Biography of Dr. John L. Perry

T-Saratoga County, New York Wills, 1796-1805



DR. JOHN L. PERRY, one of the proprietors of the United States Hotel at Saratoga Springs, is a son of Dr. John L. and Harriet (Sadler) Perry, and was born at Saratoga Springs, February 28, 1840. During his boyhood Dr. Perry attended the schools of his native village, and later entered the College of St. Therese, near Montreal, Canada; he afterwards received instruction in private schools in Saratoga, and after completing his preparatory education, began the study of medicine with his father and subsequently Drs. March and Armsby, of Albany, were his preceptorS. He gained much practical experience, prior to his graduation in medicine, in the Albany barracks under Dr. Armsby, in the hospital, and with his father. He was commissioned assistant surgeon of the 115th Regiment, N. Y. Vols., and served with excellent record at Yorktown and Port Royal for several months, but, contracting typhus fever, was obliged to resign.

After retiring from the army he engaged in private practice in Saratoga Springs, and also took charge of the medical department of the 2d Veteran Cavalry (then stationed at Saratoga) until the regiment was ordered to move. He continued his practice in Saratoga Springs until continued ill health, the result of the fever contracted while in the service, caused him to give up the practice of his profession. He had a fine practice and a very successful one, but was compelled to give it up and go to Carlsbad and other resorts for a long time before he was cured. In 1866 he formed a copartnership with F. T. Hill, under the firm name of F. T. Hill & Co., and engaged in the drug trade, which association continued until 1873.

In 1874 Dr. Perry entered into partnership with Seymour Ainsworth, Hiram Tompkins, W. B. Gage and L. H. Janvrin as proprietors of the United States Hotel, who, in the year named, opened the hotel. The present proprietors are William B. Gage and Dr. John L. Perry.

His connection with this famous hotel has made for Dr. Perry an enviable reputation as one of the leading hotel men of the country. He is a genial man, of broad education and fine culture, and possessed of the unusual combination of superior literary and artistic taste with rare executive ability. He has traveled extensively in foreign parts, and is an accomplished linguist, fluently speaking French, German and Spanish. His library is, perhaps, one of the best in the country and numbers among its volumes many rare and valuable works.

As one of the leading hotel men of this country’s most famous resort his acquaintance with people of prominence is broad and interesting, and being a man who keeps well abreast with the advanced thought of the day, he is held in high respect and estimation by all who form his friendship.

Dr. Perry is a prominent thirty-second degree Mason; is past commander of Washington Commandery, Knights Templar; past high priest of the Chapter; member of Delta Lodge of Perfection, of Troy, and of Albany Sovereign Consistory. He is also a member of Post Wheeler, G. A. R.; of the New York Commandery of the Loyal Legion; the Army and Navy Club, New York Athletic Club, Saratoga Club, and the Alumni Association of Albany Medical College. In politics he is a Republican, but has never cared for political preferment.

In 1864 he married Virginia P., daughter of Hon. Thomas J. Marvin and niece of Hon. James M. Marvin of Saratoga Springs. Mrs. Perry died on February 19, 1895.

The United States Hotel in its history dates from 1824, when the original structure was erected by Elias Benedict and conducted by John Ford until 1830, when he was succeeded by Hon. James M. Marvin, who, in 1832, purchased the property of Mr. Benedict. In 1842 Hon. Thomas J. Marvin became connected with his brother James in the hotel, which association continued until the death of the former in 1852. In 1865 it was destroyed by fire. The new United States was completed and opened in 1874, and has since been conducted by Messrs. Gage & Perry.

The United States Hotel is a six-story structure, surrounding a spacious court filled with stately trees that spread their branches over a landscaped lawn and neatly groomed promenades, lined with inviting settees and broad verandas. The architectural arrangement of the hotel proper and cottage annex is such that every suite and room is light and cool, with alternating sunshine and shade. The great piazzas, parlors and dining room accommodate a thousand patrons each without congestion or confusion. The United States occupies a foremost place among the largest caravansaries of the world, yet, notwithstanding the grand proportions of such a business, every detail is looked after with as much care and attention as could be done in a private residence.

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