Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Maxwell Perkins' last child dies. Who?

Max Perkins at work.
Word came recently that Louise 'Peggy' Perkins King, born and raised in Plainfield, passed away at the age of 97.

Who, you say?

Peggy was the last surviving child
of famed book editor Maxwell Perkins and his wife Louise Saunders Perkins.

The name of Maxwell Perkins may not ring a bell with you, but it is him we have to thank for being able to pick up and read the books of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe.

He also encouraged Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings develop what became her most successful book, The Yearling. He brought Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country to press, and persuaded James Jones to abandon the novel he was working on to develop what became From Here to Eternity.

Maxwell Perkins' sister Frances married Archibald Cox, and they lived at 1010 Rahway Road. Their son Archibald, Jr., later became famous as the independent counsel in the Watergate investigation that brought down President Richard Nixon.

The Perkins' and the Coxes had other connections to the Plainfield community, many of which Susan Frasier of the Plainfield Garden Club has tracked down.

You can see some results of her research on the Garden Club's website --

Some of their Plainfield Homes & Gardens:
  310 West 7th Street   
   502 West 7th Street   
   511 West 7th Street   
   648 West 8th Street   
   740 Carlton Avenue   
   1143 Evergreen Avenue   
   1130 Gresham Road   
   816 Madison Avenue   
   1010 Rahway Road   
   1737 Sleepy Hollow Lane   
   1415 Watchung Avenue   
   930 Woodland Avenue   

I was taken by learning that Peggy King, who lived for many years in Alliance, Ohio, where her husband practiced, was active in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 60s and 70s.

It truly is a small world.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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