Biography of John Q. Perley
Riverside County, CA Biographies





JOHN Q. PERLEY
The attractions offered by Riverside for a winter home first led Mr. Perley to this place in 1888, when, having accumulated a competency through large business interests and sagacious investments, he found himself in a financial position justifying the enjoyment of ease and relaxation from commercial affairs. From the outset of his identification with this section of the country he found his mind attuned to the refined surroundings and his body upbuilded by the healthful environment. With increasing pleasure each year he turned his steps toward his winter residence and with enhanced reluctance each spring he started back toward his Illinois headquarters. Eventually it became possible for him to relinquish commercial activities, retaining however his stock in the concern to whose upbuilding he had devoted years of effort, and he then established citizenship in Riverside, where now he has one of the beautiful homes in the city as well as one of the most productive orange groves.

The family represented by Mr. Perley and the ancestors of his parents, Uri and Fannie (Sawyer) Perley, were identified with the history of New England from the early days of its agricultural development. Born in Enfield, N. H., November 27, 1831, he was sent to the public schools and the Meriden (N. H.) Seminary, and upon the completion of his studies turned his attention to agriccultune, working on his father's farm for two years. Agriculture, however, did not appeal to him from the standpoint of a barren New England farm and he determined to enter upon a business career. For this purpose he moved to West Canaan, N. H., and embarked in the mercantile business, also engaged in lumbering. At the expiration of fifteen years he disposed of his interests at a figure netting him a gratifying profit and he then removed to Illinois, where he became interested in farm lands near Monmouth and also acquired stock in the Pattee Plow Company, with which he yet remains connected.

In order to avoid the rigorous winters of Illinois, during 1888 Mr. and Mrs. Perley came to California and located at Riverside, where they spent the winter months, returning to Monmouth for the summers This custom was continued for a considerable period, but in 1900 Mr. Perley arranged his affairs in Illinois so that further residence there was unnecessary, whereupon he became a permanent resident of Riverside. In 1906 he erected their present residence and bought an orange grove of forty acres. This property he still owns and superintends, but others take charge of the details of harvesting the crops and caring for the grove. To some it may seem that the life of Mr. Perley has been an unbroken record of achievement and success, but none knows better than he the discouragemeuts he has faced and the obstacles he has conquered. With him as with all, one of the uses of adversity is that it lays bare the real fibre of the soul and affords an opportunity for the development of the highest traits of character. The patience that knew no defeat and the courage that surmounted every disaster led him through devious ways to ultimate prosperity. His own splendid traits of manhood laid the foundation of the high esteem in which he is held, both in his present place of residence and in his former Illinois home. In the midst of his manifold business cares he maintained no active part in politics, but in the national elections always then voted, and still votes, the Republican ticket His marriage was solemnized at Ogdensburg, N. Y., October 1, 1859, and united him with Miss Elizabeth D. Pattee. Three children blessed their union, of whom the only son, Charles A., now of Los Angeles, formerly was connected with the Pattee Plow Company of Monmouth. One of the daughters is the wife of Dr. C. W. Girdlestone and the other married H. R. Greene, both being residents of Riverside.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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