c+&year=&yearend=&sbo=1&sbor=&ufr=0&wp=4%3b_80000002%3b_80000003&srchb=m&prox=1&ti=0&ti.si=0&gss=angs-d&pcat=44&fh=3&h=4356169&recoff=4. Accessed August 2, 2010.
CEMETERIES OF MALTA-MORGAN TWPS MORGAN CO. OH c. 10/1982, pg. 56. Transcribed by Nadine Gauthier Heppell:
McConnelsville Cemetery, Morgan Township
AUMILLER, Margaret d. 1846 ae 23y
Sarah d 1841 ae 28y
(2 wives of W)
MARRIAGES IN MORGAN CO., OH compiled by the Morgan Co. Chapt. OGS:
Vol B Feb 11, 1841-Nov 1853 c. 10/1984, p. 38. Transcribed by Nadine Gauthier Heppell:
MINER, Margaret & William AUMILLER m. 16 JAN 1845
MINER, Mary Ann & William AUMILLER m. 22 Apr 1848
Census Records from Ancestry.com
1850 US Census - Morgan, Morgan County, Ohio, b. 1846
1860 US Census - Wells, Appanoose County, Iowa, b. 1845
1870 US Census – Appanoose County, Iowa, b. 1845
1880 US Census - Appanoose County, Iowa, b. 1850
1885 Iowa Census – Wells, Appanoose County, Iowa, b. 1848
1895 Iowa Census – Appanoose County, Iowa, b. 1846
1900 US Census - Wells, Appanoose County, Iowa, b. Sept. 1846, living next door to Spencer and Sarah. George Awmiller and family lived two houses down on the other side.
1905 Iowa Census –Wells, Appanoose County, Iowa, living with Spencer and Sarah.
1910 US Census - Appanoose County, Iowa, b. 1847, living in Spencer’s household, along with Sarah.
1915 Iowa Census – Moulton, Wells, Appanoose County, Iowa, b. 1847; Farmer. Total earnings for 1914: $1,000. Value of Farm or Home: $1260
1920 US Census – Appanoose County, Iowa, b. 1846
Appanoose Biographies maintained by Renee L. Rimmert.
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