Colonel William T. Perkins
COLONEL WILLIAM T. PERKINS has been identified with the Northland
since 1898. He is not only a prominent citizen of Nome, but he is a prominent
citizen of Alaska. He is associated with the leading commercial and transportation company of Northwestern Alaska, occupying the position of auditor of the
Northwestern Commercial Company. This company has exploited many avenues of the
natural resources of Alaska and Siberia.
Colonel Perkins is a native of Buffalo, New York, and was born November 2,
1 858. He is the son of Nathaniel Perkins and Annette Hawkins. He is a descendant
of Revolutionary sires, and is a member of the Washington. D. C. Society of American Sons of Revolution. His early education was obtained in the public schools of
Buffalo and Lockport. New York. He prepared for college at New Hampton Institution. New Hampshire, in 1877, and was graduated by Bates College of Maine in
1881 with the degree of A. B. In 1884 he was graduated from the law department of
the University of Michigan with the degree of LL. B. He has been admitted to the
bar of Michigan, North Dakota and Alaska. He began the practice of law in North
Dakota in 1884, and continued the practice of his profession until 1896. From 1892
until 1896 he was vice-president of the First National Bank of Bismarck, North Dakota.
For a period of two years after 1896 he engaged in mining in Colorado. He came
to Alaska in 1898, and followed mining for two years. In 1900 he arrived in Non
and became the general auditor of the Northwestern Commercial Company, a position
which he still fills. He is also attorney in fact in Alaska for the managing director of
the Northeastern Siberian Company, Limited.
Colonel Perkins has received a number of political honors from his friends and party.
In 1888 he was elected as one of the first aldermen of Bismarck, North Dakota, and
was a member of the Board of Education and its secretary at Bismarck for a period of
twelve years. In 1889 he was elected to the office of County Superintendent of Public
Schools of Burleigh County, North Dakota, and held this position during his residence
in this state. He took an active interest in both local and state politics in Dakota. He
was selected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago in June,
1904, and was one of the first delegates to represent Alaska in a Republican National
Colonel Perkins took an active and a leading part in educational work during his
residence in Dakota. He was president of the North Dakota Educational Association
in 1895. He was commissioned Colonel in the National Guards of North Dakota in
1892. In May, 1903, while in Seattle, he was elected as chairman of the executive
committee selected to make the Alaska arrangements for the reception of President
Roosevelt. At the time of the visit of the United States Senators who were appointed by
Congress to inquire into needed laws for the purpose of determining the best
legislation that could be enacted for the district, Colonel Perkins was selected by the
citizens of Nome as the chairman of the executive committee to entertain the Senatorial Committee.
Colonel Perkins is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and deputy for Alaska of the Inspector General for Washington,
Idaho and Alaska, of the Scottish Rite and Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He is a
Past Grand Master of the A. F. and A. M. of North Dakota, and Past Grand Commander of the Knights Templar, North Dakota. He is also a member of the Arctic
Brotherhood, Camp Nome No. 9, a fraternal organization that has its home in the
Northland; and at the last grand session of the order held in Seattle in November, 1904,
he was elected Grand Arctic Chief.
It will be seen from this brief and hasty narrative that Colonel Perkins has had
a very active and busy life; that he has stood and stands high in the estimation of his
fellow men with whom he has come in contact; that he has been called upon to fill
many positions of civic and fraternal honor. While he has taken an active part in
politics he does not belong to the genus politician. He is a man of unquestioned and
unimpeachable integrity, and his interest in politics is simply the interest of a good citizen
desiring better and cleaner government. His native intelligence has been polished by
education. He knows his capacity and limitations, so that he does well whatever he
undertakes to do. No citizen of the Nome country commands more of the public
esteem and public confidence than does Colonel Perkins.
He was married December 16, 1884, at Denison, Iowa. Mrs. Perkins was
formerly Katherine Laub.
Source: Nome and Seward Peninsula by R. S. Harrison. Seattle:
The Metropolitan Press, 1905.