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Henry Morgan Perry:
Farmer, Livestock Rancher, Church
Leader, Pioneer and Civic Leader
By Clive Ririe
(From NETWORK, the family newsletter,
volume 3, October 1997)

As one of the officials of The Great Feeder Canal Company, H.M. Perry was honored to be the final speaker at the Dedication program. He sensed that folks were tired and uncomfortable so he limited his remarks to a recitation of a poem that bears absolutely no connection to water, engineering, construction, financing or anything else that had thus far been related even though he, as corporate treasurer, was probably the one attendant most capable of telling the story of the money required for the project. This is the poem he recited:

    A Hindu died, a happy thing to do,
    His twenty years united with us through,
    He joyfully for entrance cried before the gates of Brahma's paradise.
    "Hast thou been through purgatory?"
    Brahma said.
    I've been married, he meekly hung his head.
    "Welcome and come to my son.
    Marriage and purgatory are but one!"

    Another Hindu died and to gates he sped and did not tarry.
    The same quiz: "Hast thou been through purgatory or did thou marry?"
    Marry? I married twice!
    "Begone, we'll have no fools in paradise!"

This performance, under those conditions, says that he was not only sensitive and caring but that he was a modest and witty man who worried little about his peers' perception; that he saw no need for self-glorification.

His eldest son, Leslie Thomas Perry recorded: "Soon after I was born Father became disgusted with the efforts of little Three Mile Creek as it hurried from farm to farm trying to do the work of a river. He also found it hard to get enough wood to keep the home fires burring through the winters. He sought a place where these two essentials of pioneer life in an arid country could easily be found." The son further records that in 1885, Cache Valley was already too populous so he continued north to the rich lands of Blackfoot and Idaho Falls where there was ample irrigation water but not enough wood. He finally found what he was looking for as he approached the Snake River near the present site of Ririe, Idaho.

Another son, Albert Z. Perry wrote extensively of his father's participation in planning and building the great feeder system. It appears that he was a construction boss after he helped in the course selection and right-of-way procurement as well as being Secretary-treasurer and President.

Born at Perry, Box Elder county, Utah on 3 December, 1856; a settlement probably named for his Grandfather, he lived to see a ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints named Perry in his honor in Jefferson county, Idaho. He participated in the naming of the settlement from which the Perry Ward was separated. He was chosen to be the scribe at a gathering whose purpose was to petition the U.S. Postal Service to locate a new post office. It was decided that the name would be Ruby but apparently Perry's printing of the word came out Rudy so the new office was approved for Rudy, Idaho and all the participants seem to have agreed that having a post office was the important thing and they could live with Rudy as the name even though that wasn't their choice.

Note: This is a piece that I sent to Elder Lee for inclusion in a history of the Great Feeder System he is doing. Even though the Hindu poem was in the last publication, I thought its inclusion in this brief biography of Grandfather Perry was justified.

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