Friday, July 11, 2008

Elder Berry Returns

Upon relating the account of Cane Creek to a local missionary, I was told that he had already heard it and that there was a mission legend that the Lewis county area was closed by the church [true] and that the ordinance of "dusting of the feet" was performed [I haven't found any evidence of that yet] and that the area was later reopened by the descendants of Elder Berry and Elder Gibbs who were later called to serve in the same mission and served as companions. I found the story compelling, but had a hard time accepting it as anything more than folklore.
But yesterday I found this story in the Latter-day Saint Southern Star. Dated June 7, 1900, I found and interview with Elder David H. Elton who wanted to cite one of his
"...Elders here in the Chattanooga conference. His name is J. W. Berry, and at present he is laboring in Bledsoe county, Tennessee."
The reporter, recognizing the name asked if he was related to the Elder Berry killed in Lewis county. Answered Elder Elton "Yes! the young man now laboring in Bledsoe county is the son of Elder W. S. Berry, who was brutally martyred by a savage, cruel mob several years ago." The article goes on to explain that his brother was also serving in the southern states, specifically in the North Alabama Conference. And that he two of them have been serving since January 21, 1899.
This was obviously John William Berry who would have been 23 when this article was written. I can't say which of Elder W. S. Berry's other sons was also serving with him. But is was probably James S.(25) or Jesse A.(23). William was too young (16).
I have not been able to track down who his companions were or a list of the areas in which he served.

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