WILFORD FRANCIS BERRY
BERRY, DICKINSON, MOORE, RALSTON, BIVEN
Posted By: Mona Sarratt Knight (email)
Date: 8/15/2009 at 08:38:18
WILFORD FRANCIS BERRY.
The life record of Wilford Francis Berry is that of a man of stalwart purpose and untiring activity, who in the pursuit of his career has won the advancement which invariably rewards well organized methods when intelligently and persistently pursued. For practically twenty-five years he has been identified with the business interests of Moulton, where he has met with constantly increasing success and is now numbered among the foremost representatives of the commercial fraternity of Appanoose county. Mr. Berry is a native of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Wapello county on the 2 1st of April, 1863. In the paternal line he is descended from one of Kentucky's pioneer families, his father, Austin Perry Berry, having
been bom in Bourbon county, that state, November 11, 1824. There the grandfather, Joseph Berry, was born, reared and married, but in 1825
he removed with his family to Zanesville, Ohio, where he made his home for about twenty-four years. In 1849, he continued his journey west-
ward to Wapello county, Iowa, and there passed the remainder of his life. Upon his arrival in that county he took up a tract of government
land in Adams township and thereafter engaged in agricultural pursuits, although he was a mechanic by trade. To Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Berry
were born seven children, the three eldest being natives of Kentucky. In order of birth they are as follows : Nye, the deceased wife of Henry Van Ness, of Wapello county; Isaac, who is a resident of California; Austin Perry, the father of our subject; Lydia Ann, the widow of Joseph Ralston, of Oskaloosa, Iowa; George, who is residing in Montana; Eliza, the widow of Page White, of Wapello county; and Loraine, the widow of John Biven, of Wapello, Iowa.
Austin Perry Berry was only an infant when his parents removed to Ohio in which state he was reared. His education was obtained in the
public schools of Zanesville, following which he learned the carpenter's trade and cabinet-making, following these occupations during the greater part of his active life. He accompanied his people on their removal to Wapello county, where he subsequently acquired forty acres of land, which he improved and cultivated while following his trade. In 1870, he came to Moulton and established a furniture factory, which he operated "with a fair measure of success for many years. He also followed his trade and
engaged in contracting and bxiilding, many of the residences and business buildings of that period having been erected by him. He was an earnest Christian and zealous worker in the Baptist church, and in addition to his
many other duties often filled the pulpit of some church of that denomination on Simday. Not only' was he largely instrumental in founding the Baptist church of Moulton, but he assisted in the erection of the church edifice, and always took an active interest in the work of its various organIzations toward the support of which he liberally contributed. Mr. Berry
was a man of more than average versatility and possessed many admirable qualities, his sterling worth and integrity making him a desirable acquisition to the community, where he was held in high esteem and had hosts of friends. He went to the front with an Ohio regiment during the
Mexican war, and served until the close of hostilities. During the Civil war he again offered his services to the country, serving as a private in the Thirteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He always took an active and
helpful interest in all movements affecting the intellectual, moral or material welfare of the town, and accorded his support to every worthy
enterprise. Mr. Berry was married at Zanesville, Ohio, on the 9th of February, 1849, Miss Harriet Euphemia Dickinson, who was born and reared in Ohio. The Dickinsons located in that state during the pioneer days, and were among the early settlers of Zanesville, where the maternal
grandfather followed the silversmith's trade. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Austin P. Berry numbered eleven, eight of whom lived to attain
maturity, as follows: Anna, the wife of Samuel Jennings, of Centerville, Iowa; Mary, the widow of A. R. Price, of London Mills, Illinois;
James Perry, who was drowned in 1877 ^^ Des Moines, where he was employed on the Daily Register; George L., national president of the
National American, a fraternal organization, who resides in Kansas City; Wilford Francis, our subject; Abel Sherman, who makes his home in
California; Luretta, the wife of J. W. Halden, postmaster at Moravia, Iowa; and Lydia B., the wife of O. E. Soule, of Tacoma, Washington.
The parents are both deceased.
As he was only a lad of seven years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Moulton, Wilford Francis Berry has passed the greater part of his life in this city. He pursued his education in the public schools
and upon completing his high-school course obtained employment in a
drug store at Moulton, where he diligently applied himself to the study of pharmacy, being awarded his certificate by the state board of pharmacy on the 22d of May, 1882. He continued in the employ of others for about six years thereafter and in 1888 entered in business for himself at Moulton, where he established the store he is now conducting. Owing
to his limited means he had to begin in a very small way, but as the years have passed he has prospered and has enlarged his establishment until he is now the proprietor of one of Moulton's most thriving enterprises.
About 1900 he began the manufacture of a preparation known as Berry's Barb Beater, to be used for wire cuts. As it is a remedy of imquestionable merit the demand for it has steadily increased imtil he now makes con-
signments to twenty-five states. He has the largest mailing list of any
manufacturer in the county, his postage frequently amounting to five hundred dollars per month. He not only does a large business with the wholesale drug houses of the middle west, but he carries the names of over ten thousand retail dealers on his ledger. Mr. Berry possesses the initiative and resourcefulness essential to success in any field of endeavor,
and to the support of these qualities he brings the determination of purpose and tireless energy which win achievement. Having unlimited con-
fidence in the future of Moulton, as opportimity has afforded, he has acquired extensive property interests here, in both the residence and business sections. He also owns and operates two farms in Appanoose county.
In Moulton on the 26th of June, 1886, Mr. Berry was married to Miss Lillian Moore, who was born in HoUidayburg, Pennsylvania, on the
16th of December, 1862, and is a daughter of Ithimer and Katharine (Malloy) Moore. The father, who was of Irish lineage, removed with
his family to Iowa about 1869, first locating in Fairfield. In 1870, they removed to Moulton, where Mr. Moore conducted a hotel until a few
years prior to his death. Mrs. Berry, who is the second in order of birth in a family of seven, is the mother of five children, as follows: Alfred Keene, who is engaged in the drug business in Kansas City, Missouri;
Herbert Trevor, who is in business with his father; Marguerite, who is at
home; and Bertram Bernard and Wilfred Gerald, who are attending school.
The family are members of the Presbyterian church of which Mr. Berry is one of the trustees. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Masonic order, belonging to the blue lodge of Moulton, chapter and commandery of Centerville, and the shrine at Davenport. He is also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, of which he was elected associate grand patron
for Iowa, and of the Modem Woodmen of America. He is a trustee of the
last named order and also of the Masonic lodge. Although he takes an active and helpful interest in all local matters Mr. Berry has never figured
prominently in political affairs, the extent of his private interests precluding
the possibility of his meeting the requirements of an official position. He is public-spirited and progressive in matters of citizenship, however, and is always ready to cooperate in promoting the development of any worthy
enterprise, extending his indorsement to all movements that will advance the general welfare of the community.
Appanoose Biographies maintained by Renee L. Rimmert.
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