SAMUEL H. PEERY, who follows stock farming in Cooke county, was born in Platte county, Missouri, August 7, 1849, and in the paternal line comes of Irish descent. His father was a prominent farmer and slave owner. There were three brothers, their father having died when they were small: Thomas, Edward and William. The last named was the father of our subject and was born in the Old Dominion. The three brothers emigrated to Missouri at an early day, locating first in Howard county. After living in Howard county for a number of years Edward Peery removed to the present site of Kansas City and there improved a farm and made permanent settlement.
William Peery with his brothers first settled in Howard county, Missouri, where he later married Miss Nellie McCrary, a native of that state. Later when the Platte purchase was made from the Indians and the land put on the market he went to Clay county, where he purchased a large tract of land. He became a successful agriculturist and with competent help profitably conducted farming. While in Clay county William Peery made fine improvements on his farm, including the erection of a large commodious residence, which later was burned to the ground. He never rebuilt there but afterward bought a large tract of land in Platte county, Missouri, where he made extensive improvements. He then sold his Clay county land and settled in Platte county, where he became one of the most prominent and successful farmers of the locality. There he remained until one was added to the family subsequent to the removal to Texas. In politics William Peery was a strong Democrat and while in Missouri served as justice of the peace for a number of years.
He continued farming successfully in Platte county until 1851, when he sold that property and took up his abode in Fannin county, Texas, purchasing large tracts of land near Bonham. He then began the work of cultivation and improvement and was soon recognized as one of the extensive farmers and substantial citizens of the county, remaining there successfully until 1858, when he rented his land and came to Cooke county. Here he bought five hundred acres on Elm Creek, making some improvements there. He established a horse ranch and had become well started before the Indians commenced their raids. He then sold his stock and went to Gainesville, Texas, where he bought a farm of three hundred and twenty acres adjoining the town, carrying on farming there. He died at Gainesville in 1875 at the age of seventy-five years. He was a stanch secessionist and investing his money largely in Confederate bonds he lost heavily because of their depreciation through the fortunes of war. He was a man firm in his convictions, never faltering in his support of what he believed to be right and was fearless in pronouncing his opinions upon an question. He was, however, of a social, genial nature and enjoyed having his friends around him. A broad-minded, intelligent business man, he was a good financier and was generous of his means toward the unfortunate. He held membership in the Presbyterian church and in the Masonic fraternity, and his lief was ever upright and honorable. He died at Gainesville in 1875. His wife was a daughter of Mr. McCrary, of Virginia, who became a pioneer settler of Missouri and afterward of Fannin county, Texas, where he followed farming for many years. In the latter part of his life he lived retired from active business cares and died in Fannin county at an advanced age. His children were: Mrs. Nancy Brawley and Mrs. Nellie Peery.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. William Peery were born ten children: James, deceased; Elijah C., who served in the Confederate army and is now in the Indian Territory; William T., who was likewise a Confederate soldier and is now residing in the Territory; Mrs. Polly Hoover, who at the time of her marriage settled in southwestern Texas; Betty, deceased; Thomas, who was killed in the Civil war; Mrs. Nannie Field, who died in Saint Jo; Hettie, the wife of J. C. Lattimore; Samuel H.; and George. The mother was a member of the Presbyterian church.
Samuel H. Peery was born in Missouri and with his parents came to Texas in 1851. He was reared in this state and remained under the parental roof until he had passed many years of his youth. When about seventeen years old, however, he engaged with his brother Elijah in the cattle business, for the range was then free and good and the cattle roamed at will for many miles around. They soon had a large herd, and during those years Mr. Peery was daily in the saddle and traveled over the adjoining counties to Cooke, where they made the adjoining counties to Cooke, where they made their headquarters. In this way he became acquainted with all of the state and is now widely known. His first partnership continued for eight years, at the end of which time they sold their entire herd. Mr. Peery afterward engaged in buying and shipping cattle and later entered into partnership with two brothers, with whom he engaged in merchandising at Gainesville, conducting the store for a number of years. Eventually the firm closed out the stock and Mr. Peery was again in the live stock business as a partner of his brother, W. T. Peery. They were the second people in this part of the state to fence a large pasture and confine their stock. They continued in business successfully for several years and then sold their pasture and herd. Mr. Peery, however, has always continued in the cattle business to a greater or less extent, and in late years in connection with Henry Field has owned a large pasture, in which he feeds and handles beef cattle. At his home he raises cattle and hogs, feeding the latter for the market, and he has long been prominently identified with the cattle interests of Cooke county and this part of the state.
In 1877 Mr. Perry was married to Miss Minnie Jones, who was born in Missouri in 1860 and is a daughter of David A. Jones, a farmer and business man of Missouri, who in 1870 came to Texas, locating in Cooke county. He afterward removed to the Indian Nation, where his death occurred. He frequently served as deputy in different offices of the county seat and was a man of good business ability and worthy the trust reposed in home. His wife still survives and finds a pleasant home among her children living largely in the nation. She is a member of the Baptist church. In their family were the following children: Gill; David; Charley; Thomas; Jack; Nannie, the wife of Dr. Milner; Minnie now Mrs. Peery; and one son who was killed by a negro whom he was attempting to arrest while acting to bailiff in Cooke county. Mr. and Mrs. Peery have become the parents of eleven children; three of whom are dead; those living are Eula, the wife of W. Hoover; George, Roy, Samuel, Nannie, David and May, all at home; and Essa, who was born December 3, 1902, and completes the family.
For two years after his marriage Mr. Peery remained at Gainesville and in 1879 settled upon the farm where he yet resides, having previously purchased two hundred and sixty acres of the land from the Morgan survey. He has since added other surveys and now has about seven hundred acres. He has made all of the improvements upon this place, including the erection of a commodious house, good barns and outbuildings. He also has stock lots well supplied with water pumped by a wind mill and there is a good orchard on the place. About one hundred acres of the land has been brought to a high state of cultivation and he raises various crops, and also gives much attention to the raising and feeding of hogs for market. He has intimate knowledge of this section of the state in its development, as he has watched its transformation from a wild district and free range into richly cultivated farms and ranches.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 670-672.