This family was in Bronaugh very early and were featured in the 1887 History of Vernon County. We hope to learn more about them.
From History of Vernon County, Missouri. 1887. p. 804.
(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 35, Post-office, Bronaugh).
While it is true that some men seem to be specially favored by fortune in their pathway through life, even without the expense of much effort, it is also true that the greatest success always comes as a result of intelligent, practical labor, industry and persevering will. Mr. Perdue is another among those mentioned in the present volume, who, from a position without anything have come to be recognized as prominent factors in the affairs of this one of the best counties in the State. Born in Sumner County, Tenn., September 7, 1846, he was the fourth of 15 children in the family of his parents, Mark and Dorcas (Paul) Perdue, also natives of Tennessee. From an early age Williams life was, perhaps, a little more eventful than that of most boys of the day. When three years old he was taken by his fathers family to Texas, living there some four years when he returned to Tennessee, Jackson county. Not many years after this war troubles seemed to necessitate the enlistment of all able-bodied young men for active service, and accordingly Mr. Perdue, remaining by the land which had given him birth and true to the principles which he sincerely thought were right, enlisted in Shanks regiment, Shelbys brigade, of the C. S. A., and was with Price (luring the latter part of the war when that gallant leader made his famous charge. From the period after the war closed until 1880 his attention was directed to agricultural pursuits, but in the year mentioned he came to Vernon county, Mo.., where he is now numbered among the large property holders of the community. Over 580 acres are embraced in his present landed estate and this is kept in a high state of cultivation, its improvements being especially worthy of mention. Everything about his place is arranged with care to utility and convenience and this is the manner in which all his operations are carried on. Besides being well read and posted in agricultural matters he is also greatly interested in the cattle business, and at this time is feeding a number of head of cattle. Such a rise in material affairs as is seen in the case of Mr. Perdue deserves not a little credit. His career has been honorable and upright, and may well serve as an example to many young men of the present day. He was married in 1870 to Miss Martha J. Nevins, who was born in Jackson County, Mo. They have five children: Alpha Lee, Dora, Willie E., Cora A. and Carl C.
The 1880 census from Moundville Township shows that the Perdue family was already in Vernon County by 1880 which is before the town of Bronaugh was founded. The census lists four of the five children listed in the biography above. Lilly and Dora must be the same person. Son, Carl C., listed in the biography was born in 1883.
Tax lists from 1888 confirm that Perdue had quite a farm. He had to pay $1,680 in taxes which is a sizeable amount for 1888.
By 1900, William and Martha were not living together. The census for Washington Township, Vernon County, MO shows Martha, age 57, birth date, March, 1842. The census listed Martha as a Widow but it also says that she had been married 30 years. Living with her was her son, Carl Purdue, age 17. Martha listed that she had had seven children and five were still living.
Although Martha claimed to be a widow in the 1900 census, William was still living. He was listed in the census for Van Buren Township, Jackson County, MO. He claimed to be a widower, lived alone and listed his age as 53, born in March, 1846. In the column where he was asked how many years married, he responded 30 years but it was scratched out.
By 1910, William was listed in the census for Polk Township, Cass County, Missouri. He was listed as a 63 year old widower. However, his wife, Martha, was still living although I have not located the census record. However, by the 1920 census, Martha was listed as an "inmate" at the Missouri Confederate home in Lafayette, Missouri.
William Perdue had died September 4, 1914, in Cass County. He was buried at Perdue Cemetery, Oak Grove, Jackson County, MO. This is the same cemetery where his parents are buried. His death certificate shows that he died in Cass County and that he had lived threre only three months. It also told that he died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis and he had suffered from it for since June, 1914 - about three months. The informant was listed as Dora Beggs of Pleasant Hill.
Mrs. Martha Ann Perdue died August 18, 1922 in Washington Township, Vernon County. She died of "apoplexia cerebral". J. T. Hornback was the physician who signed the death certificate. The informant was Mrs. U. L. Mesplay of Nevada. Mrs. Perdue was buried at Newton Burial Park, Nevada.
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