THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   EPHRAIM BERRY was born in Brookfield, N.Y., February 18, 1811, the son of Ephraim and Lydia (Wheaton) Berry. Ephraim Berry, Sr., left Pomfret, his native place, to seek a home State of New York, and upon reaching here secured a tract of one hundred and seventy acres of virgin land, and was one of the first settlers of the place called Sangerfield. He, with his brother John, built a log house, and soon developed a fine farm, making a comfortable home. He had married Miss Lydia Wheaton in Pomfret, and brought her and two children, Content and Saxton, with him when he came. They afterward had four more children--Lovina, Lydia, Ephraim, Jr., and Ruth. The father died when his son was only three years old. After the death of her first husband in Sangerfield the mother married a Mr. Henry Beebe. They reared one son, Ezra, and later removed to Stockwell Settlement, N.Y., where they died.
   Our subject was reared on the farm, and remained there until his thirty-third year. At that time he married Miss Electa House, who died at the end of their first year of married life, leaving one child, named Alice. He next married Miss Sarah Seabury, and shortly after went to Cook County, Illinois, and there lived for nine years on a farm, where his second wife died. Later he came East, and married August 16, 1849, Olivia Read. Removing to St. Charles, Kane County, Ill., he entered into partnership with his brother-in-law, husband of his sister Lydia, in the hardware business, which continued for two or three years. When he closed out his business in the West, he returned to Madison County, New York, and bought a farm in Brookfield, N.Y., of Mr. Miller, which adjoined the one on which he now lives. He remained on the first-mentioned farm for six years, and at the end of that time bought the farm of his cousin, Darius Beebe, making it his home unto this day.
   Mrs. Berry comes from an old and distinguished family of these parts. Her father, Lemuel Read, was but four years of age when his father, Daniel Read, came with his wife, Hester Leffingwell, and two children, from Connecticut to Madison County, making the journey with an ox-team. They settled on a tract of land near the present farm of the subject, and resided there until their death. Lemuel Read remained on his father's farm, carrying on the trade of wheelwright, making spinning-wheels and reels, continuing this work until his death, at the age of seventy-five years. He married Sarah, daughter of John and Mollie Clark, from Exeter, Kent County, R.I., by whom he had five children--Elmina, Olivia (Mrs. Berry), Walworth, Tirzah, and Oracy. Mrs. Read died at the age of seventy-nine.
   Mr. and Mrs. Berry reared five children: namely, Sarah, Susan, Nellie, Lola, and Hattie. Alice, the child by the first wife, married Mr. Lester Thayer, now deceased, and has five children--Ephraim E., Clay, Lynn, Electa, and Wayne. Sarah married De Villo Fitch, but is now a widow. Nellie married Louis Parkhurst, of Boonville, Oneida County, N.Y. Lola married Arthur Thayer, had one child, Edith, and died at the age of twenty-two years. The son-in-law, Parkhurst, carries on the farm, residing at the homestead with his wife and two children: Emogene, an intelligent young lady of seventeen; and Ephraim. Mr. Parkhurst is a young man of ability and perseverance, conducting the affairs of the farm in an energetic and practical manner. He is truly a son to Mr. Berry, aiding him greatly in the management of all his business, and is regarded by this venerable gentleman with warm paternal affection. The youngest daughter, Hattie, remains at home with her parents, who are in feeble health, and is untiring in her filial attentions--a stay and a comfort in their advancing years.
Mr. Berry is a member of the Methodist church, and votes the Republican ticket, although his people were all Democrats. He became a Republican when he went out to Illinois, and was for many years an Assessor there. He is now the last one of this well-known and worthy family. This venerable couple have literally seen the "wilderness blossom like a rose," and in their lives have witnessed the growth of a small settlement into the present large community. Mr. Berry is now enjoying the results of his early years of industry, energy, sagacity, and economy. He is surrounded by a loving and intelligent family, and it can be well said of him that
   "He wears the marks of many years well spent, 
    Of virtue, truth well tried, and wise experience
."

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