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Elmer Berry


Mike Olson


Elmer Berry, long time resident of Pembina, North Dakota,was born in a log cabin near Manville, North Dakota. Elmer's father wasa farmer. He had broken the soil that he farmed with the help of the restof the family.

Elmer had four brothers and four sisters. His father'sname was James and his mother's name was Elizabeth.

Then Elmer was eight years old he began helping his fatherwith some of the farm work. He did various jobs out in the fields. He helpedwith seeding.

Elmer's father, with the help of his brother-in-la-w, builtthe first frame house in the area in 1879. It took a lot of time to planthe house and even more time and hard work to build it.

For two years Elmer served as clerk of School Districtnumber 13 of Levent Township. The next job Elmer took was in 1911 at a foundryin Grand Forks, North Dakota. This was a good job, but the foundry was wipedout by a flood in 1913.

Elmer moved to Pembina, North Dakota when he heard thatthere was a blacksmith shop for sale there. When he got to Pembina and sawthe condition of the building he nearly changed his mind. The building wasnot too good, but the equipment was very good.

In 1913, Elmer was taken into the army. He served his timeand then returned to Pembina and reopened his blacksmith shop.

Mr. Berry married Matilda Morris on November 27, 1919.She had lived in Pembina all her life.

Times were changing and horses were not of the importancethat they used to be. Cars were now coming into use as a means of transportation.Elmer did not have the business that he used to now so he had his shop torndown and replaced it with a service station. Later Elmer got the dealershipfor Ford cars. He sold Model T's, Model A's, and the Ford V-8 when it cameout.

Over the years Mr. Berry collected many old relics. Hesaved furniture, guns, clocks, and many other antiques. He presently suppliesthe Pembina museum and has a lot more.

Mr. Berry and his wife are now retired and live in Pembina,North Dakota. They have two children, Frances and Martha, who are both married.



Berry, Elmer E., Interview, Jan. 18, 1971



iew, Jan. 18, 1971