Carson & Brother General Store and Forwarding and Commission.
The first store was opened at Perry, while the railroad was building and before the town was laid out, by G. B. Carson & Bro. This was in 1865. The store was located in what is now the center of the street north of the depot, and where the town well now is.
After the Carsons, the next to locate at Perry were Josiah Terrell and family, who came about the time the town was surveyed, and built a house.
A postoffice was soon established, and Josiah Terrell appointed Postmaster.
The first sermon was preached by Josiah Terrell, soon after his location, at his residence. There was quite a large congregation in attendance. The house is the one now used as a shoemaker shop, on the Terrell property, and is the oldest building on the town site.
The third building to be erected was the Perry Hotel, in 1866.
The first birth was in the spring of 1866, and was that of Eddie Rickard, who is still living in Perry with his parents.
The first death occurred in 1866, and was that of the young child of M. F. Garrett.
The first school was taught in 1867. There were no school districts, and the citizens of Perry organized a joint stock company, and in connection with the Free Masons, built a two story schoolhouse. On its completion, G. D. King and his wife, Mrs. Frances King, opened a subscription school, beginning in January, 1867.
The first marriage was that of John Dunlap and Miss Mary Lee, in the fall of 1867. N. J. Stark, then a Justice of the Peace, performed the ceremony.
After the foundation of the town it grew quite rapidly, and within the first five years it had grown to be nearly as large as it now is.
The city of Perry was incorporated March 3, 1871. N. J. Stark was the first mayor. The present city officers are D. Surber, Mayor; J. R. Martin, Clerk, and F. M. Stark, Treasurer.
The Presbyterian Church Society was organized during the first years of the history of the town. In 1869, their church was built. It is a large and substantial edifice. The society has a large membership, and is in a prosperous condition.
The Baptist Church Society was organized under the North Topeka Mission, on March 30, 1878, by Rev. J. Barrett. On organization it had but fifteen members, but now has over forty. The first pastor was Rev. J. Barrett, who is still in charge. Services were first held in the schoolhouse. The church was built in 1882, and dedicated in July. It is a large and comfortable frame structure, and cost $2,250.
The Methodist Episcopal Church has a class numbering about twenty-five members but has not church edifice. They hold services in the schoolhouse.
The African Baptist Church has a large membership. This church, a small building, was erected in 1872.
Soon after the public school district of Perry was organized, measures were taken to build a schoolhouse. As a result, bonds were voted, and a large brick schoolhouse, two stories high, was built. It was completed in 1871, at a cost of $7,000. The school is divided into two departments, which are taught by Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Queen. Great pains have been taken to bring the school up to a high state of excellence.
The only secret society represented is that of the Independent Order of Odd Fellow, Hope Lodge, No. 45. The lodge was organized on April 22, 1869, with thirteen members. The first officers were David Rorick, N. G.; Samuel Kerr, secretary; D. Surber, treasurer, and Robert Parker, V. G. The lodge now has twenty-six members, and is in a very prosperous condition. They own their own hall had have no debts.
The Kaw Valley Chief is the only paper published here. It was established October 10, 1879, by L. E. and A. H. Merritt. In September, 1881, the former became sole proprietor and still continues its publication. It is a seven column folio in size, is ably edited, and has a large circulation throughout the Kansas Valley.
The only manufacturing interests of the town are represented by the Perry Flouring and Grist Mills, of which Leach & Sons are proprietors. The mill was established by them in the year 1881, and is well fitted up with the latest improved machinery. There are two run of buhrs.
Perry, an incorporated city of the third class in Jefferson county, is located in Kentucky township on the Union Pacific R. R., 15 miles south of Oskaloosa, the county seat. It has a bank, a weekly newspaper (the Mirror), a number of business establishments, a money order postoffice with two rural routes, telegraph and express offices, etc. The population in 1910 was 475. Perry was surveyed and platted in 1865 by the railroad company and the first store was opened in that year by G. B. Carson & Bro. A postoffice was soon after established with Joseph Terrel postmaster. Terrel was a minister and preached the first sermon in his residence soon after his location. The first birth was that of Eddie Rickard in the spring of 1866. The first death, that of a child of M. F. Garrett, occurred the same year. The first marriage was between John Dunlap and Mary Lee in the fall of 1867. In that year G. D. King and his wife opened a subscription school. Perry was incorporated on March 3, 1871, with N. J. Stark as the first mayor. A $7,000 school house was completed in that year.