Biography of Thomas Ward Perryman

Thomas W. Perryman was born July 24, 1839, at Big Spring Town, on the Verdigris River, second son of Lewis Perryman and Hattie Ward. Thomas is a half-brother to Chief L. C. Perryman, now governor of the Creek Nation. He was sent to Tallahassee Mission School about the year 1849, where he remained until 1858, when he returned to his father’s home and assisted him in the stock business until the breaking our of the war, when he joined the Federal army, enlisting at Burlington, Kansas, as a private in the First Regiment of Home Guards, and serving until the conclusion of the war. After this he opened a mercantile business at Choska, in partnership with his brothers. In this he continued for about three years, when he opened out a farm and commenced stock raising on a small scale. In about 1858 he taught the public school at Broken Arrow, Creek Nation, after which he clerked at Fort Gibson, returning to Tallahassee Mission in a short time, and studying theology under the Rev. W. S. Robertson for three years. During his stay he married Miss Ella Brown, one of the teachers in that institute, by whom he has four living children, Ida B., born September 1876; Tommie and Arthur (twins), born July 1879, and Walter Lewis, born February 1885. In 1871 he was elected district attorney, and served six years. In 1883 he was elected to the House of Warriors as member, where he served as chaplain. In 1887 he was re-elected, and in 1891 went to the House of Kings, which office he holds at present. In the fall of 1875 Mr. Perryman was licensed to preach the gospel by the presbytery of Neosho, Kansas, and in 1876 was ordained by the presbytery of Kansas at a special meeting at Wealaka, Creek Nation. A short time afterward he was placed in charge of the Western district, which was almost entirely composed of full bloods. Mr. Perryman’s zeal was such that he soon improved the condition of things. He was also accessory to the building of a missionary school among these uneducated people. But at present there are some good scholars and a number of good Christians at the Nuyaka Mission. Soon after it’s opening, Mr. Perryman had charge of one of the girl’s colleges, and held the office five years, and Rev. Mr. Perryman was pastor of the institute. The subject of our sketch owns about 600 head of cattle, 200 acres of farmland and 600 acres in pasturage. He has a comfortable home at Broken Arrow, eighteen miles from Tulsa. Mr. Perryman is a man of good education, and has always been an industrious scholar. He assisted Mrs. Robinson in the translation and revision of the greater part of the New Testament into the Creek language. Mr. Perryman went as delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America, which met at New York in 1889, and from thence visited the City of Washington. He is looked upon as one of the most useful men in the ministry throughout this nation, while his exemplary Christian life is a worthy example to his people.


Biography, Creek,

Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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