Biography of Rev. Berry Edmiston

Rev. Berry Edmiston, of Riverside, located there in 1878. He first resided on the Government tract at the head of Magnolia avenue, on Palm avenue. In the spring of 1880 he purchased a ten-acre tract on the west side of Bandini Avenue, about three miles south of Riverside. Upon this tract he erected his cottage residence and devoted him-self to horticultural pursuits. He has now three acres in budded orange trees of the Washington Navel variety, two acres in apricots and about four acres in raisin grapes. In 1881 he purchased a ten-acre tract adjoining him, on the south and west of which is bottom land, being mostly devoted to raising alfalfa, but he has on that tract about two acres of deciduous fruits, such as peaches, pears, apples, etc. In 1888 he purchased ten acres located on the Government tract, about a half-mile south of his home place, which is now in alfalfa. Mr. Edmiston came to California broken in health, after long and arduous labors in the educational institutions, and the ministry of the Methodist and Swedenborgian Churches. Upon a partial recovery of his health he commenced his labors in Riverside, and in 1885 established the new church society of the Swedenborgian faith; and through his efforts, mainly, their chapel was built on Central Avenue. He was the first officiating minister of that society in Riverside and has been the pastor of the Church since its organization. He is an educated gentleman, a good citizen, and a sincere Christian, and his consistent course in life has gained him the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances in the community.

Mr. Edmiston was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, in 1831. His parents, James and Jane (Edmiston) Edmiston, were natives of South Carolina. He had the usual experience in the common schools of Indiana and Illinois, and the hard labor of pioneer farming until he reached his majority. He then spent three or four years in school, and at twenty-five years of age he entered the ministry in the Methodist Church. In 1861 he married Miss Ednah Lee, a native of New Hampshire. Himself and wife soon after their marriage entered upon their studies at Adrian College, Michigan, and graduated at that institution in 1866, after which he continued his ministerial labors in Michigan and at Pittsburgh. In 1868 he was appointed principal of the Morristown Academy of Morristown, Indiana, and later, having changed his doctrinal views, accepted the pastorship of the Swedenborgian Church at Henry, Illinois. Mr. Edmiston was engaged in his labors until his failing health admonished him to seek rest and a more congenial climate, and in 1878 he came to California, locating in Riverside.

Mr. and Mrs. Edmiston have three children: Joseph L., Charles H. and Loyd H. Mrs. Edmiston’s parents, Joseph and Maria Lee, were among the early settlers of Michigan. Mrs. Edmiston is an educated and accomplished lady and has for many years of her life been connected with the educational circles, as a teacher, in the various places in the East where she has resided.



The Lewis Publishing Company. An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890.

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