John Wesley Perry

Male, #32474, (8 Apr 1848 - 10 Oct 1911)
Birth*8 Apr 1848 John was born at Randolph Co., Alabama, on 8 Apr 1848. 
Marriage*circa 1866 He married Martha Louisa Dickinson Culpepper at Randolph Co., Alabama, circa 1866. 
Photographed*say 1895 He was photographed say 1895 at Randolph Co., Alabama.
John Wesley & Mattie (Culpepper) Kirk
Employment* John's occupation: blacksmith at Texas
1900 Census* John was listed as the head of a family on the 1900 Census at Hunt Co., Texas. 51 m-ED 127 sheet 15 line 34 precinct. 
1910 Census*1910 John was listed as the head of a family on the 1910 Census at Abilene, Taylor Co., Texas. 61 m-ED 268 sheet 96. 
Death*10 Oct 1911 He died at Potosi, Taylor Co., Texas, on 10 Oct 1911 at age 63. 
Burial* His body was interred at Potosi, Taylor Co., Texas
Biography* John Wesley Perry's father was a Methodist minister. A grandson of John Wesley Perry, Palmer W. Perry, wrote:1

John was a blacksmith, carpenter, and somewhat of a wainwright and was quite a disciplinarian. He tried to keep a really tight line on his children.

Palmer continued:2

John and Mattie Perry were married and first lived near [what is now the town of] Wadley, AL.... From there they moved to near Collinsville [DeKalb Co.], AL. Their sons used "Bucks Pocket" for hunting and fishing. I think the pocket is now under water from the T. V. A.3

Palmer added:1

I don't remember much talk of the years when the Perrys were in Collinsville, AL, except for talk of the rough and hard times they had, such as having to fertilize each fill of corn, as they planted and having to saw lumber and make all the caskets.... I don't recall hearing if he [John Wesley Perry] pastored any churches while in the Collinsville area. I suppose he did though as they had a "religious" family quartet, and they sang around the country and made quite a few records. I believe nearly all of them were singers. I can remember grandmother waking me in the middle of the night singing religious songs in her sleep.

The family has not been located in the 1870 census records but is believed to have been living to the west of Louina, now Wadley in Randolph Co., AL where John Wesley Perry and Mattie Culpepper were married and where they were noted with their family in 1880 census records. It is thought that they stayed in Randolph Co., AL until at least the mid-1880's. Unfortunately, the 1890 census records burned so it is difficult to place the family in DeKalb Co., AL. Another grandson, Briley G. Perry, wrote 4 that when his father, W. E. Perry, was about 18 (circa 1892) he went to Hopewell, TX 5 with his brother, L. M. Perry. They were followed a year later by their parents, John Wesley and Mattie (Culpepper) Perry. In fact, John and Martha with one of their children, Malcolm O. Perry, have been noted in 1900 census records of precinct 3 of Hunt Co., TX. Briley added:4

They later moved to Merit, Texas where John Wesley Perry owned and operated a black smith shop [and] from Merit [they moved] to Potosi, Texas 14 miles south of Abilene, Texas....

Mrs. A. T. (Kathleen Perry) Pickett wrote:6

My mother said many times that grandfather Perry was one of the finest men she ever knew. He was a blacksmith and preached some and taught singing schools. All of the Perry family were good singers. The brothers and sisters made a phonograph record singing "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" and I can remember hearing it played on an old phonograph at our aunt Carrie's one time when we were visiting there when I was 6 or 7 yrs. old.7 It was getting scratchy but was still beautiful....

Perry Garner, a great grandson of John Wesley Perry, wrote:8

On my way out [to the Perry reunion] I stopped to visit Ruby Wiltrout and she took me over to see the old John Wesley homeplace that is still standing. It is scheduled to be torn down any day now so I was fortunate to arrive in time to get some photos.... I also got a visit of the old Methodist Church that is still there but remodeled inside. I see now that we are still perhaps correct on the fact that John W. may have preached because they had 2 churches back in his day, a North and a South Methodist with one believing in slavery and the other not. In fact the Church that is there now has some of the furniture out of the other one.

Palmer W. Perry, wrote:2

[John Wesley Perry] was in the church pulpit when he suffered the stroke from which he died.... 


Martha Louisa Dickinson Culpepper (12 Sep 1846 - 18 Apr 1928)
Marriage*circa 1866 He married Martha Louisa Dickinson Culpepper at Randolph Co., Alabama, circa 1866. 
Last Edited25 May 2015


  1. letter 3 Sep 1978
  2. letter 6 Nov 1978
  3. Tennessee Valley Authority-there is a Buck's Pocket State Park in DeKalb Co., AL near Guntersville Lake
  4. letter 5 Jul 1978
  5. There is a question about the location of Hopewell, TX. There is a Hopewell, TX in Houston Co., TX but Palmer W. Perry's letters seem to indicate that Hopewell was a church and school in the vicinity of Merit, Hunt Co., TX. There is a Hopewell cemetery on the western side of Hunt Co., TX
  6. letter 4 Jan 1979
  7. circa 1925
  8. letter 17 Jun 1980