The grandfather of our subject was Thomas Berry, of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. He was married there in 1812 and was one of the famous defenders of Baltimore in the War of 1812. He was in the fight at Bladensburg and about Washington City. After the War of 1812, he went to Rockingham County, Virginia, and from there, in 1818, lie removed to near Greenfield, in Highland County, Ohio. In 1832, his wife died, and in 1840, he removed to Delaware County, Indiana, and married a second time. He died there at the age of eighty years. By his first wife, he had six children, four sons and two daughters. He had a daughter by his second marriage. John, his eldest son, born in Baltimore in 1816, was the father of our subject. When at the age of sixteen years, he learned the tanner's trade at Leesburg, Ohio. He was married at Leesburg, Ohio, to Miss Mary E. Stewart, daughter of James and Phoebe Stewart. Soon after this he bought a farm on Sugar Tree Ridge in Highland County, and resided there, carrying on a farm and tanning until his death, April 4, 1888. In his religious faith, he was a Friend.

His son, James S., one of the eight sons and daughters, was born April 26, 1844. He learned the tanner's trade of his father, and worked at it until he was eighteen years of age. Then he taught school five or six years. He began the study of medicine in 1867 at Sugar Tree Ridge under Dr. Henry Whisler. He graduated at Starling Medical College in 1870 and began the practice of medicine at Locust Grove the same year. He practiced there until 1888, when he removed to Peebles, where he has since resided and practiced medicine.

On October 7, 1873, he was married to Miss Sarah A. Murphy, of Locust Grove. He has five children: Charles, born September 25, 1875; Amma, born March 29, 1877; Mary E., Thomas Alfred and Beatrice. In politics, he is a Democrat. He was Township Clerk for seven years and Treasurer of Franklin Township four years. He has also been a member of the Town Council and Board of Education in Peebles. He has never sought office, but in 1895, he was the candidate of his party for Representative to the Legislature, but was defeated by the Hon. A. C. Smith. After removing to Peebles, he was associated with Dr. J. M. Wittenmeyer. When the latter was elected Auditor in 1893, he formed a partnership with Dr. George F. Thomas, which still continues.

Dr. Berry perhaps is the most unique character living in Adams County today. As a professional man, business character and student in almost all branches of learning, he has few equals in this part of the State. Senator Brice once speaking of him declared that he was qualified to fill almost any position involving business transactions. He is a many-sided man. His inquisitive disposition has given him an insight into almost everything. Besides his thorough medical education, he possesses much legal knowledge and is frequently consulted by men in all professions involving matters of great importance. His judgment is unerring and is followed whenever he is called upon to decide. He is modeled somewhat after Benjamin Franklin. When a subject is presented to him, he at once becomes interested whether in nature or in the affairs of men. As a physician, he stands high. He is temperate in habits, abstaining entirely from the use of intoxicating liquors and tobacco. Possessing a strong mind, in early life, he mastered the science of medicine and from the day that he began to practice in the village of Locust Grove, the people about him have recognized his worth and have trusted him implicitly. Unlike most men, he interests himself in other things besides his profession. He is engaged in the banking business, solicits pensions, oversees a large farm, deals in stock, is interested in the sale of farming implements, and gives much attention to educational matters. If he has nothing else to do, he will engage his mind in solving some abstruse mathematical problem. A great mind, like a healthy body, requires food. He engages in all these lines of business and study seemingly to satisfy his wonderful active mind. While other men are day-dreaming he will be found thinking about several things at the same time. Although a man of dignified bearing, and serious while engaged in business, he possesses the faculty of seeing the humorous side of a situation. He is a good story teller and can make a dying man laugh. He is always found in a good humor and self-possessed. He attracts people to him and has few if any enemies. He has acquired a great deal of property, yet he believes in living well. His home is not exclusive. Guests are always welcome. He has a good wife and an interesting family.

From History of Adams County, Ohio from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time - by Nelson W. Evans and Emmons B. Stivers - West Union, Ohio - Published by E. B. Stivers - 1900