Monday, July 27, 2015

{History of Mapleton} George Willard Perry (1862-1943)

This is from The History of Mapleton, by Ralph K. Harmer and Wendell B. Johnson, on page 164-165.

Charlotte Julia Fullmer and George Willard Perry

George Willard Perry was born November 26, 1861, at Springville, Utah, to Stephen C. Perry and Mary Boggs Perry. His early schooling took place in a small adobe house where all grades were combined. There were no desks, writing paper or blackboards. A slate and pencil were his only supplies. He spent five months in school during the winter, and the remaining months he spent working on his father’s farm and herding cows in Hobble Creek Canyon. Times were difficult for everyone. George recalled wearing trousers made from those of his older brothers, and shoes made from the tops of men’s boots.

At sixteen, George went to Park City to work in the lumber business cutting wood. He shared his money with the family to pay taxes and buy clothes. At seventeen he worked in the mines and on the railroad. Paid mostly in groceries, dry goods and tools, he turned these items over to his parents to help the family. He had a shrewd talent for buying and selling. At 21 he bought a sulky plow. Within three months he not only paid for the plow, but bought a new wagon. After breaking and selling two work horses, he bought two mules and a harness which he later traded for oxen. He sold the oxen for $300, which he turned over to his father in exchange for 10 acres of Mapleton land.

Prepared to settle down as a farmer, he married Charlotte Julia Fullmer, daughter of John Solomon Fullmer and Olive Amanda Smith Fullmer, on March 24, 1884. They built a small home on their farm in Mapleton and commenced farming and raising a family. After spending 10 rather prosperous years in Mapleton, the need to expand and obtain a larger farm necessitated a move. They relocated in Ferron, Emery County, where they built a large brick home. George served as a member of the Farm Board Directors for the irrigation company, Justice of the Peace, and deputy Sheriff for a time. He also served eight years as a counselor in the Bishopric and took an active role in community affairs. While in Ferron, five more children were born, making eight children all totaled.

Eventually, the family was forced to move from Ferron because of alkaline poisoning in the soil and water. In 1905, George purchased a farm in the Uintah Basin, near Vernal, Utah. Permanently settled, George practiced farming and found time to serve as Road Commissioner, County Commissioner, School Trustee, and as a member of the Uintah board of Education during the various portions of adult life. He also served for nine years as a counselor in the Bishopric, his wife supporting him in his many positions of responsibility.

After six years in Salt Lake City, beginning in 1930, George and Charlotte moved back to Vernal, where he spent his last 7 years farming. His last day was spent digging soil and planting peas. With his last words, “I am tired,” he died the following day—April 1, 1943.

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