November 8, 1883
The subject of this brief memoir was of Connecticut origin, his father Wesley Perkins, at an early date, removing from that State to Vermont, where he died in 1819. Mr. W. Perkins was born in the town of Orwell, Rutland county, Vt., May 16th, 1805, preceeding a sister just one hour. At the age of 6 months, he became half-orphaned by the death of his mother, and wholly orphaned at the age of 14. Soon after the authorities of his native town bound him as an apprentice to a gentleman by the name of Goodrich, who was a deacon in the Congregational church, and by occupation a farmer, a tanner, and also a tavernkeeper. Here Mr. Perkins remained, loyal and faithful to his legal master, till he attained the lawful age of 21.
At the expiration of his apprenticeship he left his native state and came to Ohio in 1826, and remained till the next year, at which time he returned to Vermont. In 1828, he came back to Ohio, and took to wife Miss Orpha Snow, a resident of Windham, Portage County, O., where he dwelt until 1831, at which time he came to Amherst, and purchased a piece of land, moving his family thither the following year, 1832. From that time until 1879, a period of nearly half a cnetury, he resided in Amherst, and became intimately acquainted with the growth of Amherst, and also the names and history of many of its inhabitants, and able to give an intelligible report concerning the time at which many of them died, and where in the old cemetery they were buried, though no stone marked their resting place.
Mr. Perkins was a genial companion pre-eminently social, an obliging neighbor, a fast friend, a kind father, and a conscientious Christian. he held for a number of years a membership in the Congregational church. In regard to the needy, he was generous, almost to a fault, dividing with them his last dollar, and last loaf, though he sometimes was unable to see where his own supplies would come from. His confidence in the Merciful Father was so great as to make him cheerful in the times of pressing necessities, and his long experience teaching him to "trust in the Lord and do good" was a promise that never failed.
Eighteen years ago the wife of Mr. Perkins died, after fifteen or more years of confinement to her bed by an incurable disease. In 1879 he went to Cleveland and found a home with his son Henry, for about three years. During the last two years he resided with his youngest son, Roswell, in Columbus, but frequently came to Amherst, in the mean time, stopping with his two sons, Ozni and James W., a month or so at a time.
For a long time he was afflicted with severe attacks of nephritis, and kindred complaints, causing a great deal of suffering, and demanding a large amount of care and attention from his family friends. But these diseases eventually undermined his constitution and ended in death, Saturday, Oct. 27, 1883, at the age of seventy-eight years, five months, and fourteen days.
His remains were brought to North Amherst and interred beside the dust of the wife of his youth, in the Amherst cemetery. An appropriate sermon was preached by Rev. Atwater, of Cleveland, from Psalm xc:10. A large congregation of his former acquaintances were in attendance, to show their appreciation of the deceased.