Sunday, September 26, 2010

Local Architect, William Perkins, Dies

From the Chariton Leader, Aug 13, 1957

W.L. Perkins Dies Following Heart Attack

William L. Perkins, 70, prominent Chariton architect and engineer, died Monday morning at Yocum hospital following a heart attack suffered Friday.  A long-time resident of the community, Mr. Perkins had returned earlier in the week from a vacation with his wife when he suffered the attack. 

Services are now being arranged by the Beardsley Funeral Home.  Rites are pending the arrival of a son, Lt. William L., USN, who is stationed in Okinawa Island.  Also surviving are his wife, a sister, Mrs. W.E. Merrihew of Nevada, Mo., and a brother, Albert of Mobile, Alabama.

Through his many years as city engineer, practically all civic improvements completed since his arrival in Chariton, were made under his direction and supervision.  He served as city engineer and had held posts on the airport commission and other local appointive offices.

As engineer and architect, he supervised construction and planning for East park, the city hall, Masonic Temple, Ritz theater, Yocum Hospital, the Chariton Newspapers building, street improvements, airport construction, water department details including the physical improvements at city reservoirs such as spillways and pumping stations.

As the Secretary of the National council of Architectural Registration Board, Mr. Perkins approved the contracts of training in colleges and universities offering architecture and approved examinations by state boards and certified architects for work in various states.  He also maintained a permanent registry of architects in Iowa, and served as secretary of the Iowa Board of Architectural Examiners.

The municipal airport was one of his great interests and in this instance he turned over engineering fees received from the federal government to the airport fund, giving his services without remuneration.

Mr. Perkins was frequently the center of controversy as his position inevitably involved him in many projects of a controversial nature.  He was seldom concerned, friends testify, feeling such matters were the “price of progress.”

“Few individuals have so left their imprint on Chariton or are likely to do so in the future as Mr. Perkins,” close friends commented following his death.  “He was proud of his service to the community.”

Distinguished in state as well as local Masonic circles, he held numerous high positions.  His illustrious Mason career included serving as Grand Master of Iowa, 1945-1946; Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Iowa and Chapter 22 of Chariton; Past Grand Treasurer of Grand Commandery of Iowa; Past Grand Master of the Chariton Blue Lodge; Past Secretary of York Rites Bodies of Iowa, the Commandery and Blue Lodge; a member of the Scottish Rites or Consistory; past Secretary of the A.F. & A.M. No. 63 of Chariton; a member of the honorary Red Cross of Constantine and a member of the Shrine as well as the Council and Commandery.  He was a chief organizer of Council No. 42 of Chariton and was a 32nd degree Mason.

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