Calhoun County

1891 Biography - Isaac Berrey

ISAAC S. BERREY, M. D. An excellent standing among the professional men in Calhoun County is held by the gentleman above named, who is now located in Batchtown. From that thriving place his reputation extends over a wide territory, and the demands for his professional services take him some distance from his home. He is a native of Richwoods Precinct, and is still quite a young man, his natal day having been October 17, 1856. He possesses a collegiate education, and before he began his medical studies had in his mind so drilled that he was able to advance rapidly in his comprehension of the profession. He was graduated from one of the best medical schools in the country and during the years which have passed since that time, has taken advantage of every opportunity to further increase his knowledge, and add to his practical skill.

The paternal ancestors of our subject were natives of Virginia as far back as the family record extends. His grandfather, Lawson Berrey, was born in Culpeper County, reared in his native State, and removed to Missouri in 1836. He had learned the trade of a cooper, and after locating in the West, continued to give his attention to it but also improved some land. He bought property in Ralls County, built a home and lived there until 1846 when he breathed his last. He had married Elizabeth Somers, a daughter of Philip and Barbara (Sauers) Somers, natives of Germany, whose last years were spent in Page County, Va.

James Berrey, the father of our subject, was one of ten children born to his parents. His natal day was November 4, 1821, and his birthplace Page County, Va. He was fifteen years old when he accompanied his parents to Missouri, the removal being made with a team to the Ohio River, thence on a steamer to Hannibal, Mo., and by teams to the new home twenty-five miles distant. At that time the county was sparsely settled, but few improvements had been made and all of the surroundings were of the most primitive nature. Young Berrey began his labors, working by the day, but finally advanced to yearly engagements, and after his marriage rented land for a time. He then bought eighty acres living thereon until 1852, when he sold and came to Calhoun County, Ill. Purchasing a tract of timber land in Richwoods Precinct, he built a log house and at once began the work of improvement. He lived upon the homestead until 1883, when he rented it and removed into Batchtown, where he had built the house he now occupies.

The marriage of James Berrey and Emily J. Scobee was solemnized in April, 1845. The bride was born in Ralls County, Mo., February 2, 1825. Her father, Robert Scobee, was born in Kentucky, and her grandfather, John Scobee, was probably a native of the same State. The latter became a pioneer of Ralls County, Mo., buying land about twenty-five miles from Hannibal. The father of Mrs. Berrey was reared to farm life, and followed it, spending his last years in Missouri. He married Lydia Turner, daughter of Samuel and Anna Turner, and a native of Culpeper County, Va. That lady did all her cooking by a fireplace during the early years of her married life, and also manufactured the greater part of the cloth used in the family, having been taught to card, spin, and weave. Mr. and Mrs. James Berrey are the parents of five living children — Robert, Isaac, Lizzie, Mary, and Alice; and have lost four — Andrew, Jane, Abner and Lydia. Both parents are devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dr. Berrey received his early education in the stone schoolhouse of Batchtown, and further advanced his knowledge by attendance at McKendiee College in Lebanon, Ill. He taught one term at the Nicholas schoolhouse in Richwoods Precinct. During his youth when not attending school he assisted his father in operating the farm. At the age of twenty-two years he turned his attention to the study of medicine, and in the winter of 1878-79 attended lectures at the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, Mo. During the winter of 1881-82, he was again present there, and was graduated in March, 1882. He at once began practice in the precinct of which he is a native, locating on a farm which he carried on in connection with his professional duties until 1887. He then took up his abode in Batchtown, and devoted himself entirely to his growing practice. He is successful in diagnosing and treating diseases, and is a very popular member of society, as well as of his profession.

At the home of Joseph and Harriet Bell, in Richwoods Precinct, September 15, 1880, Dr. Berrey was united in marriage with Mary Obedience, daughter of the host and hostess. The bride is a refined Christian woman, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The happy union has been blessed by the birth of four children — Marquis Otto, Ruth Ulu, Rosa, and Mary Josephine. Ruth Ulu and Mary Josephine are deceased. The Doctor is a candidate for Coroner of Calhoun County on the Republican ticket, and is prominent in the ranks of that party. His portrait is presented elsewhere in this volume.

Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 368-370

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