Parker W. Perry

PARKER W. PERRY. With the death of Parker W. Perry, which occurred on his farm in Williamsport Township of Shawnee County, March 14, 1914, there passed from the ranks of local citizenship one of the most highly respected men of that community. For upwards of forty years he had been a resident of Kansas. Of a genial and generous disposition, he had made friends wherever he was, and along with a talent for making friendships he also possessed keen business judgment and accumulated a competence for himself and family.

He was of New England birth and ancestry and was born at Bristol, New Hampshire, September 29, 1856. His father had the same name and was a carpenter by trade. The mother's maiden name was Irene Badger. Left fatherless when a small boy and an orphan at the age of sixteen, Parker W. Perry early learned to depend upon himself for his advancement in life. He learned the carriage trimmer's trade as a young man. The necessities of existence prevented him from gaining a liberal education, though he made wise use of such opportunities as were presented.

It was in 1877 that Mr. Perry came to Kansas. At Topeka he entered the service of the Santa Fe Railway Company, and he was first located at Scranton and afterwards at Ellenwood.

On December 9, 1880, Mr. Perry married Amy Vawter, a daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Bright) Vawter, and a granddaughter of Jeptha D. Vawter, who came to Shawnee County, Kansas, in the spring of 1868 and had a notable career which is sketched on other pages of this publication.

For the two years following his marriage Mr. Perry resided at Ellenwood, but in 1883 came to Shawnee County and thenceforward was closely identified with the farming interests of Williamsport Township. Starting in with a modest capital, he was able to secure only eighty acres of land and that largely unimproved. He was an indefatigable worker, and in fact it was hard work which terminated his life when he was just in his prime. Year after year his farm was in a better condition and more valuable than the preceding, and with the aid of his worthy wife he kept increasing his possessions until he was finally owner of 400 acres.

He was a man of unusual force of character. He had strong views on all the important questions of life, was a Protestant in religion and a republican in politics, and moral and upright he stood for all that was best in American citizenship. He found his greatest pleasure in his home and family, and at the same time he gave liberally of his means to forward those enterprises undertaken with the public welfare in view.

Mr. Perry is survived by Mrs. Perry and two children. Wayland B., the only son, was born in 1883 and now resides on a part of his father's home place. In 1904 this son married Maude Harrison and their three children are named Edna A., Ellis P. and Frank W. The only daughter, Junia Genieva, lives with her mother, Mrs. Perry, in the old homestead.

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; transcribed by Ricky, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, November, 1997.
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