John Wesley Perry came to the shores of Lake Worth in 1892 from Vermont. From E.N. Dimick, he bought 15 acres of land, which extended from the lakeshore west to Dixie Highway and bordered the Fred C. Voss property on the north. In June 1894, he married Clara Drake, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1895 they came to live in Hypoluxo during the winters, spending summers in Vermont.
Perry, who was not too interested in farming, only cleared the west half of his property and raised a few vegetables. His house, though near the lakeshore, was so surrounded by jungle growth, it couldn’t be seen from the water.
The Perrys had no children, and Mr. Perry was considered a loner. Mrs. Perry, however, was friendly, likable and interesting, and the local children liked to visit her. She had taught Latin in a high school in Minneapolis. Margaret Garnett Harris wrote of her:
“When my twin cousins and I could not think of anything else to do, one of us would say, ‘Let’s go see Mrs. Perry.’ She alone of the women in the neighborhood had lots of time and was glad to spend it with children.”
The Perrys sold their Hypoluxo property in 1928 and moved to Lake Worth. That year, John Wesley Perry was one of the 26 remaining of the original 84 pioneers listed on the monument on the grounds of the Norton Gallery of Art. They attended the Congregational Church in Lake Worth and pioneer picnics. Clara became active in the garden club and also wrote one of the earliest descriptions of the mail service of the time.
John died 8 March 1938, at age eighty-five. Clara died the following November. They are both buried in Pinecrest Cemetery, Lake Worth.