Joseph F. Perkins
PERKINS, MYER, FLOWERS, CAVITT, MAXWELL, EDWARDS, MYERS, PETRIE, JOHNSON, MOLER
Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/3/2001 at 14:41:31
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
JOSEPH F. PERKINS
Joseph F. Perkins is one of the substantial farmers and stock raisers of Van Buren County, his home being in Bonaparte. In presenting his sketch to the readers of the Album we record not only the life of an honorable pioneer but also that of a self made man whose example of industry, enterprise and zeal can hardly be excelled. He overcame the difficulties caused by limited education, surmounted the barriers of poverty and working his way upward, step by step, at length reached a position of affluence.
Mr. Perkins was born in Pocahontas County Virginia, July 21, 1816, and belonged to a family numbered four sons and four daughters, the parents being Francis and Mary Perkins, who were also natives of the Old Dominion. Elizabeth, his eldest sister, died in California; Joseph, is the second in order of birth; Robert, makes his home in California; William died in Van Buren County; Dorathea became the wife of B.F. Myer, and died in Oregon; Eveline, widow of Charles Flowers is living in California; George W. makes his home in New Castle California; Rebecca is the wife of George W. Cavitt who is living near Sacramento City; and Mary Frances died in Virginia in youth. In 1843 Mr. Perkins came with his family to Van Buren County, but his death occurred three years later. In politics he was a Jackson Democrat and served as Clerk of the court in his native state. During the War of 1812 he entered the service but while on his way to the front, hostilities were brought to a close. At the death of her husband, Mrs. Perkins went to California where she spent her last days.
The subject of this sketch, Joseph F. Perkins, was reared until seventeen years of age in his native state and as his family was in limited circumstances his educational advantages were not of the best. Experience and observation, however, have been to him excellent teachers and he has stored away a fund of useful information, practical in character, which he would probably not have acquired had he been enabled to attend school more regularly. In 1832, at the time of the Black Hawk War, he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, but cholera was prevalent in the city at that time and he continued on to Lima Indiana. On his twentieth birthday, June 13, 1836, he arrived in Van Buren County, which then formed a part of the Territory of Wisconsin. At that time the entire state was but little inhabited and its bright future could nave never been dreamed of, much less realized. In fact, it was thought to be almost beyond the borders of civilization. Such men as Mr. Perkins, who were among the early comers and bore the hardships and privations of pioneer life, laid the foundation for its present prosperity and to them we owe unbounded gratitude. The land was not surveyed and in Van Buren County there were only a few houses, situated along the river. Mr. Perkins made a claim in Farmington township, near Bonaparte, and when the land came into market went to Burlington in 1839 and secured the title, paying $1.25 per acre for sixty-three acres, which he made by working for William Meek at seventy five cents per day. To this he has since added by subsequent purchase until now a highly cultivated farm of four hundred acres pays a golden tribute to the care and labor, which he bestows upon it. The entire amount is under fence and there are seen all modern improvements.
Mr. Perkins has been twice married. The year succeeding his arrival in this county he was joined in wedlock with Miss Eliza Maxwell and unto them were born two children who lived to adult age, namely Mary F. wife of John B. Edwards, a resident of Bonaparte; and Joseph W. who makes his home in Ketchum Idaho. The death of the mother occurred in 1844 and for a second wife Mr. Perkins chose Miss Eliza Myers. Their union was blessed with seven children, four of whom are living—Sarah, who married Andrew Petrie of Van Buren County; Robert who died at the age of twenty-four years; William of Van Buren County; James who is engaged in farming; Jane deceased wife of Thomas B. Johnson; Ellen who married Noah Moler; and Allen who is also living in Van Buren County. Mrs. Perkins was called to her last rest in 1885 and her death was the occasion of deep regret on the part of many friends.
In connection with the cultivation of his land Mr. Perkins devotes considerable attention to stock raising, making a specialty of horses. He has some very fine animals on his farm of the Norman, Clyde and Morgan breeds. In political sentiment, Mr. Perkins is a Democrat, and a stanch supporter of party principles. Though seventy-five years of age he is fresh in appearance, active in movement and bright in intellect.
I am not related and I am posting this biography for those who may find this person in their family history.
Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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