Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick

Joseph F. Perkins

An enterprising, industrious, self-made man was Joseph F. Perkins, born in Pocahontas County, Virginia on July 21, 1816. He was the son of a veteran of the War of 1812, Francis Perkins, and his wife Mary.

On June 13, 1836 Joseph arrived in Van Buren County, Wisconsin Territory "beyond the borders of civilization." He was one of the early arrivals to the region, staking out a claim in Farmington Township, near Bonaparte.

At the beginning of 1839 he went to Burlington and paid $1.25/acre for 63 acres of land.

He worked for William Meek for 75 cents/day and through thrift and hard work he added to his land holdings until he owned more than 400 acres.

Joseph was married to Miss Eliza Maxwell in 1837, but she died in 1844. They had two children: Mary F., who married John B. Edwards of Bonaparte; and Joseph W., who made his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

In 1844 Joseph married Eliza Myers, who died in 1885. They had 7 children: Sarah, who married Andres Petrie of Van Buren County; James, a farmer in Van Buren County; Jane, who married Thomas B. Johnson; Ellen, wife of Noah Moler; and Allen, who lived in Van Buren County. Two babies died in infancy.

Joseph Perkins acquired a great deal of livestock, mostly Norman Clyde and Morgan breeds. He was an ardent Democrat.

(Portraits & Biographies of the Governors of Iowa, 1885. Chapman Bros., Lake City Publishing: Chicago.)

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick