Senator Theodore Bolivar Perry View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 5/14/1921
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 24 (1892) - 25 (1894)
Home County: Monroe
Theodore Bolivar Perry
Monroe County


Theodore Bolivar Perry was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, April first, eighteen hundred thirty-three, and died at Albia, Iowa, May fourteenth, nineteen hundred twenty-one, aged eighty-nine years, one month and twelve days. His parents were Louis Franklin Perry and Margaret Nixon Perry. In the year eighteen hundred fifty he removed with his parents from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Burlington, Iowa, and from that time until his death he was a resident of the state of Iowa, and his life became a part of its history. His youth was spent with his mother and father, brothers and sisters, at Burlington and Osceola and other points in Iowa. In his young manhood he taught school in Wapello, Polk, Warren, Madison and Monroe counties, and was distinguished as an educator in those pioneer days.

When the first board of education was created in 1857 he was chosen one of its members and served throughout its existence. In May of 1852 he made Albia his home, and entered the law office of Hon. J. S. Townsend, circuit judge of that district, where he read law, and on April 17, 1854 he was admitted to the bar by a committee in the district court composed of the late H. H. Trimble, George Wright and H. B. Hendershott, all of whom were distinguished and able lawyers of their day.

Mr. Perry at once entered into the practice of law and formed a partnership with Judge Townsend, and from that time until almost the time of his death he was reputed to be one of the most able and distinguished lawyers in southern Iowa.

Fidelity to his clients and his cause guided him throughout the relationship. He had a natural faculty for discerning the controlling feature and pivotal point in every case and concentrated every┬Ěhonorable effort to bring this point clearly to the attention of judge and jury.

He was a distinguished lawyer of rare ability and high ideals. He was faithful to his clients, true to his cause, untiring in his efforts to obtain justice for his clients. He belonged to that old school which is fast passing away, and followed not so much precedent as he did adherence to principles, and he depended upon his reasoning powers which were unusually strong, to clearly, faithfully and honestly present the same to the court and jury.

In politics he was a democrat and believed in the principles of the democratic party, was a leader in its councils, and exercised a salutary influence in forming its policies in the state and shaping its platforms and procedure. He was elected to the Iowa senate, as a democrat, from the fifteenth senatorial district, composed of Marion and Monroe counties and served in the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth General Assemblies, with credit to himself and honor to the. state. He was able, clear visioned, conscientious and honest and persistent in having enacted into law those high ideals in which he believed. Many of his ideas he succeeded in having placed in the statutes of Iowa, which to this day are a blessing and benediction to the people of Iowa.

In eighteen hundred fifty-four, Mr. Perry was united in marriage with Minerva Allison of Eddyville, Iowa, who departed this life in November, eighteen hundred sixty-nine. To this union was born one son, Fernando, who died in infancy, and one daughter, Mrs. Florence Pennington, of Albia, Iowa, who survives him.

In October of eighteen hundred seventy, Mr. Perry was united in marriage with Amanda Craig, and to this union was born Eldon C. Perry, who died in early childhood; Mrs. Grace Perry Miller and Theodore B. Perry, Junior, who with the widow, survive the death of Mr. Perry and mourn his loss.

Mr. Perry was intensely interested in the pioneer history of the state of Iowa, and associated himself with all organizations in the state which have to do with the preservation of that history.

In the passing of Theodore Bolivar Perry, the state of Iowa has lost one of her most distinguished sons. His family has lost a good husband, a kind and loving parent, and his community an energetic and public member. The nation has lost a patriotic son.