Francis M. Perkins, president of the Perkins Trust Company of Lawrence, had been a prominent factor in financial and business affairs of that city and of the state at large for more than forty years.
He was the first of his family to come to Kansas. Mr. Perkins was born in Racine County, Wisconsin, on a farm June 21, 1846. His parents were Otis Goodspeed and Julia Ann (Bender) Perkins. His father was a descendant of John W. Perkins of Ipswich, Massachusetts, who came to Massachusetts Colony in 1631 and was originally from Ufton Court, the large family estate of Berkshire, England. A large part of this old English estate is still owned by a member of the family. For fully 200 years the Perkins family lived in Connecticut and from that point they spread westward to New York and thence to Wisconsin. Mr. Perkins’ parents were among the pioneers of Southern Wisconsin, locating there when Wisconsin was still a territory. Francis M. Perkins is a brother of the late Lucius H. Perkins, the distinguished lawyer of Lawrence whose career is sketched on other pages.
Francis M. Perkins grew up on a Wisconsin farm, and his people being well to do he was given a liberal education. He spent two years in Beloit College, was a teacher for some time, and finally became identified with merchandising in Milwaukee.
In 1875 he came to Kansas, and having friends at Lawrence located there and embarked in the mortgage investment business. Two years later his brother Lucius H. came to Lawrence fresh from Beloit College, and after graduating from the law department of Kansas University in 1880 became associated with Francis in business. Francis M. Perkins conducted his enterprise under the firm name of Perkins & Company. Like other institutions that grow and flourish its beginning was humble. It was scarcely known outside of Douglas County for some years, but in time had become one of the leading institutions of Kansas, the scope of its operations is at least state wide, and the integrity and scrupulous business policy which have marked its course have proved individual benefits to thousands of the patrons.
In 1910 the Perkins Trust Company was organized with a capital of $100,000. In 1912 the company built its present home at the corner of Sixth and Massachusetts streets. Mr. F. M. Perkins had been president of this company from its organization. He and his brother in their business associations have done much for Lawrence. In connection with the Trust Company they bought the Citizens State Bank in 1914, and this bank is operated in connection with the Trust Company.
Francis M. Perkins is a republican in politics, is a thirty-third degree Mason, and throughout the more than forty years he had lived in Lawrence his name had come to be recognized as synonymous with ideal citizenship.