James Perry
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 509-510, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  James Perry, a prominent citizen of Versailles, is a native of the Blue Grass country, being born there in 1817. His father was Edmond Perry, a farmer of South Carolina, and his father was Nathan Perry, a farmer of the same State, who came to Illinois in the fall of 1830. Edmond Perry had made the journey the year before, in the company of his two brothers and a brother-in-law. They spent the winter of 1829-‘30 in Illinois and were here during the big snow storm, which is a historical one. In June of 1830, he returned to his family and brought them and his parents to the new country. The trip was made in the regulation style, covered wagons and ox teams, and, although they were a month on the journey, they enjoyed it to a remarkable degree. There was a fascination in the free life they led, camping by the roadside when they made their stops. One night the party had the luxury of sleeping in a vacant house in Springfield. The party consisted of seven families of the Perrys, including two brothers-in-law. They came with a limited means, but before long by industry they all were in comfortable circumstances. The old grandmother Perry had been a Miss Rebecca Yarbrey, and she was the other of eight children, all of whom eventually came to Illinois. She and her husband lived to be aged people, he dying at the age of eighty-two years and she some three years before him. Their children were: Edmond Perry, father of subject, eighty-two; Luke Perry, eighty; Melvina, seventy; William died in the prime of life; Edward, about seventy; Sarah, over seventy; Irving, about sixty; Benjamin, baptized in the Baptist Church, is about sixty; John, baptized in the same faith when seventy-five years of age; Edmond Perry, married Rachel Bridges of North Carolina, and they had eleven children, all of whom grew up and had families, namely: Martha, died when she was about fifty, leaving nine children; Phoebe, died when a young woman, leaving four children; Rebecca, wife of Samuel Briggs, of Versailles; Ichabod, a retired farmer in Mt. Sterling is a widower; James, of this sketch; Nathan, a farmer of this township; Sarah died in this township, leaving six children, being about fifty at her death; Melvina died in the prime of life, leaving one child; Louisa married and in middle life; Francis, farmer of Mt. Sterling, has six sons; and Luke, a farmer of Stone county, Missouri, who has six children. The mother died about seventy-six years of age and the father four years later, when he was eighty-two years of age. They left a good estate and are remembered as being among the best of the pioneer families of the State.
  Mr. Perry was married, in his twenty-third year to Eliza Hills of Indiana, daughter of Robert and Betsy (Angel) Hills, who came to Schuyler county before the big snow storm. They died on their farm at an advanced age, he when he was seventy-five, and she when she was a year younger.
  Mr. and Mrs. Perry settled on their present home of eighty acres in the fall of 1841, October 15. He now pays taxes on about 560 acres of land, although he started with very little money. All of their eleven children are living, the eldest fifty-three, and the youngest twenty-six. There is not a death in the family and all of the children are married and settled in life. These children are: Charles, now a banker in Knoxville, Iowa, with two sons; William Perry (see sketch): Olive, wife of J. B. Masters, a retired farmer of Denver, with three children; Francis, a farmer of this township, with four children; Robin, a farmer of Mt. Sterling township, with one daughter; Almira, wife of Richard Underwood, a farmer living near by, has four sons; Elizabeth, wife of James Butler, a farmer of this township, six children; Edmond, a farmer of this township with two children; Eliza, wife of E. W. Lanier, a farmer living near by, four children; and James K., a farmer on the old homestead, two children.
  Mr. Perry supports the principles of the Democratic party and he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Perry is now an old man, being about seventy-five years younger. He is practically retired, but takes a strong interest in all that is taking place, and is as much interested in the welfare of his children and grandchildren as if he were yet a young man. These children are persons to be proud of, as none of them ever contract any debts that they are not perfectly able to pay, all have been well educated, and are worthy sons and daughters of their respected and honored parents. The old people's hearts are gladdened by the merry prattle of the thirty-three grandchildren who have been added to this large and prosperous family.




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