Hood County Texas Genealogical Society
FRANCIS MARION BERRY
From History of Texas Published in 1896
It is only a small portion of the citizens of a country who become prominent in military or political affairs. The great majority are those who quietly devote their energies to business pursuits, performing each day's duty as it comes and are thus ready to perform the task that the morrow brings. It is this class of citizens to whom the country owes its stability and prosperity, and it is to this class that our subject belongs. He is an energetic, enterprising farmer and stock raiser, whose career is unmarked by events of startling interest, and yet who faithfully performs his duty to his country, his neighbor and himself.
A native of Montgomery County, Alabama, Mr. Berry was born August 24, 1848, a son of Elijah and Candace (Thompson) Berry. His parents were among the early settlers of Alabama, and in 1849 emigrated to the Lone Star State, locating in Travis county, where the father taught school for a time and is still living.
The mother of our subject died when he was but a year old and he was reared by a maternal aunt, Miss Mary Thompson. When thirteen years of age he was taken by her to Smith county, where he grew to manhood on a farm, remaining with his aunt until twenty-five years of age. He then started out in life for himself and chose as a companion and helpmeet on life's journey, Miss Stacy Kelly, a native of Tennessee, who came to the Lone Star State when a child. Their marriage was celebrated February 27, 1870, and they began their domestic life upon a farm in Wood county, Texas, where Mr. Berry continued agricultural pursuits until his removal to Hood county. His wife died May 2, 1872, and he was again married February 12, 1875, his second union being with Mary Catherine Kelly, a sister of his first wife. She died and Mr. Berry was married December 17, 1876, to Miss L.C. James, a native of Tennessee and a daughter of Elijah James, who came to Texas in an early day. The children of this marriage are Elijah, who was born in December, 1877, and died September 2, 1891. The mother died in 1877 and for his next wife Mr. Berry chose Miss Sarah Gifford, a native of Wood county, Texas and daughter of Jesse Gifford, who came to Texas in pioneer times. There was one son of this marriage, William Adolphus, who was born July 17, 1879. Mrs. Berry died and on the 7th of February, 1882, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Berry and Mrs. Drusilla Turner, a native of Tennessee and a daughter of John and Sarah Ann (Rogers) Burton, who were probably natives of Virginia and came to Erath county when Mrs. Berry was a child. The children of this marriage, four sons and a daughter, are Julia C., born May 23, 1884; Robert D., June 23, 1887; Addison L., October 27, 1888; Hubbard O., March 17, 1890; and Iva Marsh, October 14, 1892.
In the spring of 1877 Mr. Berry came to Hood county, locating on Squaw Creek, where he purchased a tract of land upon which but few improvements had been made. There he lived for a year and moved twice more before coming to his present farm in 1893. He has one hundred and sixty-six acres of land, of which sixty-five acres are under cultivation. He has acquired his property entirely through his own efforts and is truly a self-made man. He started out for himself with no capital but a determination to succeed, and has steadily and persistently worked his way upward, making the most of his opportunities. In his dealings he has been so straightforward and honorable that he has gained the confidence and regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact, and throughout the community he has many friends.
History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.
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1999 HOOD COUNTY TEXAS GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY