Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dosite Samuel Perkins (1866-1939)

Portrait courtesy of

   Hailing from a state that has been severely underrepresented here on the Strangest Names in American Political History, Louisiana native Dosite Samuel Perkins was for many years a physician and surgeon in Calcasieu Parish. In 1914 he was appointed as the first mayor of Sulphur, Louisiana, which had been incorporated as a village a short while before. Prior to this appointment, Perkins had served two terms as Calcasieu Parish's representative in the Louisiana State Legislature.
   Blessed with a first name that sounds like it belongs on the periodic table of elements, Dosite S. Perkins was born on December 12, 1866 at Rose Bluff in Calcasieu Parish. A son of Confederate veteran and former state representative Eli A. Perkins,  Dosite Perkins' early life centered around his father's plantation. He attended schools local to the Calcasieu Parish area and would study both chemistry and physics at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He continued study at the Tulane Medical School and graduated in 1889 with his medical degree.
  Following his graduation, Perkins returned to Sulphur and established a medical practice. The succeeding years would see him build up a "leading drug store in the town" in addition to being a physician and surgeon. In 1893 he married to Septima E. Postell (1871-1953) and later had four children: Paul Samuel (born 1894), Mable (1899-1900), Ruth (born 1901) and Logan Postell (born 1905). 
   Active in many areas of Calcasieu Parish public life, Dosite Perkins served as president of both the Parish School Board and the Calcasieu Board of Public Health. In addition to those posts, he held the vice presidency of the Lake Charles Savings and Trust Bank and also donated the building sites for several churches and schools in the Sulphur area. From 1892-1896 he served two terms in the Louisiana State House of Representatives and for a time served as acting chairman of the committee on Enrollment.
   In April 1914 the settlement of Sulphur was officially incorporated as a village and Dosite Perkins was appointed as its first mayor. His term extended until 1916 and was succeeded in that office by George Root, who had one the village's first mayoral election in September of that year. After his term as mayor Perkins was elected to the Sulphur City Council in the mid-1920s and died on December 13, 1939, one day after his 73rd birthday. His widow Septima survived him by fourteen years, and following her death in 1953 was interred alongside her husband at the Orange Grove Cemetery in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

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