|Birth: ||Sep. 20, 1816|
|Death: ||Mar. 25, 1899|
George Washington Berry, better known as "Wash," was born to William and Sarah (Roebuck) Berry, Sept. 20, 18l6, in Mason County, Kentucky. His father died when he was two, and his mother died when he was eight. "Wash" was raised by his grandmother, Catherine Roebuck.
In 1836, at age twenty, he moved to Independence, Mo. During the 1840s he hauled freight between Independence, Mo. and Fort Scott, Kansas, and Fort Smith, Arkansas. In 1848 he moved the Ward family to Topeka in wagons. The Meade family belonged to this group, and it was said this was the first white family to come to Topeka. "Wash" took a claim of 320 acres on the Wakarusa River on Feb. 1, 1854.
He was married to Nancy Stewart and they had these children: Mary A., James F., Susan C., Martha E., Nancy W. and George Webster. They settled on Berry Creek and later moved south a few miles north when the railroad came through. The settlement was called "Berryton," by George Webster Berry, after his father.
George Washington Berry was elected or appointed the first sheriff of Shawnee County, but he declined. There was difficulty getting an efficient sheriff due to the border wars. It was not good for one's health to be sheriff. During the Civil War, "Wash" belonged to a company of home guards in Topeka, and was one of the first to assist the men in Lawrence, who were attacked by Quantrill and his band.
Thirty-three days after the death of his wife, "Wash" Berry died of pneumonia March 25, 1899, when he was eighty-two years old. At the time, he was survived by four of his children. Part of his obituary in the NORTH TOPEKA MAIL reads:
"He joined the Christian Church in 1842 and lived a Christian life for over fifty years. Thus, briefly is recorded the passing away of one of the pioneer men of Kansas, one who was honest and upright in all his dealings with everyone and numbered his friends by that score at least among three generations; friend of the widow and orphan, the poor and lowly of which many of them can testify of his help and sympathy and live to bless his name.
"On Sunday following his death, the Rev. Hammond, pastor of the Methodist Church at Lynn Creek, conducted the funeral service, assisted by a delegation of the Masonic Lodge of Topeka, of which he was a member, from the late home and the Berry Creek Church. He was laid to rest by the side of his beloved wife at Yocum Cemetery.
Information from: FROM BERRY CREEK TO BERRYTON, 1986, by Joanie Hrenchir
Nancy Stewart Berry (1820 - 1899)*
Benjamin F. Berry (1859 - 1910)*
George Webster Berry (1860 - 1954)*
Created by: JH
Record added: Jul 07, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93238852