Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Peleg Stone Perley

Maine & Illinois

"Hon. Peleg Stone Perley was born in Livermore, Maine, and died at Phoenix, Arizona, after an illness of less than a week's duration, in the sixty ninth year of his age. . . .

His early life was spent on the farm. Being quick to learn and very studious he made such rapid progress that he was able to enter college at a very early age. He chose for his alma mater ‘Old Bowdoin,’ at the time second to none. During his college life his health broke down and so severe was his sickness that his life was despaired of. After losing an entire year he resumed his studies and graduated with high honors.

After leaving college he entered upon the study of law with Fessenden & Dubois, a firm of the highest standing in Portland, Maine. Upon the completion of his studies he came west. After a short time spent in New Albany, Indiana, he came to Henry, Illinois, where he formed a partnership with E. W. Hazzard. Afterwards T.A. McMorris, and later F.S. Potter were each a partner, the latter a series of years. He made Henry his home until he found it necessary to seek a more genial clime for the sake of the health of his family.

As a lawyer, from a financial standpoint he was not a success. While one of the best read lawyers, he neither had the taste nor the makeup for the intricacies and contentions that seem indispensable to success in the profession. His was more of a literary nature. His superior culture and retiring disposition seemed to point in this direction as the proper course to be pursued. He was also a poet of no mean order, having the fire and the genius of the real poet. His was a strong religious nature. . . . He was a delegate to the first state convention which was held in Bloomington, for the purpose of organizing the Republican party. Was also a delegate to the state convention in 1858 which placed the name of Abraham Lincoln before the people of Illinois as a candidate for the United States senate. Was the chairman of the convention at Fairbury that first nominated Colonel Fort for congress on the one hundred the and thirteenth ballot. As postmaster at Henry, as its city attorney, and the many other places of trust and honor which were conferred upon him, they were all filled by him with entire fidelity. But perhaps in none of these did he distinguish himself more than as a member of the state constitutional convention. It was here that his forensic talents were displayed to their best advantage. He spoke at least once upon every important question that came before the convention. His speeches were largely printed by the metropolitan press of the state, and he was mentioned by them as a man of marked ability.” [John M. Palmer, The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent 1058-1059 (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1899)(vol.2)]

"Peleg Stone Perley was born on 14 July 1829 at Livermore, Androscoggin, ME, USA . He was the son of Nathaniel Perley and Eliza Lane. Peleg Stone Perley was graduated in 1850 at Bowdoin College. He was a School Teacher. He was principal at Portland, Cumberland, ME, USA . . . . He married Nancy Eliza Morrison on 8 July 1858 at Sheffield, IL, USA . . . . He moved in 1887 to Phoenix, AZ, USA . He died on 3 March 1898 at Phoenix, AZ, USA , at age 68." [Kates Family Genealogy]