Martin H. Berry
Morris Co. Up

Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

A well known resident of Pompton Plains, Mr. BERRY is descended from one of the early Dutch settlers of "the Plains" and his ancestors were among the patriots who gave an earnest support to the cause of the colonists, both at home and on the field of battle. In the days when New Jersey territory was first opening to the influences of civilization, Martin BERRY located within the borders of the state, and in 1692 married Maria ROOME, who also represented an old Holland family, —a pure-blooded, strong-minded liberty-loving race of people, whose deeds, civil and military, mark them as worthy citizens and patriots. Martin BERRY (2d), a son of that marriage, and the great-grandfather of our subject, was born in 1726, and in the manner of colonial days carried on farming. He married Elsie MANDEVILLE, who also belonged to one of the old Dutch families, prominent at that time and now one of the most numerous families of New Jersey, its representatives still being leaders in public life. Martin BERRY (3d), the grandfather of our subject, was born July 26, 1756, and died in 1852. He was educated in the language spoken by his parents, as well as the English tongue, and resided at Riverdale, Morris county, where his father probably located at the time of his marriage. The heavy taxes imposed upon the people and the indications that further oppression would be felt by the colonists through the demands of the English crown aroused the opposition of the American subjects and the grandfather of Martin BERRY was among the first to protest against such measures. When New Jersey sent forth her army of patriots to engage in the struggle for independence, he was among the number, nor did he lay down his arms until American independence was achieved.

When the new republic was an established fact he returned to his old home and resumed the quiet duties of civil life. Choosing carpentering as a life work, he spent seven years in mastering every branch then known to the wood-worker's art. He became an expert in that line and all the work which came from his hand was pronounced perfect by those who were judges of the craft. He married Elizabeth MANDEVILLE, and among their children was

  • Henry M. BERRY, father of our subject.

He, too, followed wood-working as a life occupation, and always lived on "the plains," where his death occurred in 1855. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Hester VANDLE, died in 1849. She was a daughter of Captain VANDLE, who was also one of the patriots of the Revolution, and his valiant and loyal service in the American army won him an officer's commission. When the country no longer needed his services he located at the lower end of the Plains, where he spent his life as a blacksmith. To Henry and Hester (VANDLE) BERRY were born six children, as follows:

  • Elizabeth, who was born in 1808, married Richard VAN NESS;
  • John H. M., born in 1810, married Catherine DUFFY, and after her death wedded Delia DUFFY;
  • Hannah, born in 1813, married Peter J. BROWN;
  • Rachel, born in 1815, married Jacob DOREMUS;
  • Jane, born in 1818, became the wife of A. P. ROOME, and after his death married Francis THOMPSON; and
  • Martin H. completes the family.

It was on the 26th of September, 1826, that Martin H. BERRY first opened his eyes to the light of the day. He spent his youth on the old family homestead, and at the age of eighteen began working at the trade which had been the occupation of his ancestors. He served a two-years apprenticeship under Peter J. BROWN, of Orange county, New York, and then completed the trade under the direction of David BORD, of New York city, after which he worked as a journeyman with the firm of Bord & Berry until the former's death, when he became a member of the firm of John H. M. Berry & Brother, with office at No. 60 Cliff street, New York city. Conspicuous examples of the work of this firm are shown in the buildings on the Lorillard estate and the St. George buildings at the corner of Cliff and Beekman streets, New York. The brothers carried on business together until 1892, when John H. M. BERRY withdrew and Martin H. BERRY admitted to a partnership his only son and child,

  • Harry W. BERRY,

who has carried on the business since the father's retirement.

Mr. BERRY was married on the 4th of May, 1859, at No. 155 Prince street, New York, when Miss Catherine A. KOHLER, daughter of Samuel and Jane KOHLER, became his wife. She was born in September, 1838, and her death occurred on the 9th of June, 1886. Their son was born February 9, 1861, in New York city. He was trained to business pursuits under his father's direction and is now a prominent contractor, carrying on an extensive and well managed business. He was married, in 1879, to Miss Amelia WERNER, of Brooklyn, and to them has been born a son,

  • Albert Delature BERRY, a clerk in the Market Fulton National Bank, of New York.

Mr. BERRY, of this review, is a stanch Republican in politics, and an earnest member of the Dutch Reformed church. He believes that a man should have decided opinions on both questions, and he is fearless in the expression of his honest convictions. His political views make him a loyal citizen, his religious opinions an honest, upright man. He is now living retired in the enjoyment of a well earned rest, for years of toil brought to him a handsome competence that now enables him to spend his declining days in the quiet enjoyment of the blessings of life.


This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.

This page was last modified on:  01 January, 2014

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