Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
Perry Lewis has since 1879 made his home in Sangamon county, where he owns and cultivates a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Pawnee township. He was born in Gallia county, Ohio, March 15, 1840, a son of Samuel Lewis, whose birth occurred in New Jersey in 1810. The grandfather, Aaron Lewis, likewise born in New Jersey, became one of the early settlers of Gallia county, Ohio, where his son Samuel was reared. The latter followed the river in early life and subsequently engaged in farming. He was married in Ohio to Electa Wilcox, a native of that state and a daughter of Alfred Wilcox, who removed from Massachusetts and took up his abode upon the frontier in the Buckeye state. Mr. Lewis, following his marriage, became a resident farmer of Gallia county and later sold that property and removed to Jackson county, where he also owned a farm. About 1888 he came to Illinois, settling in Crawford county, where he died a few years later. He lost his first wife about 1867 and is now survived by is second wife, who returned to Ohio and is living in Jackson county.
Perry Lewis is a member of a family of three sons and seven daughters who grew to mature years and the sons and four of the daughters are yet living. His boyhood days were spent in the state of his nativity and farm work early became familiar to him through actual experience in the fields. He was educated in the common schools and continued at home until 1862, when his patriotic spirit being aroused by the attempt of the south to overthrow the Union, he enlisted in the Twenty-Seventh Ohio Infantry with his brother William. Perry and William Lewis served throughout the war together, participating in the battles of Parker's Crossroads, Dallas, Dalton, Peach Tree Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Marietta, the Atlanta campaign, the march to the sea under General Sherman and the last fight at Jonesboro. Then they marched through Richmond and on to Washington, participating in the grand review in that city, after which they were sent to Louisville. Later they were transported to Cincinnati, where they were paid off and honorably discharged in July, 1865. Perry Lewis lost no time through illness or in any other cause, but was always found at his post of duty, faithfully defending the old flag and the cause it represented.
When the war was over, Lewis returned home and began farming on his own account, purchasing one hundred and twenty acres of land in Jackson county, Ohio. There he carried on general agricultural pursuits for fourteen years and also engaged in freighting, but in 1879 he sold his property in Ohio and came to Illinois. Here he at first operated rented land for four years and then purchased the farm upon which he resided for fourteen years. He erected a good house and barn and other necessary outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock, tiled and fenced his place and carried on the work of improvement until he had very good property. In 1893 he removed to Pawnee and purchased a lot on which he erected a neat residence, in which he is now living, but he still supervises his farming interests. He and his son built other residence property in Pawnee, but later sold out to good advantage.
In July, 1865, in Gallia county, Ohio, Perry Lewis was married to Anna Eliza Dickerson, who was born and reared in Gallia county, daughter of Reuben and Lydia (Ewing) Dickerson. Her father was a member of the Sixtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil war and was taken prison at Harper's Ferry. There are four living children by this marriage: Adelbert E., of Idaho, is married and has three children, Elton, Laurel and Glenn; Elma is the wife of Frank Brock of Springfield, and has two children, Elsie and Frank Lewis Brock; Charles E., who resides on the home farm, is married and has a daughter, Cleo; Zora is the wife of W. R. Abshire. They also lost two children, Lycurgus and a son that died in infancy.
Mr. Lewis proudly cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864, while at Marietta, Georgia, and has never failed to support the standard bearer of the party at each presidential election since that time. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian church and he belongs to Pawnee Post, No. 421, G.A.R., in which he has filled all of the offices, being now a past commander and also quartermaster of his post. He has proved himself a successful farmer and a man of good business judgment and strict integrity. He fought valiantly for the old flag and is today as loyal in citizenship as he was when he marched o'er the battle fields of the south.