Perry Goshorn was born December 9, 1832, in Beaver, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, the son of Hugh A. (1797-1853) and Rosina or Rosanna (Law, d. 1837).
Hugh and Rosina were married in Beaver, Pennsylvania on June 6, 1817, and resided in Beaver for many years. Sometime between 1832 and 1836 they left Pennsylvania and moved to Seneca County, Ohio. In 1837 Rosina died, probably in Ohio, possibly in Seneca. In any case, Hugh was probably living in Crawford, Ohio when he married Jane Shira in 1844. Hugh died in Crawford in 1853.
Perry and his older brother James left Ohio, eventually settling in Allegan County in 1849; according to one source they lived briefly in Otsego. By 1860 Perry was a farmer living with James and his wife Margaret in Saugatuck, Newark Township, Allegan County.
Perry stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 26 years old and living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. According to one source, he was among the second wave of recruits to come out of Ottawa County and did not in fact enlist until the end of May, along with Albert Hamlin, Calvin Hall, Nelson Davis and David Davis, Joseph Payne, Albert Gardner, James Rhodes, Sylvester Gay, Joseph Soler (Josiah Schuler), Quincy Lamereaux, William Suret and John Ward.
He was shot in the right foot either on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia or on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. Ain any case, as of October 6 he was reported in Presbyterian Church hospital in Georgetown, DC. “The ball,” noted one physician, “which was conical, passed through all the toes fracturing the bones of four of them. The third toe has been amputated. His wounds has [sic] produced a lameness that would interfere with the gait required in a soldier.” He was also shot in the right thigh. Perry remained hospitalized until he was discharged on November 18, 1862, at Presbyterian Church hospital in Georgetown. The witnesses were Andrew and Elmira Welch.
After his discharge from the army Perry returned to Saugatuck, where he was living when he married Ohio native Caroline “Carrie” E. Welch (1846-1870) on December 7, 1862, in Gaines, Kent County; they had at least two children: Edwin (b. 1866) and Caroline “Carrie” (b. 1871).
In 1864 Perry reportedly purchased part of James’ farm on Goshorn Lake and soon afterwards built a house on Bee Line road. By 1870 Perry was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son in Saugatuck; Carrie died later that year.
After Carrie’s death Perry married Clarissa Welch (1841-1900), who was possibly related to his first wife,on April 29, 1874, in Dutton, Michigan, and they had at least two children: Hattie (b. 1876) and Catherine “Kate” (1879-1936, Mrs. Miller). An examination of the 1850 and 1860 US census records did not reveal any relationship between the two women.
Perry was still living in Saugatuck in 1880 where he was working as a farmer and residing with his second wife and children. He was still living in Saugatuck in 1883 drawing $4.00 per month for a wounded right thigh (pension no. 18,068, dated 1863), and in 1889 and in 1894; he probably lived in Saugatuck most if not all of his life.
Perry died of paralysis in Saugatuck on September 29, 1895, and was buried in Riverside cemetery, Saugatuck, next to his first wife.
In 1896 his widow Clarissa applied for and received a pension (no. 443092), drawing $8 per month by 1900.