DAVID E. BERRY
At an early day in the history of California David E. Berry became a stage-driver and has since followed that occupation, though the years have brought many changes and wrought a great transformation. Conditions are now vastly different and the population has changed from a camp of miners to families interested in the various business affairs which are common to the east as well as to the west.
Mr. Berry was born in Liberty, in the state of Maine, on the 30th of April, 1834, and is of Scotch lineage, his parents being Samuel and Irene (Edwards) Berry, both of whom were natives of Maine and were respected farmers there. The father was a Universalist in religious faith, while his wife was identified with the Methodist Church. They had six children, of whom three are now living. Mr. Berry died in 1880 at the ripe old age of eighty-three years, and his wife also attained the same age, passing away on the old homestead on which they had always lived.
David E. Berry was educated in his native state and on attaining his majority started for California. He sailed from New York on the George Law, and after crossing the Isthmus of Panama he took passage on the Golden Gate, which plowed the Pacific waters until reaching the harbor of San Francisco on the 29th of May. For a short time he was located at Mud Springs, in El Dorado County, and thence went to Railroad Flat, in Calaveras County. Later he located at Sacramento and engaged in driving from Sacramento to Mokelumne Hill, a distance of sixty-five miles, going out one day and returning the next. For eight years he drove from Lodi to Mokelumne Hill and returned each day, a distance of eighty-four miles. During all these years he was never waylaid by highwaymen except on one occasion, and then the robbers did not get a cent. He now owns a stage route and carries the mail from Valley Springs to Mokelumne Hill. His son, William B., is now the driver of the four-horse stage and is very competent, being able to manage his horses with skill, and at the same time he is courteous to his patrons and enjoys the high regard of all with whom he is thus associated. The father also owns a livery stable at Valley Springs, where he now resides.
In 1873 occurred the marriage of our subject to Miss T. Wildermuth, a native of Illinois, who came to California in 1872. She is a daughter of Eli Wildermuth, of Illinois. They now have two sons and two daughters, namely: Laura, William, Elsie and David S. Irene, the oldest daughter, died at the age of seven in 1881. Since the organization of the party, Mr. Berry has given his support to Republican principles and has served as constable at Valley Springs for the past nine years. He has long been recognized as a thoroughly reliable citizen and has a wide acquaintance from northern California, his many estimable qualities gaining him the friendship and regard of all with whom he is associated. Not to know David E. Berry in Calaveras County is to argue one’s self poorly posted, for as stage-driver and owner he has formed a very extensive acquaintance.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.