Edwin L Perkins M.D.

1870 - 1939

”Dr. Edwin L. Perkins has devoted his attention to the practice of medicine and surgery in Sioux Falls for the past ten years and in his life work has won an enviable reputation as an able and exemplary representative of the profession.

Dr. Perkins was born in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, November 8, 1870, the son of Loring A. and Julia Morrill Perkins. The family dates its origin historically from early English ancestors of the period of Elizabeth I. Men of science and invention are numbered among its members, and the name of Perkins is prominent in the early history of the New England colonies and among the makers of history during the Revolutionary period.

Dr. Perkins has been a resident of Sioux Falls since May 4, 1889. Beginning his education in the public schools at Montello, Wisconsin, he subsequently entered the Sioux Falls College from which institution he was graduated in 1892. After teaching in the Sioux Falls High School a number of years, he prepared for the practice of medicine, graduating from the Northwestern University Medical School of Chicago in 1904, and the following year he completed the course in the Chicago Post-Graduate Hospital. He immediately began practice in Sioux Falls, and has remained there continuously since. He is a member of several medical societies, and a progressive student in the realm of his profession. It was largely through the influence of Dr. Perkins that the McKennan Hospital at Sioux Falls was founded.

On the 21st of June, 1906, at Excelsior, Minnesota, Dr. Perkins was united in marriage to Miss Sena Maria Swenson, by whom he has three children, namely: Mary Elizabeth, Edwin Morrill, and Ralph Hiram.

In politics Dr. Perkins is a democrat, while in his religious faith he is associated with the Congregational church. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonging to the Consistory and the Shrine. He is also a member of the South Dakota Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Dr. Perkins’ professional labors are all in the direction of the general uplift of the community in which he lives, and he enjoys the respect of his brethren of the medical fraternity by reason of his strict conformity to a high standard of professional ethics.”

George W. Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory, Vol. 4 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1915) pp. 412 – 413.

Dr. Perkins was the personal physician of Helen Gale McKennan, who at the time of her death in 1906 remained the wealthiest woman in Sioux Falls, and no doubt influenced her decision to leave $25,000 to found a hospital.  He later went on to serve in the medical corps in the Great War, attaining the rank of Captain. He died at the age of 69 years and was buried on December 13, 1939, in Block 25, Lot 7 of the cemetery along with his wife and other members of the family. It is the first family Lot one sees to the left as you enter the main gate.