13 January 2011

Obituary--Charles M. Perkins

While entering obituaries in our new database, I found what I believe is another "Mrs Robertson" obituary.  I wasn't certain she was writing that early, but then found one with her by-line, a page or two later.  This has all the earmarks of Mrs. Robertson.  The people mentioned here are ones she talks about, it is from the Hesperia, and this has all those personal details she so liked to mention.  And to be frank, this was an interesting means of death.

From the 3 December 1914 Fremont TimesIndicator:

First the teaser from one of the community columns.

Charles Perkins died at his home Sunday afternoon with a complcation of diseases.  He had been in Florida for some time, but realizing his condition, started home, arriving in Brunswick last Monday, not knowing how he got there.  He was driven to Hesperia, where he lay unconscious until he died. His brother, Byron of Michilinda, came last Wednesday and was with him to the last.

After reading that, I hope in 1914 he was on a train and not coming by automobile or horse, driving himself. Anyway, here is the full obituary.

Charles M. Perkins was born in Wort, Alleghany county, New York, in 1867, and died in Hesperia Sunday Nov. 29, 1014.  (note, I assume the year was a misprint in the 1914 paper)
Charles Perkins was a man who was loved and honored by a wide circle of friends.  Living in Hesperia nearly all his life, the people fondly called him "dad."  Several years ago Mr. and Mrs. Perkins went to Tacoma and later Archie McCallum and E. T. Carbine drifted there and Mr. and Mrs. Perkins made a home for these boys in that far away city, and that is how the boys called him "dad," and they have been like sons to the lonely man ever since.
Mr Perkin's health began to fail several year ago, and for several years he went to Florida to spend the winter.  He went this year early in October, but realizing his condition he started for hime, reaching Brunswick last Monday.  He did not seem to know how he got there.  He was brought th Hesperia and has had only one or two conscious moments since.  His brother, T.B. Perkins, Archie McCallum, E. T. Carbine and Charles Reynolds were at his bedside when he died and had been in almost constant attendance since his return.
Ever since the death of his wife, Mrs Perkins has lived with his wife's aged mother, Mrs. Ann Schutt, and her daughter, Miss Sara Schutt, who will sadly miss the ministrations of a tender son and brother.
He was at one time one of the foremost business men of the town, but failing health made him give up all enterprise, excepting that which led him out of doors. 
Mr Perkins owned a large tract of land in Florida.
Funeral services were held from the M. E. church, Rev. M. A. Oldt officiating.  A large numbers of friends attended.  Interment was made in the West cemetery.  His brother, Capt. T. B. Perkins of Spring Lake, and his only child, Leslie C. of Rockport, Ill., were present at the funeral.

And as is typical of any obituary of this time, questions remain.  Whose son?  His or his brothers?  When did Mrs. Perkins die, and where?  Was his brother, a ship captain, or a war veteran?  And of course, why did his brother go by two different names and towns in two different obituaries?  Those questions of course are what make us dig further into our family histories.


  1. Wow! I see what you mean about the writing in this old obituary. It is consistently vague. It takes several close readings to get a clear picture of what happened. Aside from the typos (1014 for 1914, Perkin's for Perkins', hime for home), there is a close attention to personal description, Like: "they have been like sons to the lonely man ever since," but a repeated failure to include the facts. For instance, if it had told when he left Florida, it would have given a clue as to how he was traveling by how long it took him to get to Hesperia. I guess the things we have gained technologically, like spell check and rigid formats for news writing have been at the expense of the more subjective and human details.

  2. Anonymous30 June, 2012

    This is very interesting as Charles M Perkins was my Great Grandfather. I didn't know this website existed, found it accidently when I put his name in Google. You're right about his birth year being 1914.
    Although I knew most of this info, I was pleased to find the cemetery information and now have found other Perkins relatives.
    Thanks for that. I'd be pleased to hear from Linda with any other information,
    Donna Perkins Long


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