Frank Walley Perkins who had
been connected with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1863
until 1915, died at his residence in Morristown, New Jersey, at
11 p.m. on the night of February 1, 1922.
He was born June 24, 1844, on Staten Island, New York; was educated
at Canaan Academy, New Hampshire, 1855 to 1858; Middleburg Academy,
Massachusetts; Pujol Military Academy, New York; and Eagleswood
Institute, New Jersey, from 1858 to 1862.
He was appointed an aid in the Survey, June 10, 1863, subassistant,
October 19, 1900, he was designated as executive officer to
the superintendent, and on February 1, 1901, as assistant superintendent,
which position he continued to hold until his retirement from
the service. He resigned from the Survey March 23, 1915, and
had since resided at Morristown, New Jersey.
During the Civil War he acted as relief officer to the U.S.
Sanitary Commission, sanitary storekeeper, Army of the Potomac,
and as 2nd officer of the Sanitary Hospital, Washington, D.C.,
from October 1862 to June 1863.
He was on duty in the Navy under Admiral S. P. Lee on the Mississippi
Tennessee, and Ohio Rivers in 1864 and 1865. In 1874 he made
experimental observations to determine coefficient of refraction.
In 1884 he was engaged in devising and improving night signals
to be used in triangulation. He attended the Geographic Conference
in 1894 and submitted plans and estimates for improved tripod
scaffolds for use in triangulation.
He was the first commanding officer of the Coast and Geodetic
Survey Steamer PATHFINDER, and in 1899 took that vessel from
Washington to Honolulu by way of the Straits of Magellan and
San Francisco and was engaged in surveys in the Hawaiian Islands,
including triangulation, topography, and hydrography. He was
afterwards detailed from the command of the PATHFINDER and sent
to Manila to investigate and report conditions relating to surveys
in the Philippine Islands and prepared a plan and estimates
for that work.
During the many years of service he was employed in various
classes of surveying operations on the coast in command of sailing
vessels or steamers and in the interior States on geodetic work.
He was one of the officers engaged in the triangulation and
the great transcontinental arc extending from the Atlantic to
the Pacific Ocean.
Mr. Perkins was a man of much energy and resourcefulness, a
good administrator, well acquainted with the details of the
work, and devoted to his profession. The archives of the survey
bear witness to his skill and energy.
Mr. Perkins was never married. He was one of a large family,
of whom a brother, Henry C. Perkins, of Washington, D.C., and
four sisters at Morristown, New Jersey survive him. The funeral
ceremonies took place at his former residence at Morristown,
New Jersey, at 11 o'clock on Saturday, February 4, 1922.
During the many years of service he was thrown into close relations
with many of the older officers of the survey and their families
and the strong friendships then formed endured through life.
C&GS BULLETIN, 1/1922