John Berry. Jr.

John Berry, Jr.

May 2, 1817 - December 6, 1898

John Berry, Jr. was the son of John Berry, Sr. (1778-1858) and Rebecca Benson (1785-1865). He married 1st in 1837 to Sallie Stotesbury (1817-1881), daughter of John Aaron Stotesbury (1794-1862) and Jennie Benson. John and Sallie had eight sons and three daughters: Richard Thomas (1838-1905), William Riley (died young), Nancy Jane (1842-1861), James Edward (1844-1928), Miranda (1845-1883), John Henry Clay (1848-1948), Reuben Haywood (1850-1900), Frances Elizabeth (1852-1905), Alexander (1854-1924), Zacheus (died young), and William Timothy (1860-1934). John married 2nd in 1886 to Sarah Elizabeth Jarvis (1855-1928) and they had one son, Jobe (1892-1979 ). John was then 75 years old.

John was a prosperous farmer whose homeplace was at the end of the Juniper Bay Road. He was also a boat captain who carried the area's produce to market and brought back those items which he and his neighbors weren't able to produce for themselves. From the Arch, near his homeplace, local farmers would load their produce into small boats, and take it down the Canal to Juniper Bay Creek to larger boats anchored in Juniper Bay. These boats would then take their cargos to markets in Little Washington, New Bern and even Norfolk. Click here for a list of persons mentioned in John Berry's Day Book during the 1840's. It is believed that during the Civil War John Berry was neutral, and just wanted to be left alone to raise his crops and his growing family. Because of this, family tradition says that John's neighbor, Tully Williamson, was ordered to sink his boat. He refused. John had to hide out in the swamp at Poplar Ridge (the other side of the Hydeland canal) to avoid capture. He was kept in food by a Negro, Charles Nelson. John Berry, Jr. died on Dec. 6, 1898 at the age of 81 and was buried at Clay Hill, the family cemetery, and in the 1930's was removed to Soule Cemetery.

John Berry, Jr's. home place (above) was built in two stages. The smaller section (left) was built before 1850 and later became the kitchen. The larger section (right) was built by 1850. The two sections were joined by an enclosed walkway and with back to back chimneys between the two sections. It is believed that the glass in the walkway window came from England. John left this home to his daughter Fanny, widow of James William McGowan. Pictured above are the following: James and Fanny (Berry) McGowan's son, Dorman Steele McGowan (1874-1950), the children James Alton McGowan (1908-1968), Metta Jarvis McGowan (1902-1989), Mildred Letha McGowan (1900-1968), his wife Florida Helen (Jarvis) McGowan (1975-1945) and David Foy McGowan (1914-1987) [infant]. This photo was taken about 1914.

(Photos and information submitted by John B. McGowan)

� 1999

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