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James Henderson Berry

Personal data
Date of birthMay 15, 1841
Place of birthJackson County, Alabama
Date of deathJanuary 30, 1913(age 71)
Place of deathBentonville, Arkansas
Political partyDemocratic
Military service
Service/branchConfederate States Army
Unit16th Arkansas Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
14th Governor of Arkansas
In office1883 - 1885
Succeeded bySimon Pollard Hughes, Jr.
Preceded byThomas James Churchill
In officeMarch 20, 1885 - March 4, 1907
Succeeded byJeff Davis
Preceded byAugustus H. Garland

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James Henderson Berry (May 15, 1841 January 30, 1913) was a United States Senator and served as the 14th Governor of the State of Arkansas.

James Henderson Berry was born in Jackson County, Alabama to Isabella Jane (née Orr) and James McFerrin Berry. The family moved to Arkansas in 1848. Berry attended Clarks Academy in Berryville, Arkansas, which was named after him, for one year. He studied law and in 1866 was admitted to the Arkansas bar.

In 1865, Berry married E.Q. "Lizzie" Quaile. They had six children: daughters Nellie Frank, Berl, Jennie, and Bessie; and sons Elliott and Frederick Hugh.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War Berry joined the Confederate Army and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with the 16th Arkansas Infantry. Berry lost his right leg during the Battle of Corinth in northern Mississippi. After recuperating from his wound he worked as a school teacher and started a private law practice.

Berry was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1866. He was reelected in 1872 and in 1874. In his last term he was selected to be Speaker of the House. Berry was the chairman of the Democratic State Convention in 1876. In 1878 he became a judge for the Fourth Circuit Court and served in that post until 1882 when he was elected Governor of Arkansas.

The Berry administration focused on reducing the state debt, creating a State Mental Hospital. Berry did not run for reelection.

In March 1885 Berry was selected by the legislature to fill the unexpired term of Senator Augustus Hill Garland. Berry remained in the U.S. Senate for the next 22 years. In 1910 he accepted a position with the Arkansas History Commission to mark the graves of all Arkansas Confederate soldiers who had died in northern prisons.

James H. Berry died in Bentonville, Arkansas. Berry is buried at the Knights of Pythias Cemetery (now known as the Bentonville Cemetery), Bentonville, Arkansas.




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