Courtesy of the Floyd County Times
July 2003

Also read a sincere tribute to Dr. Perry
The Last Hill

Dr. Robert Perry,
noted historian, professor dies
by Sheldon Compton

PRESTONSBURG - Robert Perry, former Prestonsburg Community College English professor, Samuel May House curator and local author, died yesterday at the age of 66, following a yearlong battle with cancer.

Perry spearheaded efforts in the early 1990s to open the Samuel May House as a museum, giving tours as part of his PCC class curriculum and later becoming the curator of the historical landmark. He eventually helped form and serve as president of the organization Friends of the Samuel May House in 1993 and saw the restoration of the house and its development as a local history resource, archive and tourist attraction.

Contributions that might be offered in response to Perry's death have been suggested to go to the Friends of the Samuel May House.

Perry authored a lengthy essay on the house entitled, "The Oldest House in the Valley", which was published in a bound edition in 1993 by the Friends of the Samuel May House. Aside from this essay, Perry also wrote "Jack May's War", a book that documents local war history and also published "The Floyd County Pictorial History". Perry was also instrumental in seeing completion of the Ivy Creek Memorial Monument at Ivel.

A native of Nebraska, Perry came to Floyd County in 1989. He received both his undergraduate and master's degrees at the University of Nebraska and a doctorate at the University of Colorado in 1975. Following the completion of his formal education, the local historian spent 10 years in the retail trade and published two monographs on local and regional history - "Schimmer's Krog Resort on the Platt" and "Sheep King: The Story of Robert Taylor" - in his home state before accepting a teaching position that prepared him for his arrival in Prestonsburg in August 1989.

Perry, who married Knott County native and current Floyd County resident Alice Howard Perry, was an active member of the Floyd County Historical Society and a member of the First Presbyterian Church. Funeral services for Dr. Perry are to be held today at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Prestonsburg

Return to What's New