We received a couple of wonderful photographs of the old Perley farm on Linebrook Rd. from Chris Gorham. Her grandmother, Bertha Cheever Perley Moulton, was born in Ipswich in 1886 to David Tullar Perley and Elizabeth Lavalette Perley. Bertha Perley graduated from Manning High School in 1905.
The Perley family barn at 381 Linebrook is now known as Linebrook Farm, and has offered has provided horse boarding, riding lessons, training and summer camp programs since 1978.
The house at 387 Linebrook also still stands and is separately owned. The present owners have notes indicating that the house was built in 1850, and was ’embellished’ in the 1880’s, identical to the house as it still stands.
David Tullar Peley was the son of Abraham and Mary Perley. He was the first and only child born to Abraham Perley and his cousin-wife Mary Perley, who died in the birth. When Abraham died 37 years later, David was the only heir to the estate.
From the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Volume II, we learn that David and Elizabeth Perley were among the first members of the Linebrook Church, the organization of which was completed in 1749. David Perley (1824 – 1891) was chosen to fill the vacancy of Ruling Elder on November 39, 1756, but the ancient office was falling into disfavor, and David Perley and Deacon John Abbot both refused to accept the office on the following grounds:
“Chief reasons for their Refusing said Office Alleged by them were in ye first place ye apprehensions they had of their Own Unfitness for so Important a Trust; & in ye Next place their Not being fully satisfied that there is any such Officer in ye Church, appoint by X as a Ruling Elder distinct from ye Pastor.”
The Linebrook Church, this house and two others were nominated as a National Register Historic District in 1984. Anne Grady wrote for the Ipswich Historical Commission, “The Linebrook Church and the four houses along the same side of Linebrook Road east and west of it form an intact 19th century grouping with no intrusions. The houses include the Country Federal house at the easternmost end of the area, the richly-ornamented Queen Anne dwelling next west, the Greek Revival cottage with a hint of Gothic just west of the church, and the simpler cottage with doorway drawn from Asher Benjamin’s Practice of Architecture (1833) at the west end of the area. The houses form a period setting for the church which is the major focal point of outer Linebrook. ”
In the History of Essex County with Biographical Sketches published in 1888, Duane Hamilton Hurd wrote a biographical sketch of David Tullar Perley.
“David Tullar Perley 1 was born in Linebrook Parish in Ipswich, January 17, 1824. He is of stock and a descendant in the seventh from Allan Perley who came from London in ship Planter and settled in Ipswich in 1635, where he died in 1675 aged sixty five years. His youngest son Timothy, born 1653 and died 1719, married Dorothy by whom he had Patience, born March 28, 1682; Stephen, born June 15, 1684; Allan, born March 1, 1688; and Joseph, born June 3, 1695.
Stephen died 1725. He left a son Abraham, born 1793, who died 1861, who was the father of David the subject of this sketch. Abraham Perley was a farmer and dealer in cattle He lived in Linebrook Parish where he owned a large farm and carried on an extensive business.
David Tullar Perley was educated in the public schools, and at Topsfield and Dummer Academies. He succeeded to his father’s business, and owns the largest and best conducted farms in the western part of the town. Mr. Perley has never sought or held any public office but has devoted himself entirely to his business and has been very successful both as a farmer and dealer in cattle
- He married first Sophronia O. Plummer of Newbury,June 12, 1851, by whom he had one child ,Oscar, born March 3, 1853. Mr Perley’s first wife died March 14, 1853
- His second wife was Abigail Kent Stevens of West Newbury, whom he married May 16, 1861. They had three children, namely David Sidney, Roscoe and Carrie. The mother of these children died June 19,1879, aged fifty-three years
- He married Lizzie (Elizabeth) daughter of Nathaniel H. Lavalette of Ipswich, October 18, 1880 by whom he has had three children: Chester, Mabel, and Bertha.”
Obituary of David Tullar Perley
“The typical description of hardscrabble farmers barely eking out their existence on poor rocky soil surely fits most of our ancestors. But there are some exceptions, and one of these was David Tullar Perley of Linebrook Parish in Ipswich, MA. Upon David’s death, the Ipswich Independent newspaper reported the following:
David Tullar Perley, the extensive farmer and Essex County cattle-broker, died very suddenly last Sunday morning at the age of 67 years and 7 months less one day, having been born Jan. 17, 1824. Arriving at his majority, he came to the large estate left him by his father. He applied to it his native energy and enterprise, and enrolled himself among the richest men of the county.
As a farmer he ranked among the first. The old meadows were reclaimed, the upland soil was enriched from his extensive herds, his crops were grown from selected seeds, and his farm was the largest and most productive in the county, all through his untiring energy.
Mr. Perley was the only cattle-broker in the county, if extent of business makes one; for no one began to approach him in magnitude of traffic. It was no uncommon thing for him to own the stock of half a dozen milk farms, at the same time. Probably at his death, he had a thousand cows scattered upon Essex County farms.
Mr. Perley’s barn is one of the notable things as you pass that way. Its length is 120 feet, and it has all the appliances and appointments necessary to the easy conduct of his business. [Ed…Both grandson Bryce Moulton and great-grandson William Moulton have memories of playing in the hay in the great barn years later at different times up to the 1950s.]
Mr. Perley was a temperate, honest, and hard workingman. He was educated at Topsfield and Dummer Academies. He never had any desire to engage in office of any kind, seeing more money and less friction in minding his own business. He was a very just man. A customer knowing the kind of creature he wanted but not able to judge of the creature, could trust Mr. Perley to select, and that the price would be fair. He had hundreds of customers who felt a keen regret at his death. His disease was measles; the immediate cause of death was heart-failure. He died 16 August, 1891.”
Bertha Cheever Perley Moulton
Bertha Cheever Perley was born in Ipswich in 1886 to David Tullar Perley and Elizabeth Lavalette Perley. She graduated from Manning High School in 1905. She married William Clarke Moulton in 1910, at age 23. William Clarke Moulton was born in 1887 in New Hampshire, to Charles B Moulton and Georgianna Colby.
- William Colby Moulton
- Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Volume II
- Nomination as a National Register Historic District, 1984 by the Ipswich Historical Commission
- History of Essex County with Biographical Sketches