Richard C. and Cornelia (Davis) Perkins, son Charles A. Perkins, 7N 51W

In 1850 Marshall County, Mississippi, Hugh Davis is 44, Elizabeth 35, Sarah Ann 18, Mary ew. 14, Maria L. 8, Edward 6, Cornelia C. 4, and Hugh 2.

RICHARD C. PERKINS, a pioneer of Logan County, Colorado, where he owns and occupies a ranch near Sterling, CO, was born in Fayette Coutny, Tennessee, March 8th, 1842, a son of Richard C. and Martha O. (Gibson) Perkins. He was one of eleven children, five now living, namely; Elizabeth Perkins, the widow of John O. Graves, of Grand Junction, TN; Sarah E. Perkins, widow of R. E. Smith, of Logan County, CO; Richard C. Perkins; Catherine Perkins, wife of Dr. Turner Milan, of Texas; and Mattie Perkins, Mrs. M. S. Smith, of Grand Junction, TN. The father, a native of Middle Tennessee, born in 1801, was only a small child when his parents died, he was reared by a neighboring farmer. who cared for him until he attained manhood.
He then went to Alabama, where he married, shortly afterward returning to Tennessee and settling in Fayette County, where he purchased from Mr. Gordon a farm which the latter had bought from an Indian, Beatly. Here he remained until his death, in 1854.
The education of our subject was obtained in district schools, the Newcastle (Tenn) Academy, (where he studied for one term) and Bethel College, at McLemoresville, TN, where he spent two terms.
The continuation of his studies was interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil war, when he was attending the Baptist University at Murfreesboro, TN. About that time his older brother, who had been in charge of the plantation, died and he was called home to assume the management of the estate. In the spring of 1862, he went to Virginia and enlisted in the Nineteenth Mississippi Infantry, C.S.A. (having a brother who was a member of this regiment). He joined Company H at Yorktown. The regiment skirmished there for some days, then fell back to Williamsburg, where his brother, John C. Perkins, was killed. Thence they marched to Richmond, where he took part in the siege, and also in the battle of Malvern Hill, where he was wounded seriously. For three months he was confined in the hospital at Richmond, after which he was given a furlough of a year. Upon the expiration of the furlough, he being incapacitated for duty in the infantry, joined Forest's cavalry in northern Mississippi. Their first engagement of consequence was the capture of Fort Pillow. After many minor engagements, in which he bore a part, in the spring of 1865 he returned to Virginia and joined his old regiment, then located in the trenches between Richmond and Petersburg. He was just to the right of the point where General Grant blew up the Confederate works by undermining them. He took part in the battle that followed, in which the Confederates succeeded in holding their lines. Later he was a participant in engagements at Weldon Road.
After the surrender Mr. Perkins went home, it taking about one month for him to walk from Farmville, where Lee surrendered, to his Tennessee estate. There he found nothing but desolation. All was laid waste. However, he was cheered by the fact that many of his former slaves remained to welcome him home and they continued with him as long as he was on the old plantation.
After his mother's death, in 1866, he purchased the interests of the other members of the family in her share of the estate, with the intention of making his permanent home amid the scene familiar to him from his earliest recollection.
However, in 1873, he decided to come west, so, selling his place, he removed to Colorado, arriving in Greeley, CO, April 1st of that year, in company with three other families. He rented land in the vicinity of Greeley, the four families being in partnership, in order that some of the men could look after the farming interests while others were inspecting the country for a suitable permanent location. In June of the same year our subject came to Logan county, CO, and was so pleased with prospects that he decided to settle here, and the other families came with him.
In February, 1874, he proved up on his present home ranch as a pre-emption and later homesteaded an additional one hundred and sixty acres, four miles east of Sterling, CO. Upon that homestead he made his abode for eight years, after which he removed to his present place, one and one-quarter miles southwest of Sterling, CO. He here is engaged in farming and the stock business. During the early days of his residence in Logan Co., Mr. Perkins experiences all the hardships and privations of life on the frontier, far from civilizing influences. It was difficult to obtain the bar necessities of life, and comforts were not expected. During the long period of his residence here he has always worked to promote the welfare of the community and has done much to interest strangers in settling in this locality. He was one of the prime movers in the building of the Sterling Irrigation Company's ditch, which was the first ditch taken out in this section, and he had the contract to build the first six miles of the ditch. The company was organized in 1873, with himself as treasurer, and from that time to the present he had held different positions on the board of directors. For a number of years he acted as postmaster here, the mail route being from Greeley to Julesburg and trips being made twice a week. In politics he is now a staunch Prohibitionist, voting with that party. With his wife and family he holds membership in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Sterling, CO.
In 1868 Mr. Perkins married Miss CORNELIA C. DAVIS, a native of Marshall Co., Mississippi, and daughter of Hugh Davis, who at one time owned all of the land in his section, including the present site of Michigan City.
Nine children were born of this marriage, and seven are living, namely; Sallie O. Perkins, wife of Walter I. Brush, who is engaged in the livery business at Sterling, CO; Hugh R. Perkins, who is engaged in the drayage business at Sterling, CO; May E. Perkins, a graduate of the Sterling high school and now a teacher in the public school here; Charles A. Perkins, Carrie Perkins, Margaret Perkins and Lester Perkins, who are at home.

Richard C. Perkins cash-claimed a quarter in 6, 7N 52W in 1874, and proved up one in 15, 8N 52W in 1881.

In 1880 Weld County, Colorado, Richard C. is farming , 38, with Cornelia C. 25. Lizzie M. is 10, Sallie O. 8, Hugh R. 6, Mary E. 4, Charley 2, and Anna D. two months.

On the same page is Hugh Davis 30 and his mother Elizabeth 65, Edward 36, Bettie K. 25 and Annie S. 21.
David B. Davis 52 and his niece Mary Ayeres 44 are on the same page.

"The R.C. Perkins family built the first frame house near what is now the south edge of Sterling about 1881. It was destroyed by fires shortly after being built."

April 6, 1889 "Wednesday eve, at 7:30 o'clock, at the residence of R. C. Perkins, Henry Porter and Miss Lizzie Perkins were united in marriage. Both are well and favorably known to the entire community . Por a long time they have boon popular and leading spirits in the social, literary, musical and religious circles of Sterling. Seldom arr met so many sterling qualities in one union: No couple here had a larger circle of friends to wish them the unclouded sunshine of a long and joyous life. A number of valuable presents and a well prepared and nicely arranged supper were not the least in the enjoyment of the occasion by the happy couple and surrounding friends."

Charles proved up a quarter in section 8, 10N 53W in 1905. In 1916 he claimed a quarter in 9, 7N 51W, involving the right of Demontemer Drake. In 1856 Jasper County, Iowa, Demontemer S. Drake is 24, with Francis L 55 born in Connectictua nd Flora F. 57 New York. Demontimer, Mayville 22, Amelia A. 20 and Celelia A. 15 were all born in New York. In 1865 Davies County, Kansas, Demortomen Drake is 28, Maybille 26, and Celestia 22, with mother Chloe F. Drake 61.
Demortomen was a Civil War soldier, so this claim was probably a veteran-related one.

September 1, 1899 "Assessor Morris, Sheriff Ayres and Receiver Timberlake went to Denver this morning with Jack Perkins and will try to arrange a foot race between Jack and a Denver man. A big purse is in sight and if it goes up, Jack will surprise the backers of the other fellow."

October 6, 1899 "George Hilton has closed the deal for Jack Perkins' dray wagon and interest in the dray business of Mill & Perkins. George is a hard worker and the new firm will continue popular with the public."

Return to Pioneer Index