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This gentleman stands at the head of one of the leading business industries of Atchison, for the Berlin Grocery & Milling Company is in control of an extensive enterprise, which contributes not only to the individual prosperity of the stockholders but also to the welfare of the community through the channel of commercial activity, whereon depends all material progress and advancement in city life. Mr. Berlin was born in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, December 17, 1840, and is a son of Samuel and Harriet (Savits) Berlin. His grandfather, Isaac Berlin, was one of the first settlers in that part of the country, and was of German descent. He married a Miss Henbach, a representative of one of the old families of Pennsylvania. Samuel Berlin was born in Northampton county, in the village of Berlinville, which was named in honor of the family. His wife was born in 1820, and was a daughter of James Swartz. Mr. and Mrs. Berlin became the parents of eleven children, six sons and five daughters, and with the exception of one daughter all grew to years of maturity, while nine of the family are still living. One sister resides in Pennsylvania, four of the members of the family are living in Kansas, and four are residents of Ohio.

Joseph H. Berlin spent his boyhood days in the county of his nativity, and was a student in the old Swartz Hill Academy until his fifteenth year. He then entered upon his business career in a general store in Morristown, Pennsylvania, where he spent eleven years. On the expiration of that period he began business for himself in Petersville, where he remained several years, after which he conducted a store in Cherryville for a few years. He was quite successful in his endeavors there until the failure of Jay Cooke & Company, in 1873, when he closed out his business. After settling up his affairs he came to the West, locating in Atchison, where he embarked in the wholesale grocery business, and at the same time handled tobacco on an extensive scale, but later he abandoned that branch of the trade. He has gradually extended the field of his operations until he now controls one of the leading enterprises in the northeastern section of the state. In 1885 he purchased the Kansas Spice Mill, which he converted into a grain mill. This is supplied with the roller system and has a capacity of two hundred and fifty bushels in twenty-four hours. At the present time he does an extensive business's in roasting and selling coffee. In 1894 he removed his wholesale grocery house to its present location, and in that line has a very liberal patronage, his goods being shipped to various points in Kansas and other western states. In 1897 the Berlin Grocery & Milling Company was organized and incorporated with J. H. Berlin as president.

In 1860 occurred the marriage of Mr. Berlin and Miss Sarah A. King, a native of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, and the fourth daughter of John and Sabina (Rudolf) King. They now have three children: Alvin C., Elmer U. and Adelaide R., all at home. The parents are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church, with which they united on its organization in July, 1875. Since that time Mr. Berlin has served as one of its trustees, is a most liberal contributor to its support and has acted as the superintendent and a teacher of the Sunday school. His Christian belief is exemplified in his business integrity and in his relations with his fellow men, and in social, business and church circles he ranks deservedly high.