Perry came to life in 1869, when town founder Harvey Willis convinced a railroad surveyor to run the train through the town. The "magic" town then boomed almost overnight, as schools, churches, and businesses sprang up. Although the last train left Perry in 1980, the town has proved resilient through the changes of the last 150 years. Fueling Perry's vibrant history are the many people who came to town seeking opportunity. From the arrival of early European settlers to the development of a Latino community in more recent years, Perry continues to be a place for people to set down roots and find a home. Because many threads of Perry's history reflect events happening in the wider world, this community is a lens through which to understand not just the history of small-town America but the lessons it holds for the future.