Biography of Abraham D. Berry

Abraham D. Berry, who now enjoys prosperity as a farmer and oil producer at Wayside, is one of the men who became acquainted with this part of Kansas when the Indians were reluctantly giving it up as a hunting ground. He has been a resident of Kansas almost continuously for forty-five years. As a pioneer he helped lay the foundation for the present magnificent prosperity of Kansas.

Born in LaGrange County, Indiana, May 10, 1847, he went as a small boy with his parents to Livingston County, Illinois, received his education there, and spent the first twenty-one years of his life on his father’s farm.

It was in 1870 that Mr. Berry first came to Kansas. His first location was at the old trading post in Linn County. He found employment in different lines for several years, but in 1872 returned to Illinois for a couple of years. He made his permanent settlement in 1874 and after his marriage at Trading Post in Linn County he moved in the same year to what is now Wayside. At that date, forty-two years ago, he located on his present farm. Mr. Berry owns 320 acres in Rutland Township in the suburbs of Wayside, besides a farm in Caney Township, and a Texas farm in the Rio Grande Valley. On his farms in Rutland and Caney townships there are now fifty-eight producing oil wells, and these would give him a fortune apart from his substantial interests as a farmer and stock man.

His farms are thoroughly developed, and he has a complete equipment of buildings, modern machinery, and for years has carried on diversified farming and the raising of blooded horses and cattle. Mr. Berry is also vice president and a stockholder and director in the Wayside Bank. Politically he is a republican. He is one of the leading men to support the Baptist Church in his community and fraternally is affiliated with Havana Lodge, No. 640, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, with Anti-Horse Thief Association, and was formerly a member of the Good Templars.

Several generations ago the Berrys came from Germany. His great-grandfather was the founder of the family in this country and probably settled in Virginia. Mr. Berry’s grandfather, Alexander Berry, was a Revolutionary soldier, afterwards followed farming, and died in Indiana.

Samuel Berry, father of A. D. Berry, was born in Ohio in 1815, and was also a pioneer in Kansas. Reared and married in his native state, he soon afterwards moved to LaGrange County, Indiana, from there to Livingston County, Illinois, locating near Streator, and in 1874 came to Montgomery County, Kansas. Here he followed farming and stock raising on his farm two miles southwest of Havana on Bee Creek. This place of 240 acres was originally known as the George Ripley farm, and is now owned by a grandson of Samuel Berry, Walter Deffenbaugh. Samuel Berry died on that farm May 26, 1892, aged seventy-seven years, one month and twenty-nine days. As a republican he took much interest in civic affairs, and held various township offices. He is an active member of the Methodist Church. He first married a Miss Hinton, and both their children, Isabella and Alexander, are now deceased. For his second wife Samuel Berry married Elizabeth Deffenbaugh, who was born in Ohio and died in Illinois in 1854. Her children were: George, who died at the age of ten years; Catherine, wife of T. S. Clark, living at Coffeyville, Mr. Clark having been a railroad engineer for the past thirty years; Samuel, who died in childhood; Susan, who resides at Independence, widow of James Deffenbaugh, formerly of Wayside, who was a farmer and stock raiser; Margaret Delilah, who died in Illinois in January, 1915, the wife of D. S. Robins, who is also deceased and who is a farmer and stockman; A. D. Berry, who is the sixth in age; Emma, who died in 1892, married John D. Hiner, deceased, who owned a farm in Oklahoma and gave much of his time to a machine for manufacturing cement; Charles, who was a farmer in Chautauqua County, Kansas, and died in 1899.

A. D. Berry was married April 8, 1874, at Trading Post on Magazine River to Miss Mary A. Hall, a daughter of Joseph and Sarah Hall. Joseph Hall, who was a blacksmith and farmer, had a notable military record, having served through the Mexican war and afterwards fighting with the Twentieth Kansas Infantry in the Civil war. He was a lieutenant in the Civil war. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Berry were born three children: Annis, wife of Bert Gibson, a farmer and stock raiser living near Nowata, Oklahoma; Martha May, who died in childhood; and Mary Etta, wife of Arthur Banks, formerly a nurseryman and they now reside at Houston, Texas.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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