Oliver Perry Petty was born on 23 January 1871 in Logan County, Kentucky. He was the seventh child born to John R. Petty and Margaret E. Thomas.
Perry was one of the six children who went to Forsyth County, Georgia, to live after Margaret’s death in 1876. The other five children lived with their aunt Mary Thomas Echols. Perry lived with James W. and Angeline Tribble in 1880 with the relationship of adopted son in that census. It is unclear if this was a legal adoption or if the Tribbles simply took him in. While his surname name in that census was Tribble, no evidence exists that he ever went by anything other than Petty for the rest of his life. The reason Perry lived with the Tribbles, rather than with his aunt Mary and siblings, is unknown. But he apparently had a long-term relationship with them. After the death of Perry’s first wife, his son Elmer lived with the Tribbles in 1900.
On 28 August 1890, Perry married Vada L. Bramlett in Forsyth County, Georgia. Vada was born on 13 April 1875 in Georgia, probably Forsyth County. James A. Bramlett and Armenda Redd were her parents.
Perry and Vada had a daughter and three sons born between 1891 and 1898. Odell was born about 1891, probably in Forsyth County. Elmer Washington was born on 10 September 1894 in Forsyth County. Daniel Paul was born on 15 December 1895 in Cherokee County. Claud was born on 6 August 1898, probably in Cherokee County. Vada died on 9 August 1899 and was buried in Friendship Cemetery in Forsyth County.
In 1900, Perry boarded with Fred Phillips in Pickens County, Georgia, and worked as a house carpenter. Paul and Claud lived with Vada’s parents in Forsyth County and Elmer lived there with the Tribbles. Odell’s whereabouts are unknown.
Eliza Duckett also lived in Pickens County in 1900 and worked as a cook in a boarding house run by Mason Fowler. Perry married Eliza between 1900 and 1903. Eliza was born on 18 February 1873 in Georgia to Jacob B. Duckett and Sarah J. Thomas.
Perry and Eliza lived in Pickens County in 1910 with their children Oliver, Edward, Eula, and Jennie Mae, along with Perry’s sons Paul and Claud. Oliver Cicero was born on 19 June 1903 in Tate in Pickens County. James Edward was born on 9 July 1905. Eula Mae was born on 28 October 1907. Jennie Mae was born on 8 July 1909. Edward, Eula, and Jennie were probably all born in Picken County.
By 1920, the family lived in Fullers in Cobb County, Georgia, and two more children had been born. Lou Vada was born on 27 December 1911 and Joe Dorsey was born on 6 July 1915. Joe was born in Cobb County and Lou Vada likely was as well.
Between 1920 and 1929, Perry and Eliza moved to Atlanta in Fulton County, Georgia. They lived on Rt. 7 in Atlanta when Eliza died on 22 September 1929 of an intestinal obstruction. She was buried in Marietta City Cemetery in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia.
In 1930, Perry and four of the children (Edward, Eula, Lou Vada, and Joe) lived on St. James Drive in Center Hill in Fulton County. Perry had changed occupations from farming, which he was doing in 1910 and 1920, back to carpentry.
Perry took a trip to Madisonville, Kentucky, around 1934 to visit his sister Samantha. While in the area, he and Samantha also visited their brother John Franklin in Harrisburg, Illinois. According to an undated newspaper clipping saved by John’s family, it had been forty-four years since the brothers had seen each other. Using Samantha’s age noted in the article, forty-four years ago would have been about 1890.
Perry died on 5 February 1943 at his home at 539 Luckie Street in Atlanta. He had been a building contractor for the past eighteen years. Perry was buried beside Eliza in Marietta City Cemetery.