Levi Perryman – Frontiersman

Levi Perryman. (Photo courtesy of the Montague County Historical Commission)

By Shannon Gillette 

From the day he was born, Levi Perryman’s life was never easy. On March 29, 1839, Levi entered this world. On the same day his mother, Elizabeth Farmer Perryman, left her earthly home. Less than nine months later, his father, Alex G. Perryman was called to heaven as well, leaving Levi an orphan before the age of one.

His father’s brother, Jack Perryman, took Levi into his home and raised him as his own. Uncle Jack taught young Levi all the things a boy needed to know to become a man on the Texas frontier. Levi attended school in Paris, Texas, for a few short months, but the call of the Wild West was too strong not to answer. In 1859, he decided to head west where land was plentiful and fertile. He chose Montague County as his home, building a modest log cabin near Forestburg.

His Uncle Jack proposed a business venture, a cattle raising 50-50 partnership. Jack followed Levi to Montague County with a hundred head of cattle. Under an oak tree, on the acreage Levi called home three miles west of Forestburg, his uncle presented him with “fifty head of cattle, a saddle horse equipped and a ten-dollar gold piece and said to him, ‘Now, my son, root hog or die.’” The partnership worked well for both men until the War Between the States encroached on the business venture.

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