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1858-1947 William Thomas Perkins, prominent Nome resident
Posted by: Sheila Simpson (ID *****7699) Date: September 26, 2005 at 08:41:44
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Colonel William T. Perkins has been identified with the Northland since 1898. He is not only a prominent citizen of Nome, but he is a prominent citizen of Alaska. He is associated with the leading commercial and transportation company of Northwestern Alaska, occupying the position of auditor of the Northwestern Commercial Company. This company has exploited many avenues of the natural resources of Alaska and Siberia.

Colonel Perkins is a native of Buffalo, New York, and was born November 2, 1858. He is the son of Nathaniel Perkins and Annette Hawkins. He is a descendant of Revolutionary sires, and is a member of the Washington, D.C., Society of American Sons of Revolution. His early education was obtained in the public schools of Buffalo and Lockport, New York. He prepared for college at New Hampton Institution, New Hampshire, in 1877, and was graduated by Bates College of Maine in 1881 with the degree of A.B. In 1884 he was graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan with the degree of LL. B. He has been admitted to the bar of Michigan, North Dakota and Alaska. He began the practice of law in North Dakota in 1884, and continued the practice of this profession until 1896. From 1892 until 1896 he was Vice-President of the First National Bank of Bismarck, North Dakota. For a period of two years after 1896 he engaged in mining in Colorado. He came to Alaska in 1898, and followed mining for two years. In 1900 he arrived in Nome and became the General Auditor of the Northwestern Commercial Company, a position that he still fills. He is also attorney in fact in Alaska for the managing director of the Northwestern Siberian Company, Limited.

Colonel Perkins has received a number of political honors from his friends and party. In 1888 he was elected as one of the first aldermen of Bismarck, North Dakota, and was a member of the Board of Education and its secretary at Bismarck for a period of twelve years. In 1889 he was elected to the office of County Superintendent of Public Schools of Burleigh County, North Dakota, and held this position during his residence in this state. He took an active interest in both local and state politics in Dakota. He was selected as a delegate to the Republican national Convention in Chicago in June 1904, and was one of the first delegate s to represent Alaska in a Republican National Convention.

Colonel Perkins took an active and a leading part in education work during his residence in Dakota. He was president of the North Dakota Educational Association in 1895. He was commissioned Colonel in the National Guards of North Dakota in 1892. In May 1903, while in Seattle, he was elected as Chairman of the Executive Committee selected to make the Alaska arrangements for the reception of President Roosevelt. At the time of the visit of the United States Senators who were appointed by Congress to inquire into needed laws for the purpose of determining the best legislation that could be enacted for the district, Colonel Perkins was selected by the citizens of Nome as the Chairman of the Executive Committee to entertain the Senatorial Committee.

Colonel Perkins is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and Deputy for Alaska of the Inspector General for Washington, Idaho and Alaska, of the Scottish Rite and Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He is a Past Grand Commander of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of North Dakota, and Past Grand Commander of the Knights Templar, North Dakota. He is also a member of the Artic Brotherhood, Camp Nome No. 9, a fraternal organization that has its home in the Northland; and at the last Grand session of the order held in Seattle in November 1904, he was elected Grand Artic Chief.

It will be seen from this brief and hasty narrative that Colonel Perkins has had a very active and busy life; that he has stood and stands high in the estimation of his fellow men with whom he has come in contact; that he has been called upon to fill many positions of civic and fraternal honor. While he has taken an active part in politics he does not belong to the genus politician. He is a man of unquestioned and unimpeachable integrity, and his interest in politics is simply the interest of a good citizen desiring better and cleaner government. His native intelligence has been polished by education. He knows his capacity and limitations, so that he does well whatever he undertakes to do. No citizen of the Nome country commands more of the public esteem and public confidence than does Colonel Perkins.

He was married December 16, 1994, at Denison, Iowa. Mrs. Perkins was formerly Katherine Laub.

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