Biography - Josiah Berry

JOSIAH BERRY, is the senior member of the firm of Berry & Clark, the best known dealers in lumber, house trimmings and general builders' supplies, in Moweaqua, Shelby County. The firm was established under its present title in September, 1889, having succeeded Gregory Bros., who established the business some years before. A sketch will be found in another part of this Record, of the history of our subject's partner, Mr. Clark. The firm have already attained a foothold in the community and vicinity that speaks well for their business principles in dealing.

Mr. Berry was formerly engaged as a farmer in Moweaqua Township, having been for many years very successful in his calling. He came here in 1873 and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, which he still owns. He expended a large amount of capital in putting this farm under perfect cultivation, and it is so pleasant and attractive a place that we almost wonder at Mr. Berry's relinquishing it. He came to Shelby County in 1868, spending his first five years here on a farm in Penn Township.

Mr. Berry was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, November 1, 1839. He was there reared and received the ordinary common-school education, and then remained until he had reached his majority. At the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion, like all true men, his patriotism was fired, and he ready to do or die for his country, he enlisted in Company B, of the Seventeenth Ohio Regiment, in the month of August, 1861, Col. J. M. Connell and Capt. J. W. Stinchcomb, the latter being followed by Capt. Weakly, now of Shelbyville, Ill., commanding officers. After the organization of the regiment, they advanced to the field of disturbance and were assigned to the Fourteenth Army Corps of the Cumberland Army under Gen. Thomas. The regiment was brought into contact with the enemy at Wildcat, Ky., and again met them at Mills Spring, Corinth, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, and were with Sherman in his celebrated march from Atlanta to the sea. Our subject was veteranized by re-enlistment in December, 1863, and he continued in service until the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged at Louisville, Ky., and mustered out at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, having served nearly four years. He was always on duty and saw a great deal of active service and hard fighting. He had the good fortune to escape wounds and capture, never having seen the inside of a hospital. Mr. Berry served as Sergeant of his company for some time.

On his return home to Ohio he of whom we write was engaged as a farmer until he came to Illinois in 1868, since which time he has been one of the leading men of the township where he has resided, being much looked up to because of his energy and progressive ideas. Our subject was married in his native county to Miss Lucretia A. Ruffner, whose birthplace and early home was in Fairfield County, Ohio. She was tenderly reared, and had many advantages in an educational way, denied many of her sex. She is the mother of two children, Ruffner A. Berry, who is a clerk with Moffit & Co., ice dealers in Decatur; and Nellie, who lives at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Berry are the leaders of the best class of social life in Moweaqua. Their pleasant home is the meeting place for the culture, intelligence and refinement of the town. Mrs. Berry is a lovely woman, who presides over her home with the dignity and grace that come only from a naturally delicate and finely balanced nature. Politically Mr. Berry is a Republican, taking much interest in local politics. He is a member of the J. V. Clemings Post, G. A. R. He is also a member of No. 1013 Chapter, K. of H., of Moweaqua, being Dictator in the latter lodge. He has filled all the offices of the Grand Army Post to which he belongs but that of Commander.

Extracted 12 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 402-403.

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