The father of our subject, William Perkins, was a native of Cumberland County, Ky., as was also his mother Polly Ann (Groce) Perkins. In 1829 they emigrated to Illinois, and the father purchased an 80 acre tract of wild land from the Government in Winchester Precinct, and became one of its original settlers, not a habitation being on the present site of the town at that time. After a year he entered eighty more acres of land, and in the course of time, by prudence and hard labor accumulated a very good property, and at the time of his death, which occurred in 1880, at a ripe old age, owned 230 acres of fine farming land. His original purchases were covered with brush, and it required considerable toil to clear the land and prepare it for cultivation, but he was equal to the task, and developed a valuable farm. The mother of our subject died in the same year as his father, she being sixty-nine years old, and he about seventy-three. To that worthy couple eight children were born, three sons and five daughters, and two sons and two daughters are still living.
Josiah, of this biographical sketch, received the most of his limited education in a subscription school, which he did not attend very much, as the most of his time was spent in cutting and burning brush. He stayed at home with his parents, working hard to help his father until he was twenty-three years old. He then established a home of his own, by having invited Miss Martha Jane Hopper, the eldest of the twelve children of Joshua Hopper, an old settler of Morgan County, formerly from Kentucky, to assist him in its upbuilding, their marriage occurring Nov. 17, 1859. Mrs. Perkins' mother, whose maiden name was Greene, and who was born in Kentucky about seventy years ago, is still living. After their marriage, our subject and his wife began their wedded life on a part of his father's farm, living thereon six years. Mr. Perkins then bought sixty acres of the land where he now resides, and has since added to his original purchase until he owns a farm of 143 acres, nearly all under cultivation, and fertile and productive, for which he paid $50 an acre in 1866. He devotes himself to mixed husbandry, raising grain and live stock with good success, as he well deserves, he having toiled with persevering industry and good judgement.
To him and his good wife twelve children have been born in their happy home, nine of whom are living, as follows: Albert, William, Emmeline, Mary Ann, Frances C., Ida Belle, Geneva, Nettie, and Daniel D., and all are in good health, being well endowed mentally and physically. Albert, Emmeline, and Mary Ann are married and well situated.
Mr. Perkins is of a mild, amiable disposition, unobtrusive in his conduct, paying strict attention to his own business, and not meddling with other people's affairs, and he is well spoken of and liked by the whole neighborhood. He is a good, law-abiding citizen, and has done good service in his native precinct as School Director and as Road commissioner of township 14, range 12, of which office he is at present an incumbent. He is a member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association. In general elections he stands with the Democrats, but in local elections he votes for the man irrespective of party. He is a temperate man, and a believer in the Christian religion, though not a church member. Mrs. Perkins, a truly kind and good woman, belongs to the Baptist church, and is zealous in its support.