(1811, Chelsea, Vermont - 1897, Kankakee, Illinois)
[James Madison Perry died 9 Jul 1897 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois. The following is a transcript of his obituary, from a newspaper clipping with no date or headline, other than the title. The paper was in either Chicago or Kankakee County, Illinois. Typographical errors have been corrected; original capitalization and punctuation are retained. Brackets are mine.--D.G. Jones]
James Madison Perry, a former member of the Illinois general assembly and one of the organizers of Kankakee County, is dead. Old age was the cause of his demise, he being in his eighty-seventh year. The death of Mr. Perry removes one of the most conspicuous characters of Will and Kankakee counties during the civil war.
Mr. Perry was born inn Chelsa [Chelsea], Orange County, Vt., March 20, 1811, and his early life was devoted to teaching school in his native state, where he was educated. In 1839 he came to Illinois and for a time taught school at Momence, which at that time was in Will County. Later he was one of the organizers of Kankakee County and as a result of his prominence in that was elected county clerk. He served that county as county clerk twelve years and then was chosen a member of the lower branch of the general assembly. He was always an active republican and an abolitionist. Pervious to the birth of the republican party he was a whig. He voted for seventeen presidential candidates and in 1868 was Grant’s closest rival for votes in Kankakee County.1 It is claimed by some of this friends that he ran ahead of Grant, who was the presidential candidate.
During the war Mr. Perry was very active in raising troops and getting measures through at Washington for the Governor of Illinois. He had a personal acquaintance with President Lincoln and was an intimate friend of Governor [Richard] Yates. In Kankakee County the soldiers relied upon him to see that their families did not suffer, and on payday they remitted their meager wages to him to disburse for them.
During his term as a legislator Mr. Perry removed to Chicago and had since lived a retired life. His home at 3207 Indiana avenue was a modest one, but one at which old friends and neighbors were always welcome. He was a model husband and father and represented the highest type of citizenship. He came from revolutionary and colonial stock. His grandfather, Captain David Perry, served his country in both the French and revolutionary wars,2 and his father, Nathaniel G. Perry, was a lieutenant in the war of 1812.
Mr. Perry was married Dec. 19[10th], 1845, to Lonura [Lomira] Beebe at Beebetown, Kankakee County, by Father Beggs, the founder of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago. Mrs. Perry died Sept. 5, 1893. Three children survive them — C[harles] N. Perry, Mrs. G[eorge] M. Chamberlin, and Flora I[one] Perry. Mr. Perry was a member of the Tippecanoe Club.3
The funeral services will be held at the family residence, 3207 Indiana avenue, at 9:30 o’clock to-morrow. [--July 1897]
1 During the U.S. presidential race in 1868, the Republican National Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois. On May 21st, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was nominated as the Republican candidate; James M. Perry “was Grant's closest rival for votes in Kankakee County.” Later elected 18th President of the United States (1869-1877), Grant had been closely allied with Illinois, having accepted from Governor Richard Yates the command of the 21st Illinois Regiment during the Civil War.
2 See Capt. David Perry’s memoir Recollections of An Old Soldier: The Life of Captain David Perry, A Soldier of the French and Revolutionary Wars... pub. in Windsor, Vermont: Republican & Yeoman Printing Office, Directly Opposite the Bank of Windsor, 1822. (Compiled, electronic edition © 1998 D.G. Jones.) Annotated, illustrated edition, ca2004, by D.G. Jones
3 The Tippecanoe Club (ca 1840) was a political organization with chapters around the country, dedicated to promote “by every honorable means” the election of Gen. William Henry Harrison and John Tyler for President and Vice President of the United States (Library of Congress, American Memory,” lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/rbpehtml/rbpebibTitles24.html). Gen. Known as “the Hero of Tippecanoe,” Harrison had defeated the Shawnee in the Battle of Tippecanoe during the War of 1812. The election slogan was “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.” Harrison and was elected 9th President in 1841.
Notes by D.G. Jones © 2004
Perry, David. Recollections of an old soldier: the life of Captain David Perry, a soldier of the French and Revolutionary Wars, containing many extraordinary occurrences relating to his own private history, and an account of some interesting events in the history of the times in which he lived, no-where else re-corded / written by himself. Jones, Denise G., ed., ca.2004 edition. Combined, electronic editions, c1998. Originally pub: Windsor, Vermont: Republican and Yeoman Printing-Office, 1822.) See Recollections of an Old Soldier online © 1999.
Perry, (Rep.) James Madison Perry [(1811-1887) of Chicago, Illinois] letter to his nephew (Rep.) Eben Butler Perry [(1852-1922) of Ira, Vermont], 25 Jan. 1885, in Sevigny, Papers. Unpublished.
Sevigny, Ethel P. Correspondence with editor, 1994-2001.
Sevigny, Ethel P. [1913 - ] Papers. Unpublished. These papers include those of her mother Mrs. Walter Perry (Carrie [Colvin] Perry [1883-1980]) who was town clerk of Ira, Vermont, and member of the Vermont state senate; of her grandfather Charles Albert Perry [a letter from Abbie Boswell, and letters from George Adelbert Perry]; and of her great-grandfather Eben [a letter from Rep. James Madison Perry]. There are also many letters [with genealogical information] to Mrs. Carrie Perry by Laurel Catherine [Perry] McColley, a cousin through Capt. David Perry’s half-brother Eliakim Jr.).
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