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Ira Berry
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Birth: Sep. 23, 1801
New Durham
Strafford County
New Hampshire, USA
Death: Sep. 20, 1890
Cumberland County
Maine, USA

Unto the grave, with mournful hearts and tender hands, we have resigned the body of our beloved Grand Secretary. Ira Berry was born in New Durham, N. H., Sept. 23, 1801, and was the son of Stephen and Alice (Chamberlain) Berry, and the grandson of Stephen Berry, a veteran officer of the French war, who was descended from William Berry, who came over to Portsmouth with Mason in 1630. He learned the printing trade in Dover, N. H., being apprenticed to John Mann in 1818. As a journeyman, he worked in several offices in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and in Maine; as editor and publisher, he was connected with several newspapers, at one time a partner in the Eastern Argus with the late Charles Holden, under the firm name of Berry & Holden. He assisted in building the first telegraph line between Boston and New York, and was the first operator and manager of the Boston office. He was a Democrat in politics, but appears to have followed the leadership of the late Francis O. J. Smith, which, although somewhat erratic, was often on the winning side. He was twice appointed to positions in the Custom House; first in 1840, but the early death of President Harrison caused changes, and again in 1849 after the election of General Taylor, whose cause he advocated as eaitor of the " Umpire" he was given the position of Inspector, which he held four years. As a politician, Bro. Berry was better known for his social qualities than as a partisan. He was very popular at Augusta, and old politicians like James W. Bradbury and Governor Dunlap used to speak with delight of his talent at singing comic songs and telling funny stories. Enoch Knight once described him as "the chiefest among ten thousand and the one altogether lively." His talent as a writer was in the literary line, and his contributions of verse and prose were elegant and valuable. His taste was excellent, and such admirable writers as Charles S. Daveis would ask his suggestions in revising their proofs, while Governor Dunlap once said, "You know you always were my Mangus Apollo!" He was frequently called upon for poems and songs for public celebrations, and was quite happy in the discharge of such duties. In 1853, he again established himself in the job printing business, where he was joined by his eldest son, Stephen, who after his father's election to the office of Grand Secretary, succeeded to the business, and has by repeated appointments been Assistant Secretary. Brother Berry number 468 on the roll of Ancient Landmark Lodge was initiated March 2d, 1853, and at the next election was made Junior Warden. In 1854 he was chosen Secretary, in which office he served most acceptably for eleven years, and on his retirement he was presented by the Lodge with a Secretary's jewel, and soon after elected to Honorary membership. In 1854 he was elected Secretary of the Grand Chapter, and in 1856 to the corresponding office in the Grand Lodge, Grand Council and Grand Commandery. In all these offices he continued until relieved by death. He was an ideal Secretary, and as such was widely known throughout the Masonic world. He religiously devoted himself to observing the proceedings of the Lodge, and making a fair record of the same, and his records are indeed fair, not only fair to the eye, but fair to all who participated in the work. His records are a monument far more beautiful than marble and we hope more enduring than the finest bronze. On December 1st, 1831, he married Lydia M. Hobart, of Hingham, Mass., a descendent of one of the founders of that town, who survives him. They had nine children, six of whom are now living, many grandchildren and great grandchildren, numbering over fifty, of whom he has been in the habit of gathering at the home roof, as many as possible, on his wedding anniversaries, on which occasions the chronicles of the year and literary contributions have been read, with songs and instrumental music. He was an accomplished musical scholar and critic, and was an active supporter of most of the musical enterprises of the city. He was one of the few honorary members of the Ladies' Rossini Club, and a constant attendant at their rehearsals and recitals. He was almost equally interested in botany, and one of the authorities on rare wild flowers, which he had diligently sought and gathered from his childhood, when he first learned to know them from an old Indian woman in the New Hampshire forests. He died at his his home on Brown street, Portland, on the 20th day of September, and on the 90th anniversary of his birth, his body was buried in Evergreen Cemetery with the honors of Masonry by the Grand Lodge ot Maine. M. W. Josiah H. Drummond, by request of Grand Master Taylor, officiated as Grand Master. The procession was formed at the Masonic Hall consisting of Ancient Landmark Lodge, Mount Vernon Chapter, Portland Council, representatives of the A. & A. Rite, of which he was a member of the 320, and the Grand Lodge of Maine, under escort of Portland and St. Alban Commanderies united as one Commandery, with Chandler's Band.—Masonic Journal. 
Evergreen Cemetery
Cumberland County
Maine, USA
Plot: Sec-N Lot-51 Grv-5
Created by: Douglas Robinson
Record added: May 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 90943424
Ira Berry
Added by: Douglas Robinson
Ira Berry
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Thomas J Fraser
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