Biography of Charles J. Perkins
Charles J. Perkins, attorney-at-law and an active member of the Southern California bar, came to the State in 1883, and the following year located in practice in San Bernardino. He was born in the Empire State in 1856, but his father, F. J. Perkins, moved with his family from New York to Illinois in the fall of that year, and purchased a farm, on which they settled. In 1877 young Perkins started out in railroad business as an employee in the operating department of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. At that time train robberies on the western frontier were much more frequent than now, and assaults by desperadoes upon trains supposed to carry valuable treasures were not uncommon. Mr. Perkins had some thrilling experiences with this lawless class. While serving as conductor on that line, he was shot at four different times in one year; and on one occasion observing that the train was not properly controlled, he went forward to the engine and found the engineer and fireman both dead in the cab, having been shot while at their post of duty by men in ambush. He also filled the position of traveling auditor during his connection with the Denver & Rio Grande Company. Deciding to make the legal profession his life-work, Mr. Perkins entered Wisconsin University at Madison and graduated in the law department of that institution in 1882.
Soon after graduating he married Miss Edith Collins, of Rochelle, Illinois. In 1883 he came to the Pacific coast, as one of the attorneys for the Northern Pacific Railroad, under the Villard management, and when that magnate lost control Mr. Perkins was succeeded by a friend of the new management. He visited the most desirable points on this coast before selecting San Bernardino as his choice and since settling here has devoted his attention to mining and commercial law, making a specialty of the former, and has been connected on one side or the other with nearly every important mining suit tried in this part of the State during the last five years. He is an active, energetic man, and is an indefatigable worker in any cause he undertakes. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Perkins has been instrumental to a large extent in developing the grand artesian water supply of the San Bernardino Valley, having sunk many of the hundreds of fine, flowing wells in that county. Mr. Perkins is a member of the San Bernardino County Bar Association.