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Nathaniel R. Perkins
 Nathaniel R. Perkins, 1847-

From American Series of Popular Biographies. Massachusetts Edition. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston: Graves & Steinbarger, 1891.


NATHANIEL R. PERKINS, a prominent Dorchester physician and surgeon, was born in Plainfield, Vt., September 10, 1847, son of Amherst and Experience (Reed) Perkins. His father was born in Plainfield about the year 1820, son of Stephen Perkins, the latter a native of Topsfield, Mass. His mother, Experience Reed Perkins, was born in Hanover, N.H., daughter of Captain David Reed, of Plainfield, and grand-daughter of Moses Reed, a Revolutionary soldier.

It is known that Stephen Perkins had a brother Jacob and a brother Jonathan. Jacob Perkins settled in Plainfield, Vt., about 1799; and a Philemon Perkins and Stephen Perkins were occupying land there in 1801. (Vermont Historical Gazetteer, vol. IV.) Philemon Perkins, born in Topsfield, Mass., June 8, 1740, son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Potter) Perkins, grandson of Timothy, great-grandson of Deacon Thomas and Phebe (Gould) Perkins, and fifth in lineal descent from John, of Ipswich, married Abigail Foster. ("Perkins Family," Part II, by George A. Perkins, M.D.) Abigail Foster, born in 1746, daughter of Stephen Foster (Caleb, Abraham, Reginald), married December 14, 1769, Philemon Perkins. Their children were: Jacob, Dudley, Stephen, and Jonathan. Stephen Foster was born in Ipswich in 1710. He married Rebecca, daughter of Deacon Jacob Peabody, and lived in Topsfield, (Foster Genealogy by F.C. Pierce.)

The testimony of the above records leaves little room for doubt that Dr. Perkins is a descendant in the eighth generation of John Perkins, who came over in the ship "Lion," arriving in Boston early in 1631, and settled at Ipswich in 1633, the line being: John, Deacon Thomas, Timothy, Jonathan, Philemon, Stephen, Amherst, Nathaniel R.

Amherst Perkins, who was a mechanic, took an active interest in the public affairs of Plainfield, and was prominently identified with the town government. He died in March, 1882, and his wife in October, 1878. They were the parents of six children: Caria, who married E.A. Kenney, of Plainfield; D. Marshall Perkins, who died at the age of sixty-three years; Mahala, wife of Charles Kenney, also of Plainfield; Ira A., a resident of Boston; Nathaniel R., the subject of this sketch; and another child who died in infancy.

After concluding his attendance at the Newbury (Vt.) Seminary, Nathaniel R. Perkins began his professional preparations at the Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia, and completed them at the Boston University School of Medicine, graduating in 1876. On July 1 of that year he settled in Winchendon, Mass., where he resided for fourteen years, or until 1890, in which year he removed to Dorchester. Here he has succeeded in acquiring a high reputation and has an extensive practice, embracing both medicine and surgery.

Dr. Perkins is a member of the American Institute of Homoeopathy, the Massachusetts Homoeopathic Medical Society, the Massachusetts Surgical and Gynecological Society, and of the Boston Homoeopathic Medical Society. He is Medical Examiner for the Northwestern and National Life Insurance Companies, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and other benefit organizations; Past Master of Artisan Lodge, F. & A.M.; and a member of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. In 1888 he was Representative to the Legislature from the Winchendon district, and served upon the Committee on Charitable Institutions. In politics he is a Republican. His religious connections are with the Dorchester Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a trustee.

In 1872 Dr. Perkins was united in marriage with Miss Clara A. Livingston, a native of Newport, Vt., daughter of L.D. Livingston and a representative of an old family of Albany, that State. Dr. and Mrs. Perkins have two children now living, namely: Roscoe L., who is in the employ of the city of Boston; and C. Aleda Perkins. A son named Leon R. died at the age of four years.

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Created: November 13, 2004   Modified: November 13, 2004