ALBUTLER-L ArchivesArchiver > ALBUTLER > 1999-07 > 0931924981
Subject: Florida Gov Lived in Greenville
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 00:03:01 EDT
Gov. E. A. Perry - Virginia Taylor, Greenville, AL
The is a reproduced copy of a story that appeared in the Pensacola New
Journal as part of their Millennium Series.
Governor from Pensacola boosted education
by Mary Dawkins
Pensacola News Journal Correspondent
Public education in Florida is stronger because of Edward Aylesworth
Perry, who lived most of his adult life in Pensacola and served as the
state's 14th governor.
While Perry, a former teacer, was governor from 1885 to 1889, the
State Board of Education was established and the first meeting of the
Teachers and County Superintendents Association was held.
In addition, an agriculture college was established at Lake City and
two schools for training teachers were founded.
Two private colleges -- Rollins College and Stetson University --
Perry grew up on a farm outside Richmond, Mass. At 19, he went to
Yale and there he met a classmate who was from Alabama. During the summer
following his sophomore year, he came south, probably to see the friend.
In time, Perry settled in Greenville, Ala. While teaching there, he
studied law. When he received his degree, he moved to Pensacola and set up
his law office with Richard L. Campbell.
With a successful law practice established in 1859, he returned to
Greenville to marry Virginia Taylor.
War clouds were gathering across the South that would soon change the
peaceful like in Pennsacola.
With it several military installations, was did not creep slowly into
town, but quickly brought disruption. This must have been had for Perry; his
wife was a Southerner ans he had elected to live in the South, while his
family remained faithful to the Union.
Perry resumed his law practice at the end of the war and devoted 20
years to his family, his practice and his hometown.
He became active in politics but held no office although many of his
political friends urged him to run for governor.
In 1881, he proposed a memorial be erected to the Civil War dead, but
it was not until after his death that the Confederate Monumnet in Lee Square
that he suggested was dedicated.
In 1882, the Perry's bought the big house at Palafox and Wright
streets that now serves as the Scottish Rite Center.
Finally, Perry's friends persuaded him to run for governor. He was
elected in 1884 and served until 1889. He was a Democrat.
During Perry's term, a new Florida Constitution was written in 1885.
it remained in use for the next 83 years. the state treasury grew and six
new counties were created. Perry directed the reorganization of state troops
and initiated a pension for veterans.
Perry was active in the Episcopal Church and was a Mason. He
belonged to the Osceola Club, a social club on the corner of Garden and
Baylen streets, and once was its president.
Perry died Oct. 15, 1889, less than a year after leaving office.
The Pensacola Daily News ran a lengthy accound of his life and
service to his adoptive city and state.
According to the report, about 1,000 mourners attended the service
with 59 carriages and a long column of veterans joining the procession from
Old Christ Church to St. John Cemetery on West LaRua Street.
Among the tributes to Perry was a resolution by the committee for
public educations that read: "In the death of Gov. E. A. Perry, we have lost
a valued personal friend, a public benefactor, a faithful soldier, a wise
statesman and a very dear friend to the cause of public education."