The Perkins Family collection documents the experiences of seven related families that eventually settled in Kane County, Ill., in the mid-nineteenth century. Much of the collection relates to the Perkins and Mann families, and, to a lesser extent, the Campbell, Downs, Raymond, Terwilliger, and Wheeler families. The collection contains personal correspondence; educational, financial, legal, organizational, professional, and real estate papers; military service papers; family photographs; and artwork.
The most fully represented individuals in the collection are Francis "Frank" B. Perkins, a member of the Elgin (Ill.) Board of Education and a Civil War veteran; Frank's son, Thomas E. Perkins, a musician, in particular an organist; and Thomas' son, Alfred J. Perkins, a chemist educated at the Johns Hopkins University who served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps during World War II, and held appointments at the Argonne National Laboratory and on the faculty of the College of Pharmacy of the University of Illinois, in Chicago.
The Raymond family is represented by Augustine Raymond, superintendent of the Chenango Canal in New York, and Harvey Raymond, engaged in the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal at Lockport, Ill. Especially notable are the personal letters between Augustine and his wife Nancy, and the letters of Harvey regarding the Rock River Valley and the development of Northern Illinois, both in 1837-38. The Mann family papers include letters of Alfred J. Mann, superintendent of Elgin, Ill. in the late nineteenth century.
The collection was donated to the Library in 2008 by Claudia Perkins Schechter, Alice Perkins McCartor, and James T. Perkins, children of Alfred J. and Antoinette Partridge Perkins.