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Archiver > BERRY > 1998-11 > 0911502927

From: "Marie K. Loughlin" <>
Subject: [BERRY-L] Lincoln Berry Store New Salem, IL
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 13:15:27 -0600

Hi Berrys,
Today I spent the day at the Minn. Historical Library. I found a little
tidbit for reinforcing the place of birth for Thomas and Buchanan
Berry's children. This is the book, "Berry & Lincoln - Frontier
Merchants - The Store that "Winked Out". written by Zarel Cratic Spears
- Robert S. Barton. 1947 Stratford House Inc. Publishing.

One of the Authors: Zarel Cratic Spears is the husband of Mary Harriet
Berry d/o Rev. John McCutcheon Berry s/o James and Elizabeth McCutcheon
Berry s/o Thomas and ? Buchanan Berry.

The Book itself is about William Franklin Berry (1811-1835) and Abraham
Lincoln and their little general store in New Salem,
IL. Ann Rutledge's sister Jane Officer Rutledge married
my James Enfield Berry, William's 1st cousin.

This quote is the start of 2nd Chapter about Rev John M. Berry and the
family history.

Chapter 2

Father and Son

Rev. John M'Cutcheon Berry was known to man, woman and child
throughout the Sangamo country, for he traveled every road and path of
it in his evangelical work. From the time when the broad iron tires of
his covered wagon first cut their imprints across the prairie, he
devoted himself to the service of the Lord as completely as any man
could without entirely neglecting his own farm and the appetites of his
The Berry family in Virginia had not been of the gentry class, but
they were farmers and herdsmen in their own right. John was descended
from Berrys who had settled in Westmoreland County, on the south bank of
the Potomac, early in the 18th century. He was born on March 22,
1788,(Washington Co., VA) and as a lad of fourteen migrated in the
company of his family from Virginia to Warren County, Kentucky. In
1808 he married Frances Williams, the daughter of neighbors; and in the
same year he became a candidate for the ministry. In 1821 he moved his
family to White County, Indiana. In the Spring of 1822 he toured
central Illinois, prospecting for a likely place to settle and, with a
farmer's wisdom, chose the rich soil of Sangamon County.
Selecting a site three and one-half miles southwest of the future
town of New Salem, he entered 160 acres of Government land on the north
bank of Rock Creek, a small stream which emptied into the Sangamon a few
miles farther down. After making a deal with D. S. Taylor, a builder
already settled there, to erect a log house on the newly-aquired land,
he returned to Indiana to fetch his family.
Loading a prairie schooner with his household goods, his tools, and a
family of eight which included his mother-in-law, John Berry set out
from Monticello, Indiana, for the long trek to the new home-site. With
approaching autumn tinting the green of the forests which skirted the
prairie streams, he urged his horses forward. Day after day the heavy
wagon pushed further into the unknown West; now through long stretches
of dank woodland, and then out across wide savannahs, belly-deep in
withering grass. Beside the wagon trudged the eldest of the children,
William Franklin Berry, now eleven years of age. In herding loose
stock, in making camp, and in the infinite chores incidental to
migration, he did the services of a grown man, as a right hand to his
father and mother.
For hearts less stout, the disappointment which awaited the travelers
would have been a crushing blow. The vision that had revived their
spirits for each day's ordeal existed only in their imaginations. There
was no cabin in the clearing. Taylor had been sick during most of the
summer and otherwise too busy with his own affairs to build it. But the
traditional kindliness of county-fold proved equal to the emergency.
With the mighty zeal of common endeavor, the neighbors joined in
building a cabin for the newcomers, felling the trees, hewing and
fitting the logs in the pioneer manner.
A new hope and confidence, a new assurance of security and permanence
pervaded every home in the settlement, that autumn of 1822, for a
spiritual leader had arrived, a man to command the respect that was
readily accorded him. He was not just another immigrant seeking cheap
land. True, he was there to establish material home, but this purpose
was secondary to his spiritual mission. He was carrying the torch into
a region as yet uncharted by the missionaries of his creed, and he lost
no time in spreading the light of his doctrine. On November 24, 1822,
even before his cabin was completed, he organized the Rock Creek
Cumberland Presbyterian Church." unquote.

I refer to the tidbit of Thomas Berry's children were born, according to
this source, also, in Westmoreland Co. VA not in Lancaster Co.,

Have a good day

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