THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   WILSON L. PERKINS, a prominent and well-to-do farmer, has resided
on his one-hundred-and-thirty-acre farm in the town of Cazenovia, one and one-half miles south of Cazenovia Lake, for the last seventy years. He was born within half a mile of his present home, October 8, 1816, and is a son
of Elemander Perkins, who was born in Massachusetts in 1792, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. Elemander Perkins came to this county in 1803, when a lad of eleven years. He married Nancy Coley. His father-in-law, Joseph Coley, an Englishman who came to America in his early years, was a
farmer, and in middle life became a Baptist preacher. The paternal grandfather of Wilson L. Perkins was Abizer Perkins, a Revolutionary soldier of Deerfield, Mass., where he was born in 1754. He came to Madison County in 1803, bringing with him his family, consisting of a wife and seven children,--five sons and two daughters,--of whom Elemander was the fourth child. They came
with small means, and settled on a farm heavily timbered and with but few improvements, which Mr. Perkins had purchased upon a previous visit.
   Our subject was trained to agricultural pursuits and accustomed to habits of industry in early youth. On March 11, 1840, he married Miss Lucretia Rice, daughter of Isaac and Anna (Ware) Rice. A son was born to them on the 6th of May, 1841, and named Franklin R.; and on the 17th of the same month the
mother died. This was a sad bereavement for Mr. Perkins; but in 1843 he again married, the maiden name of his second wife being Sarah M. Salisbury. She was a daughter of Mason and Rhoda Salisbury, of Cortland, N. Y., and was twenty-two years of age at the time of her marriage to Mr. Perkins. After
his second marriage our subject moved to Lyons, N. Y., where he was engaged for three years in the hardware business. He then sold out, and in 1846 came to his present home, his father being alive at the time. Soon after he and his brother Willis purchased a tract of land, consisting of one hundred and fifty acres, for thirty dollars per acre. This land adjoined his present farm, and the price was considered very low for that period. Here Elemander Perkins died, April 10, 1854, in his sixty-second year. His widow survived him many years, and died here of pneumonia after a painful illness of some ten days, December 21, 1876, at the age of eighty-one. She came of sturdy English
stock, and was a remarkable woman, both mentally and physically, preserving her faculties to the last. She and her husband sleep in the beautiful evergreen cemetery at Cazenovia.
    On August 10, 1853, Mr. Perkins had the misfortune to lose his second wife, who died, leaving him two sons; namely, Judson 0. and Charles H. October 28, 1856, he married Sophia E. May, of Akron, Ohio, a young lady
in her twenty-first year, a grand-daughter of Luke and Patience May, of Cazenovia. Mr. Perkins has no children by his third marriage. His living children are as follows: Franklin R., who owns a good farm in the vicinity,
a present from his father, married Louise Wright; and they are the parents of three living daughters,--Marion, Eleanor, and Rachel. Three other daughters died in childhood,--Irene, when quite young; Lulu, at twelve years of age; and Doris,--the last two dying within two weeks of each other. Franklin R. Perkins was educated at Cazenovia, studied for the legal profession, and was admitted to the bar in 1864. That same year he volunteered, and went to the front as
Captain of Company E of the Twenty-second New York Cavalry, S. V. He raised this company himself at the cost of much personal exertion, and served until January, 1865, when he was honorably discharged. He and his family spend a part of their time in Buffalo, where he has a large legal practice.
Judson O. Perkins, a Baptist clergyman of Chittenango, was graduated at the Madison (now Colgate) University in 1872, with high honors, and later, in 1874, from the Hamilton Theological Seminary. He was ordained, and went to the Baptist church of Copenhagen. November 4, 1874, he was united in
marriage to Ella M. Newton, daughter of Christopher and Mary Newton, of Cazenovia. They have two children,--May Louise and Wilson N.  Charles H. Perkins resides upon an adjoining farm. He has been twice married, and has one son by his present wife, Charles W. Taylor Perkins. His first wife, Alice Kingsley, left him one daughter, Alice Cary,--an intelligent and cultured young lady of nineteen, who has resided with her grandparents since her infancy. She was graduated at the Cazenovia Seminary in June, 1893.
   Our subject and his brother, Willis C. Perkins, at one time owned nearly five hundred acres of land in this vicinity. The last-named died at his brother's home, in March, 1890, when in his seventy-sixth year. He was a strong man physically, and had not his equal at labor for many miles around. Although remaining a bachelor all his life, he was a most genial and pleasant man and a
faithful member of the Baptist church. His death was greatly mourned by all who knew him. Wilson L. Perkins erected a cheese factory on his farm, now the property of his son Charles, which he managed successfully for over twenty years, making butter and cheese from his own large dairy of from sixty
to seventy cows, and also for his neighbors. He used to own one hundred head of cattle, but now has but ten head of horned cattle, forty head of sheep, and three horses. His son cuts many tons of hay in his sheep pasture. He was for about three years largely engaged in the slaughtering of sheep, at a time when the finest could be bought for one dollar each. He has been successful in his
life-work, and is passing his declining years in comfort in the congenial society of his faithful wife, his children and grandchildren. He is a Baptist in his religious belief and Republican in his political opinions. Madison County can produce no more worthy citizen than he whose life history we have thus briefly narrated.

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