in a Pecan shell|
Perry dates from
1852 - and it looks it. Things didn't really get moving until 1872, when the railroad*
extended their tracks from Bremond
In 1876 a post office opened under the name of Peyton, but
was renamed in 1883 in honor of Albert G. Perry, a long-time resident who also
happened to be county judge and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
People promptly forgot Peyton, whoever he or she was.
In the mid-1880s
Perry had a population of 250 with cotton gins, gristmills, stores, and a hotel.
By 1900 the population had another 100 persons to make Perry a respectable 350.
Five years later Perry schools had an enrollment of 140 students in three schools.
Perry reached its population high-water mark of 400 in the 1920s through
the 1930s. It declined during the war years. Perry's Schools were consolidated
with Marlin's in the mid 1960s and the
recorded population was down to less than 100 from the 70s to 1990. *Waco and
Northwestern division of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad
Lester on Perry
in Perry next page
Mary, Once of Perry by Toney Urban next page
Trinity Lutheran Church|
Photo courtesy of Barclay
Gibson, July 2004
readers who have followed the
adventures of the young love-struck George Lester, this town answers the burning
question of what happened to the object of his affection (Penny) after she left
George recently visited the town of Perry. Photo captions and the text below
are from George.- Editor
"Penny asked me to drive up north of Marlin
to see her parents old farm place in Perry where they lived after moving from
We almost drove past the town because she didn't recognize it due to the state
Penny stayed with her parents here before their house
burned, so she knew the town very well."
house burned down and the owner of this liquor store let them stay in a back room
until they could build a new house. Her dad served as night watchman to pay for
the rent. Many times he earned his keep by chasing off would-be burglars."
church in Perry was only a few hundred yards from the family's house and Penny's
first child, Donna Jean would beg to go to the church and play the piano that
was in the pavilion (photo above). She is now 58 and plays the piano still."
"In the forties Waco
went dry so the town opened up a bunch of liquor stores to supply Waco's drinkers.
During that time the town was booming. Later, Waco
went "wet" again so the liquor stores and everything else died in Perry."
Perry United Methodist Church about a mile northeast of Perry.
of pine and cypress. "It appeared to be in pretty good shape for 119 years."
Photo courtesy George Lester, 2003
The pavilion behind the church
Photo courtesy George Lester
of Perry's old liquor stores - once guarded by Penny's father. |
Photo Courtesy George Lester, 2003
outhouse nearly obscured by bloodweed|
Photo courtesy George Lester, 2003
Mary, Once of Perry
Unbelievable, but true stories connected to Perry, Texas
the late 40s and early 50s, there was a Black lady named Mary (last name unknown),
that would arrive out in the countryside near Perry, Texas and dispense some incredibly
amazing medicine and conversation.
This would take place the 17th of
each month. Her following, if you prefer to call it that, was enormous. Each time
I was there (possibly some 20 times) I saw 75 to 100 people - with about 50 to
60 cars. This was just a few yards off the highway out in a pasture... more
Toney Urban on Mary
I'd like to thank Toney Urban for his wonderful writeup on Mary!!! You did a great
job, Toney. Just facinating. I wish I'd gotten to meet her. Do you have any more
stories? I'd love to read them. - Best, Diane, Williamson County, Texas,
March 16, 2006
Hotel Now > Waco
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact