Dr. William Henry Perkins was born in Lewiston, Frederick County, Maryland, on November
18, 1841, and was the son of John & Elizabeth (Geisy) Perkins. He was married to
Mary J. (Beard), daughter of Louis and Jane (Kidwell) Beard. He was married on March
After attending private and public schools, and passing through high school, he taught
for some time. On August 14, 1862 he enlisted as a Private in the Baltimore Battery
Light Artillery, Baltimore Maryland. He was appointed to the rank of Corporal on
the day of his enlistment and was discharged as a Sergeant.
He attended the University of Maryland, and later graduated from the Long Island
College Hospital in New York. He began his medical practice in Hancock shortly after
the conclusion of the Civil War, and for many years, he was a physician to the B
& O Railroad and was especially successful as a surgeon, performing many difficult
operations which were rendered necessary as a result of a railroad accident.
He was one of the most active Republicans in Western Maryland and at the time of
his death was chairman of the State Central Committee for Washington County. He
would serve one term in the Maryland Legislature and later was unanimously nominated
for Comptroller of the Treasury, but declined to run. He was also Superintendent
of the Census of 1880 for the Third District of Maryland. He was a member of the
Board of Health, and President of the Pension Examining Board at Hancock. He would
also serve as a member of the Medical Society of Washington County. Dr. Perkins
was an extremely active member of the Hancock United Methodist Church.
Dr. Perkins was prominent not only professionally, but as a citizen taking an active
interest in the affairs of the town of Hancock. The construction of the Hancock
Bridge and the enlistment of the Hancock Bank owed much to his effort.
According to his obituary, Dr. Perkins died on September 10, 1896. Pallbearers for
his service were John W. Burgess & William Noel (Hancock), S. Osborne & J. B. Clary
(Cumberland), and Andrew Zepp & Allen M. Mendenhall (Berkeley Springs); all of which
The interesting statement found in the obituary is that he served as Worshipful Master
of James S. Bowers Lodge #37.