Search for content in message boards

William F. Berry, Lincoln-Berry Store

Replies: 5

Re: William F. Berry, Lincoln-Berry Store

Marie K. Loughlin (View posts)
Posted: 1033069666000
Classification: Query
Hi Kathy,

I'm with a small group of researchers for this Berry Line and others our Website is:

I have some info on William Franklin Berry:
My line is William's uncle Samuel and Anna (Weir)Berry

William Franklin Berry
born: 08 Jan 1811, Warren Co., KY
died: 10 Jan 1835, Sangamon Co., IL
Unmarried - without issue
Burial: Rock Creek Cemetery, Menard County, Illinois
(Rock Creek is where his father had his church)
Notes Attached Below:

Rev John McCutcheon Berry 22 Mar 1788 Washington Co., VA - 24 Feb 1857 Clinton, DeWitt Co., IL
Francis Williams 07 Apr 1789 - 17 Jul 1866 DeWitt Co., IL
Notes Attached Below:

James Berry ~1740 - 1804 Montgomery Co., TN
Elizabeth McCutcheon ~1745 - 1790 Washington Co., VA

Thomas Berry 1718-1799 Washington Co.,VA

Notes for William F. Berry
Following from Jim Panttaja :
(1) Thomas Reep, Lincoln at New Salem, (Old Salem
Lincoln League, 1927), 103.,
(2) Carl Sandberg, Abraham Lincoln, The Prarie Years, Volumes 1 and 2, (Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1926), 162, Partner with Lincoln in store.,
(3) William Elwood Berry, The Berry Patch, Extract, (Published by the author, 1976, referenced at,
(4) Hamilton & Ostendorf, Lincoln in Pictures,
(University of Oklah oma Press, 1963), 49, Lincoln partner with William F. Berry in store.,
(5) Esther Hyde Howell, "The Story of John Miller Camron and Nancy Orendorff Camron," 1962, Identifies William, parter of Lincoln in Berry, Lincoln store as son of Rev. John Berry., (6) Benjamin P. Thomas, Abraham Lincoln, (Knopf, 1952.), 36, 37, William F. Berry partner of Lincoln in store. Died 10 January 1835.,
(7) Abe Lincoln- New Salem.,
(8) William Elwood Berry, The Berry Patch, (Published by the author, 1976, p hoto copy.), 32, 40, 44, 52, Starting on page 40 and account of the Berry and Lincoln store.,
(9) Benjamin P. Thomas, Lincoln's New Salem, (The Abraham Lincoln Association, Springfield, Illinois, 1934), 12, 60, 61, 74.,
(10) Lorant, Stefan, Linco ln, His Life in Photographs, (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1941), 19, Picture of Lincoln-Berry store.,
(11) Spears, Zarel C. and Robert S.
Barton, Berry and Lincoln Frontier Merchants, The Store that "Winked Out", (Stratford House, Inc., New York, 1947), 137, History of the store, date of death.,
(12) Holland, J. G., The Life of Abraham
Lincoln, (Gurdon Bill, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1866.), 54-57.), b. January 08, 1811, Warren County, Kentucky; d. January 10, 1835, Sangamon County, Illinois (Source: Thomas Reep, Lincoln at New Salem, (Old Salem Lincoln League, 1927), 103.).

Notes for Rev. John McCutcheon Berry
Rev. John McCutcheon Berry

1788 - 1857 Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

[*Sketches by Rev. A. Johnson, published in the Western Cumberland Presbyterian, of 1864.]

JOHN McCUTCHEN BERRY was born in the State of Virginia, on the 22d of March, 1788. Of his parentage and early education nothing in known. It is inferred, from some facts connected with his history, that his parents were religious persons, and perhaps stringent in some of their doctrinal views. His education, from the circumstances of
his early life,must have been very limited. In his fourteenth year he came to Tennessee, and in his twentieth year professed religion,under the ministry of the fathers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. His age at the time of his profession would bring that event within the days of the Council. They were days of trial. He had a hard struggle, while under conviction,with difficulties arising from early doctrinal impressions. The doctrine of Election and Reprobation had been taught himin his youth. This is generally a trying puzzle in the early experience of persons who are seriously inquiring for the way of salvation. If tendencies have been originated in such minds towards the conclusions of the theology which has been mentioned, the difficulties become greater. This seems to have been the condition of young Berry. The guilt of sin pressed so severely upon him that he could not believe himself to be one of the elect; of course, his reasoning was, that he was proscribed by an unchangeable destiny; that no blood had been shed on Calvary for him; that his case was hopeless. A conflict of this kind is terrible. "Such thoughts," says my authority, "drove him almost into despair. Of his
deliverance he was accustomed to say, that on a certain day, giving the day itself, which we have forgotten, the sun
arose at midnight." The reader, of course, knows what he meant. His spiritual midnight had been changed to the light and beauty of the morning. It would be difficult to forget such an experince as this. I suppose he never forgot it. He retained,in all his subsequent life, a great aversion to the doctrine of a limited gospel provision. He thought that it
had nearly ruined his soul. He did not preach often in direct opposition to the system, but salvation, full and free to all, was a favorite theme with him. It was a sort of a spiritual indoctrination. Shortly after his conversion his mind began to be agitated on the subject of preaching the gospel. He, however, very naturally drew back from the
undertaking. He was utterly unwilling to enter upon the work. His inward conflict was so great that he sometimes thought of resorting to suicide in order to quiet it. It is said that he actually went out one night with the intention of laying hands upon himself,but was mercifully restrained. In order to hedge up his own way he married early, and, as it turned out, either intentionally on his own part, or providentially on the part of God, who intended to scourge him with the greater severity into his duy, he had selected a wife who was as much opposed to his becoming a preacher as he was himself to preaching, Of course he had thrown very strong fetters around his feet. This hasty act gave him trouble, as we would have supposed. For many years after he entered the ministry his wife was impatient under the hardships the family had to suffer, and although he was a pure and faithful husband, yet, under a sense of duty, he often left his home, to be gonefor weeks, with no prospect of earthly reward, bidding adieu for the time to his wife struggling against discontent with the lot which Providence had assigned her. Great must be the trial of a good man under such circumstances. In 1812 hejoined the army, in connection with a regiment commanded by Colonel Young Ewing, of Christian county, Kentucky. He seems to have moved to Kentucky. Says my authority: "He has told me that during the campaign he was in a cold and backslidden state, living in the neglect of prayer, and indulging in much vain and idle conversatio, but was unable to efface the impression against which he was striving." The expedition in which the regiment was engaged in a greatmeasure miscarried. It was sent against Indians around Fort Clark, in what is now the State of Illinois. They found no Indians, and, after a very near approach to starvation, returned. Rev. Finis Ewing was with the regiment of his brother, in the twofold capacity of a soldier and a chaplain. In 1814, Mr. Berry entered the public service again, under the command of General Jackson, and was in the celebrated battle of the 8th of January, 1815, below New Orleans. Whilst the battle was raging, and the missiles of death were flying around him, perceiving himself to be in a very exposed situation, and that he might in a few moments be hurried into the presence of God, he threw his mind back upon his past life. His former
rebellion and obstinacy came up in full view before him. He wept, prayed, and confessed his sins before God. He then
and there promised that, if the Lord would spar his life, and restore to him the joys of salvation, and bring
him again to his home, he would consent to preach, or to do, or to suffer whatever God, in his providence, might see
fit to require at his hands. His prayer was answered. For the time, he was filled with unutterable joy. Says my informant: "Often in his preaching have I heard him tell that he had enjoyed the love of God in his soul, at home and abroad, around the fireside,in the closet and in the grove, in the corn-field and amidst the storm of battle. I never dared, however, to ask him whether he continued to carry on the work of death with his fellow-soldiers after his renewed reconciliation with God. Still, no one who knew him will believe for a moment that a mean cowardice had anything to do with his surrender of himself to God that day." In the fall of 1817, Mr. Berry was received under the care of the Logan Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry. Two years afterward, or in the fall of 1819, he was licensed to preach as a probationer. The sermons which he wrote in the course of his trials of two years' continuance, are said to have been unusually interesting and impressive. Sometimes the Presbytery and the congregations were moved to tears in hearing them read. Sometimes, whilst he was exercising his gifts publicly, he made it a matter of special prayer to God that, if he was really called to
preach, as an evidence of it, a soul might be converted at his next appointment. We can easily see how an earnest and
sincere man,without experience, might be led to desire such proofs of the genuineness of his calling, and how desirable they might be to all Christian ministers; still, they are not the proofs which God always gives, nor are they such as we have always a right to expect. In 1820, Mr. Berry moved to Indiana, from Christian county, Kentucky, where he had
been living forseveral years. The country in which he settled was new, the people were poor, farms had to be opened, and, as a matter of course, even where congregations were organized,they were not able to do much toward the support of a minister and his family. Some were, no doubt, unwilling to do what they were able. He tells, himself, of some members of the Church who refused to let him have what he needed for his family, for the evident reason that they were ashamed to sell, and too stingy to give, him what he needed. Others, less sensitive, sold to him, and charged him for what they sold more than they could get from common buyers. He was a preacher and needy, and they made his necessities their rule in selling.
This was cruel treatment, but good men have received such treatment, both before and since. Some men of the world,
however, took an interest in the welfare of our young preacher in the midst of his troubles, and rendered
him timely assistance. He was ordained in 1822, and shortly after his ordination moved to Illinois, and became one
of the original members of the Illinois Presbytery, which was constituted in the fall of that year by the Cumberland
Synod. From that time to 1829 there was but one Presbytery in the State of Illinois. In April of 1829, the Sangamon
Presbytery held its first meeting. There were five ministers in this Presbytery in its organization, of whom Mr. Berry was one. He was, therefore,closely identified with the origin and early operations of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in that State. During the seven years in which there was but one Presbytery in the State, every one of its session, with a single exception, was held at a distance of from two to four days' travel on horseback from where he lived, and the sessions of the Synod were uniformly from three hundred to five hundred miles distant. Yet it was a matter of conscience with him to attend all the judicatures of the Church with which he was connected. Those old men have left us examples which ought to be a standing reproach to many of us. Think of a man's riding on horseback five hundred miles once every year to a meeting of Synod. Still, these long journeys were performed for conscience' sake. The first time the writer ever saw Mr. Berry was at a meeting of the Cumberland Synod in 1825, at a point which must have been three hundred miles from his home. Ithad never been, and was never afterward, held at a point nearer. It was generally one hundred or two hundred miles more remote. The rule was, and it was stringently urged in those days, that a plain providential hindrance, and
nothing short of this, furnished a sufficient excuse for neglecting the judicatures of the Church. After the settlement of Mr. Berry in Illinois, his life was spent very much as other ministers of his time and section of the Church spent their lives. Their labors were great, while their earthly remuneration was small. Whilst they dispensed the gospel to their fellow-men with great fidelity, they labored, like Paul and his fellow-laborers, with their own hands, and thus made themselves chargeable to no man. However we may reproach a congregation, or congregations, which permit such a condition of things, we admire the zeal and eanestness of the men who thus unselfishly devote themselves to the great work of saving souls.
Men of such a spirit are those who have always kept, and will always keep, the Church alive. In the winter of 1856 and 1857, Mr. Berry died, at his residence in Clinton, DeWitt county, Illinois. His last sermon was delivered at Sugar Creek, in Logan county, from the precious words of the Apostle: "And we know that all things work together for
good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." He had been assisting at a meeting at that place for several days, and was taken sick at the meeting, or shortly afterward, and died in a few days. He fell with his armor on.
"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest
from their labors,and their works do follow them." The subject of this sketch seems to have been what the world calls an original man, and all such men have distinctly marked traits of character Mr. Berry had his proportio of these. Some of them are broughtout in the following letter from an intimate friend and fellow-laborer, written a few months after his death:
1, 1857. "DEAR BROTHER:-I was in California, several hundred miles from home, when I first saw the
account of BrotherBerry's death. I could not restrain my tears, though I was in the house of a stranger. I directly sought the silent grove,where old associations rushed upon my mind, with many past scenes which can never return any more. I wept freely. But I asked myself, why should I weep? Could I have been so cruel and selfish as to retain him here any longer, had it been in my power, after he had labored so long and so faithfully, and done so much for his Master's cause? That he had his faults and frailties none will deny. But it is clear as noonday to my mind, that he had his sterling virtues, such as very few possess in the same degree. Among the natural gifts with which he was endowed, was a faculty of discerning or reading a man's character at irst sight. We used to call this the gift of discerning spirits. You are aware that he and I were for many years confidential friends. And he never feared or hesitated to give me his opinion of any one.
Sometimes I thought him mistaken; but, in every case, as far as I can now recollect, his judgment proved to be correct. He once pronounced a certain individual a snake in the grass. I thought him mistaken, but twenty years afterward,
I found he was right, and I was wrong. "There was a nobleness of soul after him that never would stoop to any thing mean or low, even if it might not be considered sinful. I always considered him one of the fairest Presbyters that I ever knew, or with whom I ever was associated. If I ever knew a man entirely clear of jealousy or envy, it was John M. Berry. You inquire about, and
request me to send you, all his short, pithy sayings which I can remember. As to these, they were always so original, and seemed to be suggested so naturally in illustration of his subject, that it is noteasy for me to call them up,
only as I can call up the subjects that suggested them. They were very natural to him, and so abundant that, unlike any
other person,he never used any one of them more than once. You probably recollect his rejoinder to the man who
took him to task for his manner of expounding the Scriptures, because Brother Berry did not take every passage just as it was written, saying what it means, and meaning what it said. 'You take it that way, do you?' said Brother Berry. 'Yes,' said the man. 'Well,which, then, was Herod-a man or a fox?' referring him to the passage in Luke in which our Savior calls Herod 'that fox.' I was not sure, at first, that this was original, but I have never found it anywhere else. "I will now relate an incident thattook place at the first Presbytery I ever attended, which has had a great influence in shaping my course from that to the present time. The Illinois Presbytery then embraced the State. Brother Berry and Brother Joel Knight were the only
ministers north of White county. A special session of Presbytery had been appointed in Sangamon county, for the
purpose of ordaining Brother Thomas Campbell. Brother Berry was the only ordained minister who attended. At the
regular session of Presbytery the inquiry came up, Was the special session of Presbytery held? It was answered in the
negative. The members were individually called upon, and reasons for non-attendance were demanded of all the
delinquents. Some pleaded want of a suitable horse to ride, others lack of money to bear their expenses, and others had
feared that it might rain and raise the streams, and make muddy roads. The youngest member of Presbytery made light of
the whole matter; stated that he had been South, married a wife, and therefore could not attend-in short, he made a joke of the whole affair. Brother Berry insisted, against all of them, that none had offered a providential
reason. He urged, with all the ardor for which he was famous, the great importance of sustaining government, and the strong bligation that a minister of Jesus Christ should feel himself under to let nothing hinder him from attending the judicatures of the Church,which was not strictly providential. Several of the members were considered more talented than Brother Berry, and at firstthey were all against him. Presbytery finally pronounced the young brother who had married the wife guilty of unjustifiable delinquency, whilst the others barely escaped censure. "In his remarks he said that no excuse should be offered to, or sustained by, Presbytery that we would not offer at the bar of God with a reasonable expectation that he
would sustain it. I have tried to live up to the above rule ever since, and in every case it has governed my vote upon
reasons offered by others for delinquency. Brother Berry remarked, in the debate, that he never knew a minister that was not regular in his attendance upon the judicatures of the Church who was useful to any great extent, and that such often hindered more than they helped. My observation proves the same to be true. "Yours, as ever, NEILL JOHNSON."
We have additional characteristics and anecdotes of Mr. Berry. He was accustomed to use great plainness of
speech with candidates for the ministry. In some cases he drew upon himself lasting opposition. A particular class of
young men could not bear his plainness with patience. By the same candor and frankness he made others his friends.
He was always ready to help the humble and studious; he was ever ready to uphold the modest and unassuming. He could not tolerate lifeless preaching. On a certain occasion a young man, recently from a distant theological school, came to
one of his meetings. He was, of course, invited to preach. He did

Hope this Helps
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Kathy Warden 1032480774000 
Marie K. Loughlin 1033069666000 
Kathy Warden 1033166957000 
Patty9722 1370394833000 
KathyWarden81 1371558619000 
wdberry59 1391075595000 
per page

Find a board about a specific topic