He sits silently at the table, savoring a cup of very long-lasting coffee. Many Perry residents remember him as mayor, judge, county attorney, storyteller, and friend. He’s George Soumas.
George was the son of Greek immigrants, Pete and Athenus Soumas. Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1915, young George soon moved to Perry where his parents ran a taxi service. They also managed a shoe sales and repair shop from the building on the east side of the court.
Soumas received the Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross, and Bronze Medal for his actions in World War II. Returning to Perry, Soumas held local appointed and elected offices including city and county attorney, police court judge, and mayor. He was known for “holding court” over coffee in his office on the second floor of his parents’ building.
Soumas died in 1994, but Soumas Court visitors can enjoy a bronze statue of Soumas designed by Iowa sculptor Chris Bennett. Visitors often stop to have a cup of coffee with George, and children include him in their play.