For over seventy years the name of PERRY has been prominently identified with the upbuilding and development of Marshall county, for as early as 1834 Elijah L. PERRY, father of our subject, became a resident of this county and took an active part in reclaiming the land for the purpose of civilization. He was born in Kentucky in 1820 and on coming to this state located in Bell Plain township, Marshall county, where he followed farming throughout the remainder of his life, dying here in August, 1870. He was an active and consistent member of the Christian church and was a stanch supporter of the democratic party. On the 29th of October, 1847, he married Miss Nancy A. HATTON, who was born in Virginia on the 17th of September, 1825, and is still living, making her home with her children. She, too, is an earnest member of the Christian church and is a lady highly esteemed by all who know her. She was five years of age when she accompanied her father, Forsythe Hatton, on his removal from Rockbridge county, Virginia, to Ohio, and in that state she began her education, pursuing her studies in a little old log schoolhouse near her childhood home. This was a primitive structure, one log being left out for a window and the aperture covered with greased paper. The seats were made of split logs with pegs driven in them for legs and the building was heated with a huge fireplace. At the age of nine years she accompanied her parents on the removal to Illinois. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. PERRY, namely: Malinda, W. J., Sophia, Anna, Z. E., Nettie, Forsythe, Maggie, E. F., A. E., and Cora.
Z. E. PERRY was born in Bell Plain township, Marshall county, on the 18th of September, 1855, and was reared and educated in much the usual manner of farmer hoys. He and his brother A. E. still live on the old home farm with their mother, which has been their place of residence, for twenty-seven years. The mother was left a widow at an early age and had a large family to rear, but the sons have been of great assistance to her in the care of the farm and the management of her business affairs. They today own and operate a fine farm of three hundred acres, seventy acres of which is covered with timber, while the remainder is under a high state of cultivation and supplied with a good set of farm buildings for the shelter of grain and stock. All of the family are members of the Christian church and they occupy an enviable position in the esteem of the community. The sons support the democratic party by their ballots and F. E. and Z. E. have served on the school board. Fraternally they are members of the Modern Woodmen of America.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.