Oran D. Perry
Oran D. Perry was born in Union County, Indiana February 1, 1838. He was the son of James and Elizabeth (Snowden) Perry. James Perry was born in Madisonville, Hamilton County, Ohio January 19, 1799. Elizabeth Snowden was the daughter of James Snowden who purchased land in Franklin, later to become Union County, Indiana May 5, 1815.
James Snowden was an Associated Judge in Greene County Ohio in 1809. Because of his upbringing as a Quaker, he had a dispute about signing an oath and sold his land in Ohio. He purchased land on May 5, 1815 for a farm in what was then Franklin County Indiana, which later became Union County. The area they settled was in Harmony Township and in 1822 he and his wife Mary deeded land for it to be used as a site for a school, church and cemetery which was called New Hope.
James Perry moved his family to Union County in 1823. It was in 1824 Mr. Perry was admitted to practice law in Indiana and in 1840 was elected Judge of the judicial district which included the Indiana counties of Union, Fayette, Rush, Decatur, Henry and Wayne.
James Perry married Elizabeth Snowden in Union County, Indiana March 14, 1824. The Perry's were the parents of four children: Caroline born in 1825 and died in Union County in 1847; Roxanne born in 1826 and also died in Union County in 1844. Their third child was son Rufus born in 1832 but downed at Centerville, Wayne County Indiana when only 17 years of age. The Perry's last child was son Oran D. Perry born in Union County February 1, 1838.
About 1849 James and Elizabeth Perry moved to nearby Richmond in Wayne County, Indiana and James continued practicing law. In the 1850 James Perry was 52 years of age, his wife Elizabeth was 46 and Oran was 12. In the 1860 census the James Perry was practicing law, Elizabeth a homemaker and Oran at age 22 was an agent for a public hall.
Oran Perry's life changed dramatically in the early 1860's. He enlisted in Company B, 16th Indiana Volunteer Infantry at Camp Wayne in Richmond, Indiana April 9 (or 19th), 1861 for one year. (see photograph) During this period he was appointed sergeant-major in June of 1861, served his term and was discharged May 14, 1862.
He was commissioned Adjutant of the 69th Indiana Infantry on July 18, 1862. On March 13, 1863, Oran was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel upon the request of the officers of the regiment. This was perhaps the only instance during the war where a subordinate office was promoted over the heads of his superiors at the request of the officers themselves.
Lieutenant Colonel Perry was in the battle of Richmond, Kentucky where his horse was shot from under him and he was wounded in the leg and captured by the enemy. He was paroled and afterward exchanged.
He was also in the battles of Chickasaw Bluff and Arkansas Post, Thompson's Hill, Champion Hill, Black River Bridge, Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi. He served in several expeditions of Teche River, Texas, Red River and Pascagoula and the assault on the works of Fort Blakely, Alabama. In the Ft. Blakely skirmish he received a severe wound in the head, after which he was promoted to brevet colonel, having commanded the regiment more than two years. He was mustered out of service at Mobile, July 5, 1865.
He remained Quartermaster General of Indiana. After serving his country well he returned to Richmond, Indiana. He married Mary Jane (Jennie) Poe May 16, 1866 and they made their home in Richmond for a time. Mary Jane was the daughter of James M. and Malinda Poe, both of whom had been born in Maryland. Mr. Poe was the proprietor of the Richmond Plow Works and in 1870 Oran was working for his father-in-law.
Mary Jane and Oran moved to Indianapolis and in 1880 and Oran was a freight agent for the railroad (see historical home) The couple did not have children. They owned a home located at 1218-1220 Central Avenue in Indianapolis. It was located in the Historic Northside District. The home had been built about 1903 and in 1979 was still standing but was in disrepair.
In 1900 Oran was a freight agent and in 1910 was in real estate. However, throughout this period he was writing books and articles concerning men that had served their country in different wars.
In 1920 Oran Perry was the superintendent of the Soldiers and Sailor's Monument located on the circle in Indianapolis. In 1918 he created a photo gallery of military history in the lower level of the Monument,
It was in 1929 Oran D. Perry died after devoting his life to history and service to his country. His widow remained in the home on Central Avenue. For several years the Perry's had opened their home to Mary Jane's two maiden sisters and in 1930 Amanda Poe and Mary Jane (Poe) Perry were still together.
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