George Rufus Berry (1829~1909) A Genuine Cowboy

George Rufus Berry (1829~1909) A Genuine Cowboy


A brief summary of his life. George Rufus Berry was born on Saturday, Feb 21, 1829 in Orange County, NC, near Hillsboro. He was the first child and eldest son of William Clarence Berry (17Oct 1803~8Sep1878) and Sally Bowles (1805~1835).

Stories about George Rufus Berry (1829~1909) A Genuine Cowboy

Husband, Father, Brother, Faithful Son, Protector, Steadfast Soldier, Genuine Friend, and Honorable American

  • Brazos County, Texas

George Rufus Berry was born on Saturday, Feb 21, 1829 in Orange County, NC, near Hillsboro. He was the eldest son of William Clarence Berry (17Oct1803~8Sep1878) and Sally (Bowles) (1805~1835) His mother died in childbirth and is buried in Hatter John's Cemetery, Hillsboro, NC. Later in 1835, his father relocated to Fayetteville, Alabama by walking there with his three children; George, Elizabeth (17Mar1831~22Sep1893) and Rosa Ann Francis aka "Roan" (Kizziah) (1833~11Aug1922). On Jan 10, 1848, George R. Berry married Catherine R. aka "Katie" Farquhar (29Sep1824~23Jan1905) in Fayette County, Alabama.

They had six children, one daughter, Sarah E. (18Mar1851~22Apr1907) who married, in Burnet County Texas, William L. Long(15Apr1846~27Aug1923) a saddle maker from Llano, Texas on 27Dec1868;

and five sons: Thomas Person Pierce (30May1853~9Mar1929) who married Alberta aka "Allie" Taylor (3Jan1863~25Nov1934) on 8Apr1880;

John Dulfin Donaldson (1856~1940) who married Amelia Ann Walk (2Aug1860~11Dec1948[born & died in Scott, MS]) on 23Dec1878 in Lampasas;

James Henry Hall (17Sep1859~9Feb1930) who married Minnie C. O'Hair (1865~1956) on 11Jun1885;

George Rufus R. (2Sep1862 Fayette, AL~14June1940-Los Angeles Co, CA) who married twice, to Willie Berry on 6Feb1887 and on 24May1896 to Mattie F. Butler. From Montana young George moved to Compton, CA.

and William Anderson A.(August 1867 Burnet County Texas~4Apr1941, Terry, Montana) who married Salmia Lina aka "S. L.""Rogers (Feb1872~1943) on 20Dec1889 in Lampasas, Texas.Apparently, she preferred to use only her initials "S L" or else her middle name "Lina" instead of her first name; however I also heard her referred to as "Selena" by older ladies who would have known her.She was born in  Red River County Texas during February 1872, of which Clarksville is the County Seat.Clarksville is about 258 miles or 415 kilometer northeast from Lampasas; located about 25 miles or so east of Paris, Texas in neighboring Lamar County in the northeastern part of the state and 60 miles west of Texarcana. Her father was also a Confederate Veteran and his first name might have been "Houston".

W. A. A. Berry stood six feet six inches tall. After retiring from the ranch, he barbered in Terry, Montana. He was a good horseman and even while barbering, in his senior years, people would still bring horses for him to buck out, between haircuts, when time permitted him to do so.

George R. R. and William A. A. Berry went to Montana around 1913 or 1914 with Conrad Kohrs "C K " outfit on a cattle drive; the legendary Bob Fudge, also from Lampasas, TX was the Trail Boss. William A. A. Berry homesteaded on Lisk Creek in McCone County, close to Watkins and about forty miles north of Terry, Montana, and stayed in Montana. He and members of his family are buried in the Prairie County Cemetery; Terry, MT. William A. A. and his wife  had four children:

Ruby, a music teacher,(Feb1891 Lampasas~26Feb1962 Monroe, WI) who married Harley Gapin (30Jul1895~23Apr1979); they lived in Monroe, Wisconsin:

Marshall Morris aka “M. M.” 19May1892 – Lampasas, TX~29Jan1978-Circle, MT, who married Amanda Priefer [anniversary date unknown} (Sunday, 3July1887~Saturday, 12 Nov 1955 Circle, MT) They had two boys: Robert William Berry [my step-father] (4Jun1919 Rochester, MN~ 29Jan1992 Miles City, MT) and Harley Charles Berry (2Nov1920 Miles City ~ 7Feb2008 Circle, MT);

*"J. D." The initials stood for either “Jefferson Davis” –or “Jess Dorbant Berry 2July1895~8Aug1915, and

Maude Liermann (19Dec1896 Lampasas ~ January 1981 Billings, MT) who lived in Billings. Aunt Maude is also buried in the Berry Plot, Prairie County Cemetery; Terry, Montana.

*Early on the Sunday Morning of August 8, 1915, a barn dance was winding down at the Youngquist Ranch near Little Sheep Mountain, North of Terry, Montana. A man by the name of Carl Lewis was flirting with Maude. Mr. Lewis was married; his wife and two small daughters were left home alone in Miles City, a town 80 miles away. J. D. Berry approached him and told him to leave his sister, Maude, alone. A fight ensued and moved outside of the barn where the dance was taking place.. J.D. beat Mr. Lewis, finally knocking him to the ground; then he turned to return to the dance. When no one was watching, Lewis got up, went over to his horse and retrieved a pistol. Without warning, he shot twenty year old J. D. Berry twice in the back, killing him instantly, then mounted his horse and rode hurriedly for Miles City. J. D. was buried in the Prairie County Cemetery, Terry, Montana. The death of J. D. is what influenced W. A. A. and his wife to remain in Montana.

Four days later, after the funeral, George R. R. Berry (1862~1940) rode into Miles City, which is forty miles from Terry, looking for Carl Lewis. He saw Mr. Lewis's horse tied up in front of the barber shop of the Milligan Hotel. Withdrawing his gun, he quietly entered the barber shop to discover Mr. Lewis reclining in a barbers chair lathered up, getting a shave, and discussing the events that had transpired at the Youngquist barn dance the previous Sunday morning.

The last words of Mr. Lewis were “I’m going to get another [Berry] before I’m through.”

Before he had a chance to catch his breath, G. R. R. Berry shot him four times, blowing the bottom off the back door of the Barber Shop as he did so; then he got on his horse and headed for California ahead of the law. When the statute of limitations expired, he was located in Compton, California. The Milligan Hotel in Miles City is still in operation as of July 2008. As recently as the 1960’s the door from that barber shop, damaged when George Berry killed Carl Lewis there, was still saved in the basement of the building.

George Rufus Berry received a land grant in Fayette County, AL in 1854. A few years later he was elected Constable in and for Fayette County in Berry's Beat for three years, this includes 1862, his son George R. R. was born that year.

On April 7, 1863, he enlisted as a private at the Fayette Courthouse, AL, in Company "E", 13th Battalion Alabama Partisan Rangers; CSA Cavalry . This would have been during the Vicksburg Campaign. His unit would see action, first, in what is now the Tupelo, MS area. By consolidation of five companies (B to F) of the 13th Battalion with the 15th Battalion Alabama Partisan Rangers on June 8, 1863, The 56th Regiment Alabama Partisan Rangers (Cavalry) was formed; Mr. Berry’s unit was designated "I" Company. While in the service he did additional duty as a teamster; according to some sources, he also served as a wagon master. After the Confederate Army was surrendered near Durham Station (near what is now Duke University), Greensboro, NC on April 26, 1865,. Mr. Berry's unit was discharged and he returned to his home in Fayette County, Alabama.

In 1867, with his half-brothers *John T. Berry and Henry T. Berry, and his widowed sister, Rosa Ann Francis aka "Roan" Kizziah, Mr. Berry moved his family by wagon train to Texas to homestead land in the Sunny Lane Community of Burnet County, near Lake Victor, Texas.

*[Special note: John Thomas Berry (26July1838~23March1917) was the great-grandfather of Glenn Berry (2Oct1942~18Mar2008) , author of "Wagons South, Wagons West" the ancestors and descendent's of William Clarence Berry. A half-brother to George Rufus Berry, his mother was Massa Ann Tompkins or perhaps, Thompson. (Jan1819 -Missouri~14Jan1903 Burnet County, TX), the second wife of William Clarence Berry whom he married in 1836, and their oldest child. John T. Berry married Elizabeth Ann Kizziah (13Jan1844~22Aug1918) on 15June1865 in Fayette County, Alabama.On 17Sep1861in Fayette County Alabama he joined the 26th Alabama Regiment; Infantry Company A. He was discharged at Tupelo, Mississippi during May 1865. He went to Burnet County Texas in 1867 to homestead land with several of his brothers and his half-sister, however, in 1876 he moved his family back to Fayette County Alabama.]

“Roan” had married Riley Kizziah on Dec 23, 1860 at the home of George Rufus Berry in Fayette County, Alabama. Riley Kizziah enlisted in Company H, 41st Alabama Regiment, Confederate States Army infantry in January or February of 1862 and was killed in action in November of 1862 at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. A brother, Leonard, saw him get shot but due to heavy gunfire, was unable to help. Riley and “Roan” had one child, a daughter Aila Francis “Fannie” Kizziah, born July 1862. “Fannie” married Anderson Farquhar “Ance” McCoy, December 16, 1880, in Burnet County, Texas; later moving to the Calf Creek Community near Brady in McCullouch County, Texas. George Rufus Berry stood 6 feet 8 inches tall. He was a rancher and a participant of some of the earliest cattle drives. During the 1870's, his half- brother, William S. Berry, and two of George Berry's sons, George R. R. Berry and William A. A. Berry were among the first cowboys up the famous Chisholm, Loving Goodnight, and Western Trails. They went on several trips into Wyoming and Montana, which would take six months from Texas, as well as long drives into Kansas City. Mr. Berry passed away on Saturday, Dec 25, 1909, at the age of eighty, and is buried in the Cauble Cemetery, Burnet County, near Lake Victor, Texas.

Created 9 July 2008

<a></a><a></a>The 56th Regiment Alabama Partisan Rangers G. R. Berry Alabama PVT Co. I 56 REGT
ALA CAV Confederate States Army June 8, 1863~­April­ 26th,­ 1865 Where: Final: Greensboro, NC; Durham Station

I take full responsibility for everything posted in this story page, however, I would like to credit much of the content to my good friend whose sad death I have only recently learned of: Mr. Victor "Glenn": Berry of Arab, AL (2Oct1942~18Mar2008) the author of the book"Wagons South, Wagons West" - the ancestors and descendants of William Clarence Berry. Much of the information detailed here, has come from Glenn's book.

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Information source: George Rufus Berry (21Feb1829~25Dec1909) Military Service: initial enlistment Company "E", 13th BattalionAlabama Partisan Rangers Berry, G. R. - Private -Enlisted April 7, 1863 at Fayette Courthouse, Alabama.Final muster: Company I, 56th Regiment Alabama Partisan Rangers. The 56th Regiment Alabama Partisan Rangers was formed June 8, 1863, by the consolidation of five companies (B to F) of the 13th Battalion Alabama Partisan Rangers with the 15th Battalion Alabama Partisan Rangers. Company L, which was formerly Company A, 13th Battalion Alabama Partisan Rangers, subsequently (1st) Company H, 22nd (Barteau's Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, was added sometime during the latter part of 1863. The regiment was also known as the 1st and as Boyles' Regiment Alabama Partisan Rangers and as the 56th and as Boyles' Regiment Alabama Cavalry.Source: This above listed data has been copied verbatim from the Muster document suitable to apply for a pension.

Updated 09 Mar 2008 (Created 27 Feb 2008)

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