Oatis Nelty Perkins (1877-1954) & Laura May Ruby (1884-1936)

Oatis & Laura are Todd’s great grandparents, the parents of his grandmother Inez Faye Perkins.

Oatis Nelty Perkins was born on January 29, 1877 in Prole, Iowa. His parents are Martin VanBuren Perkins and Mary Alice Lamb. He was the 3rd of their 4 children, and had 2 younger half-siblings. Read more about Martin and Mary Alice Lamb here.

Laura May Ruby was born on December 15, 1884 in Knowlton, Iowa. Her parents are James Addison Ruby and Melissa Jane Short. She was the 3rd of their 4 children. Read more about James and Melissa here.

On the 1880 US Census, Oatis was enumerated twice, so his family must have moved. They were recorded on July 1 and again on July 7th. Oatis was 3 years old, his father Martin was 34, and his mother Mary Alice was 24. Also in the home was Martin’s cousin Edward Perkins, age 17. They were farming in Jefferson, Iowa.

On the 1900 US Census, Oatis was in Jones, Iowa. He was 23, single, and boarding with Jasper Yount’s family. Jasper was a carpenter, Oatis was a farmer.

Meanwhile, Laura was 15 and lived in Jefferson, Iowa with her mother, who had been widowed and remarried. Her mother Melissa was 47 and her stepfather William Collins, a farmer, was 48. Laura had three half-sisters living in the home: Etta, 7; Goldie, 6; Daisy, 5.

Oatis and Laura were married on November 26, 1903 in Knowlton, Iowa.

On the 1910 US Census, Oatis and Laura lived in Jefferson, Iowa, and were farming. They’d been married 6 years and had 4 children. Oatis was 33 and Laura was 25. Their children: Alice, age 5; Mettie, age 3; Ray, age 2; and Cecil, age 10 months.

On September 12, 1918, Oatis filled out a World War I Draft Registration Card. He was indicated to be of medium height, with a slight build, light eyes, and light hair. He was physically disqualified. His occupation was junk dealer.

On the 1920 US Census, Oatis was 42 and Laura was 35. They were farming in Jefferson, Iowa. Children in the home: Alice, age 15; Mettie, age 13; Ray, age 12; Cecil, age 10; Bernice, age 8; Laura, age 6; Martin, age 4; Vildren, age 2; Carmel Leta, age 8 months.

On the 1930 US Census, Oatis was 42 and Laura was 45. They were still farming in Jefferson, Iowa. Children in the home: Cecil, age 20; Maisel, age 16; Martin, age 14; Vildren, age 12; Carmel, age 11; Inez, age 9; Addie, age 7; Goldie, age 4.

Laura died on January 11, 1936 in Knowlton, Iowa. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Otis in Perkins 009On the 1940 US Census, Oatis was 63 and widowed. Children at home were Martin, age 24 and working as farmer; Inez, age 19, working as a housekeeper in another home; and Goldie, age 14.

(Photo: Taken January 1, 1953, the day country music star Hank Williams died. Oatis Nelty Perkins is surrounded by grandchildren.)

Oatis died on February 23, 1954 in Knowlton, Iowa. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

The children of Oatis Nelty Perkins and Laura May Ruby:

Viola Alice Perkins – Alice was born on September 3, 1904 in Iowa. She married Noah Owen on July 18, 1925 in Des Moines, Iowa. They had 3 children. Noah died in 1936. Alice married Edgar Benton Snyder, who had served in World War I. He had been married twice but had no children. They had 2 children. Edgar died on August 8. 1972. Alice died November 17, 1979.

Mettie Loraine Perkins – Mettie was born on April 29, 1906 in Iowa. She married Ferrel Dewaine Chew on November 21, 1925 in Creston Iowa. They had 2 children, one who died as an infant. Ferrel died July 24, 1963. Mettie died on August 11, 1993 in Wilmington, Illinois. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Ray Rubean Perkins – Ray was born on July 4, 1907 in Ringgold County, Iowa. He married Fern May Blanchard on July 5, 1928 in Des Moines, Iowa. They had 2 children and farmed in Ringgold County. He died November 17, 1968 in Union County, Iowa. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Cecil Clay Perkins – Clay was born on June 15, 1909 in Ringgold County, Iowa. He married Alvina Willows on March 4, 1933 in Worth, Missouri. On the 1940 US Census, they lived in Diagonal, Iowa and Clay worked as a laborer for the Works Progress Administration. They had 2 children. He died December 14, 1994 in Perry, Iowa. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Bernice Nelta Perkins – Bernice was born on December 7, 1911 in Ringgold County, Iowa. She died when she was 14, on April 24, 1926. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Maisel Laura Perkins – Maisel was born on May 11, 1913 in Ringgold County, Iowa. She married Willis Raymond Russel on April 16, 1932 in Creston, Iowa, and they had 8 children. They farmed in Union County, Iowa. She died on June 14, 1956 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Martin Melvin Perkins – Martin was born on August 23, 1915 in Ringgold County, Iowa. He married Bonnie J. York, who had been married and had 4 children. They had 1 child together. He died on March 6, 1986 in Dallas Center, Iowa. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Vildren Vernice Perkins – Vildren was born on June 9, 1917 in Ringgold County, Iowa. She married Glenn Woods on December 26, 1935 in Worth, Missouri. They had 4 children. She died on May 11, 2001 in Perry, Iowa. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Carmel Leta Perkins – Carmel was born on April 9, 1919 in Ringgold County, Iowa. She married Marvin Leroy Akers on January 24, 1938 in Nodaway County, Missouri. They had 4 children. She died on June 14, 1956 in Des Moines, Iowa. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Inez Faye Perkins – Inez is Todd’s grandmother. Read more about her here.

Addie Dean Perkins – Addie was born on March 21, 1923 in Ringgold County, Iowa. He married Mae Irene Henton and they had 2 children. He died on August 28, 1999 in Grimes, Iowa. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Goldie Mae Perkins – Goldie was born on July 11, 1925 in Ringgold County, Iowa. She married Walter Blaine Herbel and they had 4 children. She died on December 3, 1989 in Iowa City, Iowa. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

4 thoughts on “Oatis Nelty Perkins (1877-1954) & Laura May Ruby (1884-1936)

  1. Hi This is so cool….My grandmother was VIola Alice …she always went by Alice She passed away in November of 1979 a month before my youngest son was born. My mother is Alvena Bertha Owens Schaper … my father was Kenneth Dwight Schaper I am the oldest daughter of 7 girls.

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    • Kenna, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I love Alice’s sister Inez so very much. I joined the family in 1993 so I didn’t get to know Alice. I’ve updated my family tree – I had your last name as Schafer. And somehow I had her death date in my tree but didn’t have it when I wrote the post about her family. I’ve updated the post now. Do you know where she is buried? If you have any photos to share I’d love to have them.

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      • Grandma and Grandpa are both buried in Rose HIll Cemetery in Marshalltown ,Iowa along side my Uncle BIll Owens. I am in Kansas right now visiting my sons but when I get home I have a ton I can scan in….including one of grandma with her first husband Noah.

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