Biography of William M. Perry
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





Perry, William M., was born near Buffalo, February 21, 1839, his family having came from Otsego county. He was given his early education in Buffalo, and at the age of eleven years was left an orphan and thrown upon his own resources. At the age of seventeen he shipped aboard a whaler and followed the sea for eleven years, the last four being spent in the United States Navy. In 1869 he came to Ithaca to visit a relative, and while here married Miss Matilda M. Barnes of Newfield, and settled here, where he has since made his home. The following spring he took up carpentry with William Nelson and after two years went with Hyatt & Oltz. Four years later he went with John Snaith. In 1881, when the Fiske mansion was started he took charge of the carpenter work, and after the death of the owner it was finished by contract, and this was Mr. Perry's first financial enterprise. Since that time he has built many of the finest residences and public buildings in this city. Beginning with the Fiske house, his erections include the Dr. Dennis residence of Elberon, N. J., and of Warren E. Dennis of the same place. In New York city he also remodeled the houses of W. E. Dennis and Mrs. J. D. Ripley, and in Ithaca he has built the residences of Professor Fuertes, Professor Thurston, Professor Nichols, the Kappa Alpha and the Chi Phi Society houses and was also the contractor for the wood work on the Cornell University Library and the Congregational church, and is now building the Unitarian church, the woodwork for Mr. W. O. Wyckoff's house on Carleton Island, and rebuilding a house for Dr. F. S. Dennis at Norfolk, Conn. Mr. Perry is a member of Hobasco Lodge No. 716 F. & A. M., and is a trustee of the Unitarian church. He has one daughter and five sons, the oldest son following the trade of his father.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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