Thomas C. Berryhill, former trustee of Sugarcreek township and proprietor of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres south of Bellbrook, is a native "Buckeye" and has lived in this state all his life, a resident of Greene county since he was nine years of age and of the farm on which he is now living since he was fifteen. He was born in Preble county, October 25, 1845, son of the Rev. Franklin and Nancy (Sloan) Berryhill, whose last days were spent in this county, of which the former had become a resident in 1815.

The Rev. Franklin Berryhill, a minister of the Presbyterian (old school) church, was born in Augusta county, Virginia, March 1, 1811, a son of Alexander and Rachel (Thompson) Berryhill, the latter of whom was a niece of Charles Thompson, of Revolutionary fame, secretary to the first Continental Congress. Alexander Berryhill was born in Virginia and at the age of nineteen years volunteered his services in behalf of the patriot army during the Revolutionary War and was attached to the command of General Greene. At the battle of Guilford Court House he was captured by the enemy and was held prisoner for two years, or until his exchange. During that battle he was severely wounded by a sword blow on the head and the scar of that wound he carried to his grave. At the close of his military service he returned to farming pursuits and after his marriage to Rachel Thompson settled on a farm in Augusta county, in the Old Dominion, and there remained until 1815, when he came with his family to Ohio and settled on a tract of land south of Bellbrook in this county, where he died in 1823 and was buried in the Pioneer graveyard at Bellbrook. He and his wife were the parents of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters. Franklin Berryhill was the youngest of these eight sons. The others were as follow: James, who married Esther, a daughter of William Turner and established his home in Sugarcreek township; William T., who also made his home in Sugarcreek township, where he died on April 27, 1874, at the age of eighty-four years, and was buried in the Bellbrook cemetery; John, who served as a soldier of the War of 1812, married Rachel James and located in Sugarcreek township; Alexander, Jr., who moved to Miami county, this state; Samuel, who died in 1840 and was buried at Bellbrook; Archibald, who died on July 7, 1877, aged seventy-five, and was buried at Bellbrook, and Matthew, who died on September 25, 1898, he then being ninety-two years of age, and was buried in the Bellbrook cemetery.

Having been but a child when his parents came to this county from Virginia, Franklin Berryhill was reared on the pioneer farm in Sugarcreek township. From the days of his boyhood he evinced unusual aptitude in his studies and in due time was matriculated at Hanover College, in Indiana, from which institution he was graduated in 1837. He completed his theological studies under the preceptorship of Doctor Matthews, who was his tutor for three years, and was then ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian church and for ten or twelve years thereafter was actively engaged in this high calling. His health then began to fail and, securing honorable retirement from the ministry, he returned to his old home in the vicinity of Bellbrook and sought recuperation on the farm; continuing, however, his ministerial labors as local occasion required and ever maintaining his active interest in church and Sunday school work. His father had settled on and led in the development of a tract of about seven hundred acres in Sugarcreek township and in the ultimate division of that tract the Rev. Franklin Berryhill shared to the extent of a good farm and his needs were amply provided for, he coming to be the owner of three hundred and seven acres of choice land. He died on that farm.

On January' 21, 1841, the Rev. Franklin Berryhill was united in marriage to Nancy Sloan, who was born in Pennsylvania and who also was a member of one of Greene county's pioneer families, and to that union were born five children, namely: Theodore B., now deceased: Thomas C, the immediate subject of this biographical sketch; Caroline, who died at the age of thirteen years; Elmira, wife of William Rupert, of Westville, this state, and Mrs. Finette Fox, of Dayton. The mother of these children died on July 13, 1864, and in 1865 the Rev. Franklin Berryhill married Julia A. Cooper, of Bellbrook, which second union was without issue.

luella berryhillThomas C. Berryhiill was about nine years of age when his parents returned to Greene county in 1854 and was about fifteen when they located on the place on which he is now living in 1860. He completed his schooling in the local schools and after his marriage in the fall of 1887 established his home on the home place, one hundred and sixty acres of which he now owns, and has ever since made that his place of residence. In addition to his general farming he has given considerable attention to the raising of live stock. Mr. Berryhill is a Republican and served for two terms as trustee of his home township. He was for some time a member of the Grange. His youngest son, Robert, is a member of the local lodge of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics.

On November 3, 1887, Thomas C. Berryhill was united in marriage to Luella E. Miller, who was born in Montgomery county, daughter of Aaron and Emma (Karr) Miller, of that county, and who died on February 29, 1912, leaving four children. Emily, Esther, John and Robert, all of whom are at home with their father save John, who is now (1918) a soldier of the National Army, stationed at Camp Sherman. Mr. Berryhill and his family are connected with the Presbyterian church.

 

From History of Greene County Ohio, Its People, Industries and Institutions, vol. 2. M.A.Broadstone, editor. B.F.Bowen & Co., Indianapolis. 1918