Biography of Hon. Patrick C. Berry
HON. PATRICK C. BERRY. The position occupied by Patrick C. Berry as one of the prominent and influential citizens of Stone County, Missouri, has been gained by personal worth and unquestioned integrity. He is well and favorably known all over the county, few men more so, and is now enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life. In the grand old mother of States, Virginia, he was born, August 22, 1830, the seventh son and next to the youngest of the eight children of Samuel and Sarah (Hickey) Berry, both natives of Washington County, Virginia.
Our subject’s grandfather, William Berry, was born in the Emerald Isle, but at an early date came to this country and settled in Virginia or Pennsylvania, dying in the former State. He was a farmer, and the old homestead in the Old Dominion is now owned by members of the family. Samuel Berry was born on this old farm in 1799, grew to manhood and married Miss Hickey. All his children were born in that State, and he remained there until 1843, when he started for Missouri, arriving here the following year. He located in Wright County and died there the same year. The family bought an improved farm, on which they resided many years and on which the mother died in 1856, when about sixty years of age. Her parents, William and Rachel (Martin) Hickey were early settlers of Washington County, Virginia, the former having been born in South Carolina, of a prominent family of that State. Mr. Berry was a wealthy citizen and a man who took an interest in all public doings. He and wife were members of the Protestant Methodist Church. To their marriage were born eight children, as follows: William C., a merchant, died at Augusta, Arkansas, in 1879, previous to the war, in which he served as a Confederate soldier, he was clerk of the court in Taney County; John B. died when five years of age; James H., a merchant of Yellville, Arkansas, where he has resided since 1850, is a cripple and did not serve in the Rebellion (he is a stanch Democrat and a wealthy, influential citizen); Robison D. residing on the old home place in Wright County, Missouri, is a prominent man and has held a number of responsible positions; Carson M., also an influential citizen of Wright County, of which he was judge for some time, was killed during the war (he was married); a son died in infancy; Patrick C., our subject, and Margaret, who is widow of Hyman Crider, reside in Wright County.
Until the age of thirteen years Patrick C. Berry remained in Virginia, and he well remembers the trip made to Missouri. His educational advantages were limited, but as his mother was a lady of more than ordinary ability, she taught him in the common branches, and this, together with what he learned in later years, with his native good judgment and sense, has placed him among the best posted men of the county. After reaching mature years he branched out as a merchant at Forsyth and remained there for three years. In 1853 he moved to Galena and was a merchant there for five years. In 1858 he was elected clerk of the county and held that position down to 1862, when he was elected to represent the county in the Twenty-second and Twenty-third General Assembly. Again, in 1866, he was elected clerk of the court, holding that office until 1870, and in 1878 he once more represented the county in the Legislature. Ever since casting his first vote he has affiliated with the Democratic party, and is one of the leading men of that party in the county. During the war he enlisted in the First Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers of the United States Army and served two years and seven months, receiving his discharge February 5, 1865. The same year he represented his county in the Legislature, and, on returning home, he raised and organized a company of State militia, being elected captain of the same. Most of the time he was stationed in southwest Missouri and Arkansas, but he had poor health during service. In 1866 he was appointed assessor of the county and has held the office of director of schools in his district. He has been postmaster at Galena and at Cape Fair and has held other local positions. In 1866 he moved from Galena to a farm on Flat Creek, and thence to his present farm about 884. While on Flat Creek he followed milling, and in connection with this he is now engaged in farming and stockraising.
He is a charter member of Galena Lodge No. 515, A. F. & A. M., and also affiliates with the Farmers’ Alliance. Mr. Berry was married at Galena to Miss Evaline Stone, a native of Polk County, Missouri, and the daughter of Judge William Stone, after whom the county was named. The Judge brought his family to Missouri in 1832, and in Stone County Mrs. Berry grew to womanhood. To Mr. and Mrs. Berry were born five children, as follows: William C. C. resides with our subject and has a family of five children; James S. is at the old home in Stone County; Henry D., residing on a farm near the father; Martha died when five years of age; and John R. died in infancy. The mother of these children died February 23, 1892. She was a member of the Christian Church and a lady whose many estimable qualities endeared her to all. Mr. Berry can see many changes in the county since he first came here in 1853, many of the town-ships being without a settler then, and he has contributed his share toward its advancement.