Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
More on the
Last week’s column centered on Dr. Thomas
Newton Berry (1870-1927), country doctor, something of his practice in
County, of his black Stetson hat that became a symbol of “passing the
from the elder Doctor Berry to his grandson, Claude Hempill
I wish I, like popular radio
journalist, Paul Harvey, knew “the rest of the story.”
There’s much yet to uncover, I’m sure, about
In fact, one of the Berry descendants, William Robert Berry, better known as W.R., who is the great nephew of Dr. Thomas Newton Berry, called me to thank me for the article, and to fill me in on some of the other aspects of the Berry family, a staunch and hard-working early settlers family who lived almost astraddle of the district line in Choestoe and Owltown. W.E. reminded me that Dr. Thomas Newton Berry was one of those Choestoe people who, from humble beginnings, did well and served people. Doc Berry’s house in town, long a landmark on Mauney Street, has recently been removed.
Recall that Thomas Newton and William
Elias was a notable farmer, but also plied his trades of blacksmith for the community, and was a cobbler, making shoes not only for his own family, but for others round about. Methodists by denominational persuasion, the Berry family were important in the early years of the Shady Grove Methodist Church, and when death came to members of this early Berry family, they were interred in the Shady Grove Cemetery.
William Jefferson Berry, Dr. Thomas
Newton Berry’s brother, married Ila Jane Frady.
I find a discrepancy in the date of marriage.
The article about Jeff and Jane Berry in The
Heritage of Union County lists this couple’s marriage date as November
Jeff and Jane Berry had thirteen children in all, and supported and educated them by farming and doing other self-sufficient tasks that persons in that era did to make ends meet and provide a living for a large family. The couple believed strongly in education and were determined that their children would get the best education they could provide them. It is interesting that Jeff and Jane often moved from their Choestoe home to Young Harris in the wintertime in order for their children to have better educational opportunities. The trip would be made by wagon before the era of family automobiles (or trucks—as it would have taken a roomy vehicle to move a large family).
With a family of thirteen children, their births were over a period of twenty-six years, from 1895 through 1921. Space and knowledge of the family precludes my going into details about each of the thirteen. Here are birth dates and spouses, if known:
(1) Forrest Carter Berry was born in 1895 and married Vernie Brown and Irene Hackney.
(2) William Cautus Berry was born in 1897 and married Lorena Crawford.
(4) Floyd McRae Berry was born in 1901 and married Louise McDonald.
(5) Ulma Mae Berry, born in 1903, died in 1923, never married.
(6) Dollie Madison Berry was born in 1905 and married Lester Davis.
(7) Theodore Roosevelt Berry was born in 1907 and married Los Murray.
(8) Charity Belle was born and died in 1909.
(9) Jessie Pelle was born in 1910 and married O.H. Fields.
(10) Blanche was born in 1913 and married John Mullis and Roy Osborne.
(11) Bessie was born in 1916 and died in 1918.
(12) Mary was born in 1918 and married B.B. Tucker.
John Jefferson born in 1921
Jones; published September 4, 2008 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Jones is a retired educator,
freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA
Updated September 8, 2008