The history of the Perkins family began with a slave named, William “Bill” Perkins. Bill was born in Monroe, Georgia. He married a young women named, Sylvia (maiden name is unknown), and they had three children: John, Wesley and Vina.
After their children were grown, Bill and Sylvia moved to Arkansas and purchased 40 acres of land outside of North Little Rock near the railroad. There, Bill set up a grist and saw mill on his land. Bill and Sylvia’s property also became the place where people would gather to catch the train into town. This area was known as, “Katarshia Spur.” The area near the railroad is now what we know as, “The Perkins Park and Memorial.”
In 1914 Bill became ill and sent for his son Wesley. After spending time with his father, Wesley returned to his wife and children in Monroe, GA. Wesley was married to Penny Rome, and they had eleven children: Rufus, Maude, Ernest, Waymon, Cal, Clifford, Annie, Willie, Ruthie Mae, Homer, and Sylvia.
In 1917 Bill passed away. He left all of his assets to his son, Wesley and Wesley returned to Arkansas with his eldest son, Rufus. Wesley and Rufus built a two-story house on the 40 acres of land that Wesley had inherited. After the house was built, Penny, Wesley’s wife, and Sylvia, his youngest child, came to visit Wesley and Rufus in Arkansas. They soon returned to Georgia to get in the crops and sell everything so that they could move the family to Arkansas.
In 1918 Wesley’s entire family moved to Arkansas. All of his children and many of his grandchildren were raised on the 40 acres.
WESLEY PERKINS IN HIS LATER YEARS