Cottonwood County MN Biographies--Alfred Perkins
"History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties of Minnesota, 1916"



It is true than an honest, faithful, capable life, considered even in its temporal relations, is not lived in vain; that its influence is not as transient and evanescent as mere physical vitality, but that the progress of mankind, in all that is virtuous and ennobling, is accelerated by it. One such life in Cottonwood county during the past generation was that of the late Judge Alfred D. Perkins, for many years a distinguished lawyer, jurist, politician and banker, whose reputation was state-wide and whose influence toward the upbuilding of this section of Minnesota was most salutary.

Judge Perkins was born in Erie county, New York. March 24, 1847. He was educated in the public and high schools of his native community, later studying at Griffith Institute. When a young man he took up the study of law, and removed to Wisconsin in 1868, locating at the town of Alma, where he was admitted to the bar and practiced his profession one year. He came to Plainview, Minnesota, in 1869, where he spent two years, and there he was married on April 19, 1871, to Florence A. Burchard, a native of Gainesville, Wyoming county, New York. She is a daughter of Rodman and Esther Austin (Davis) Burchard, natives of New York. The father devoted his earlier years to mercantile pursuits and farming. He removed with his family from New York to Plainview, Minnesota, in 1856, and there his death occurred on February 6, 1883. His wife preceded him to the grave many years, dying on June to, 1866. Politically, he was a Republican. He attended the Congregational church. His family consisted of the following children: Emily A., Charles D., Florence A., and Mattie Ann (deceased). Mr. Burchard married for his second wife Maggie Crossen, whose death occurred in 1901, by which union one child was born, Fay R., died in 1885.

After his marriage, Judge Perkins spent one year in Madelia, Minnesota, removing from there in the spring of 1872 to Windom, where he successfully engaged in the active practice of law for many years, in fact, of the local bar and a prominent figure in the local courts. He county attorney and was also judge of probate for several year elected state senator in 1878, and served four years. In March, 1 appointed district judge of the thirteenth judicial district, and was elected to this important position in 1886, continuing on the bench until March, 1891, when he resigned. In each of these responsible positions he performed his duties in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself and to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned, being a man of profound legal learning, careful, faithful, painstaking and courteous, unbiased in his decisions and upholding the law in a dignified and commendable manner. He was a man of ripe legal scholarship and a public-spirited citizen who did much for his community and state in a general way. and enjoyed the good will and esteem of all who knew him. After leaving the bench he was for a period of four years state superintendent of Sunday schools, a work in which he took great delight, and he did a splendid service in this line, greatly increasing the attendance in the Sunday schools in every county. In September, 1891, he moved to Minneapolis, where he made his residence for five years, returning to Windom in 1896, resuming the practice of law. Judge Perkins was a great organizer and an all-around business man of rare acumen. In 1885 he organized the Bank of Windom, which began business in May of that year, he being cashier from the first. He sold his interest in this institution in 1896, and organized the Peoples Bank, which was consolidated with the Bank of Windom, April 27, 1897, becoming the First National Bank of which Judge Perkins was president until his death, September 24, 1898. The prestige and rapid growth of this sound and popular institution was due to the able management and wise counsel of the judge.

Judge Perkins was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which his widow also belongs. They became the parents of four children, namely: Eliza Anna, born at Madelia, April 4, 1872, and she died in Los Vegas, New Mexico, August 5, 1902; she was a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and taught school for some time; she married Jesse E. Pope, January I, 1897, and to their union two children were born, Gladys Anna, October 5, 1897, and Darwin Jesse, November 13, 1898. Edna Lucy, second of Judge Perkins' children, was born at Windom, September 14, 1874, and died on September 16, 1875. Truman Alfred Perkins, the third child, was born in Windom, May 4, 1876, and here he was reared and educated in the public schools, later attending high school in Minneapolis, after which he went to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he worked for the Brooks Elevator Company for about five months; then went to Mountain Lake, this state, where he became assistance cashier of a bank, which position he held about a year. In 1897 he took a position with the First National Bank of Windom, upon its organization, and he has been connected with the same ever since, first as assistant cashier; since 1912 he has been cashier. He is a director in the First State Bank of Storden, Minnesota. Politically, he is an independent voter. He is now a member of the city council, also a member of the school board in Windom. Fraternally, he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; the chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Truman A. Perkins was married on October 5, 1909. to A. May Hutton, who was born in Windom, May 13. 1880. She is a daughter of John Button, a pioneer merchant of Windom. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Perkins, Jane Hulton, whose birth occurred September 3, 1912. Mr. Perkins belongs to the Presbyterian church.

Roy Burchard Perkins, fourth child of Judge Perkins and wife, was liorn in Windom, July 18, 1883. Here he grew up and attended the public and high schools, later the agricultural department of the University of Minnesota. He owns a ranch at Lone Tree, Wyoming, where he resides. He married Bessie Nelson on July 20, 1904, and they have six children, namely: Alfred Darwin, born April 17, 1905; Clarence N. December 10, 1906; Burchard, Jr., October 8, 1908; Ruth, May 31, 1910; Truman, November 25, 1912, and Florence, January 13, 1915.