Alexander John Perry was born in Wellington in 1852, after his father came to Aotearoa with the 65th Regiment. Perry's father had a farm in Turakina, where Perry had a "sound and practical training".
Perry took up a 900 acre holding in Kiwitea before there was even a road to Feilding. The land was covered in standing bush, and Perry endured the hardships incidental to a pioneer's life. He was a well-known settler in the district, and at one point was a member of the Kiwitea Road Board.
In 1877, Perry married Maria Mort Hempseed, and they had eight or nine children together. He died in August 1894, and his two eldest sons took over the management of the farm, along with Maria herself.