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1906 Biographies


Although a permanent resident of this county only since 1895, Argyle F. Berry, of Washington township, was an early arrival here, his first coming being in 1875, and his second in 1881. After both he returned to Illinois, his native State, but the feeling of satisfaction with this region which possessed him brought him here finally to live, and since then he has been one of the good farmers and active, public spirited citizens of his locality.

Mr. Berry was born in Menard county, Ill., on March 19, 1840, and is a son of James and Jane (Rutledge) Berry, natives of Tennessee and Virginia. The father moved to Illinois, in 1826, and entered a tract of wild land, which he cleared, converted into a good farm and on which he died in 1855, the mother following him to the other world in 1866. They were the parents of eight sons and three daughters. Of the family, four of the sons are living, and all are residents of this county. The mother was a sister of Ann Rutledge, who was betrothed to Abraham Lincoln, and she knew the distinguished man well before his fame became wide spread and lofty. The paternal grandfather, Samuel Berry, was also a Tennesseean by birth. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. Long after the close of that war he settled in Illinois, and there he died at about the same time as his son James.

Argyle F. Berry, reached his maturity in his native State and farmed in it until 1875, when he came to Iowa and passed six months to Cass county, being obliged to return to Illinois on account of illness. He remained there until 1881, and then again crossed the great river into Iowa, making it his home upon this occasion, for five years. In 1886 he again returned to Illinois, where he remained and farmed until 1895. In that year he sold his Illinois farm and coming to Cass county, located on the farm which is his present home, and on which he has made many improvements.

In 1862, Mr. Berry was married in Illinois to Helen Hudspeth, also a native of that State. Of the five children born to them four are living, George W., Edward A., Letitia, wife of T. T. Trailer of Nebraska; and Argyle F., Jr. The father has never been an active partisan in politics and has never had any ambition for public office. But he has never shirked his duty in the way of aiding in the promotion of the general weal of the township and county of his residence, or advancing the interests, enlarging the comfort or elevating the standard of their people. He has long been a member of the Presbyterian Church and active in its works of benevolence and Christian morality. He is known in this and adjoinging counties, and in all localities where he is acquainted he is highly respected and enjoys the good will of his fellow men.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp.267-268.

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