GENDIS records that William died in Lamont, Ottawa County, Michigan from a softening of the brain.
From Early History of Ottawa County.
Across the river somewhat to the east of the Stephen Lowing place land was taken up by William and Mary PerLee who had three small children and a brother of Mrs. PerLee who lived with them. Some of Mrs. PerLee's letters have been preserved and tell of the hardships of those days. Parts of some of these letters follow:
"On August third, 1845", Mary wrote of good crops but added that her husband "suffered terribly from ague that spares hardly a household". But she asserted her faith in a patent remedy for the disease called Cholago and added, ‘ have the greatest possible horror of quinine. I believe Abraham was killing himself with it as fast as he could'.
Mary's father, a lieutenant in the war of 1812, had been given the land they had come to, as a bounty. Even though Mary wrote of the settlement at Grand Haven where they landed as ‘having three stores and a steam mill, everything so wild and new as to be startling but rather pleasant otherwise'. They came up the river on the steamer "Paragon" and landed at Grandville which was then, probably, the closest landing to their home. Later they used to board steamers at a new landing on their side of the river near their home, which was called the Harris Landing. Land to their east had been taken up by Captain Victor Harris and his brother Silas.
Although there was an Indian trail running through the PerLee's farm which came from the tripartite council tree by the Block-we-ting rapids in the village of Grand Rapids, and continued on to the Indian village at Sand Creek, Mrs. PerLee wites that the steamer route was far easier than the stump spotted trail when a trip was made to Grand Rapids. And again she showed the spirit with which the new settlers were blessed when she wrote, "I am happily constituted that I can keep hoping even though my hopes have nothing to feed upon. You have no idea how I dislike the prospect of leaving, for I never expect to have anything again to call my own, which in my estimation is a privilege".
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WILLIAM T. PER LEE
Aug. 8, 1878
Aged 64 Yrs, 7 Ms, 8 Ds.
(Calculated Birth Date = 31 December 1813)
After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well
Gravesite Details Buried: OAKHILL CEMETERY BLOCK H Lot :79 Space :12