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Biographies

BERRY, William Thomas

Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
II, page 189, 1923.

BERRY, WILLIAM THOMAS. While carrying a heavy burden of present day activities, WILLIAM
THOMAS BERRY was one of the first citizens to identify themselves with the community of
Apopka, and has lived there or in that section of the state for nearly forty years. Since
November, 1890, a period of a third of a century, he has been agent at Apopka for the
Seaboard Air Line Railroad.

Mr. BERRY was born on a plantation in Russell County, Alabama, November 23, 1858, son of
JOHN R. and MARIE LOUISE (ABERCROMBIE) BERRY. His parents were natives of Alabama and of
old Virginia stock. WILLIAM T. BERRY is one of five children, and the other two to reach
mature age were CHARLES A., and JOHN R.

Mr. BERRY was reared on a farm, acquired a common school education and soon after reaching
the age of sixteen went to work and was an overseer on plantations at wages. In 1878 he
began farming on his own account, and then became a merchant and station agent. For a brief
time he was employed at Montgomery, Alabama, and in February, 1884, came to Apopka, Florida.
Here he worked by the day, and among other things helped survey a portion of the Seaboard
Air Line Railroad. He was a merchant and railway employee at Clay Springs, and in 1890
returned to Apopka and took up his duties as railway agent. He had in the meantime perfected
his skills in telegraphy. Faithfully looking after the interest of the railroad company and
promoting cordial relations between the railroad and the community, Mr. BERRY has at the
same time been in business for himself as a druggist, liveryman and in the feed and grain
trade. Like most progressive men of Florida he has also been a citrus fruit grower and
owns an orange grove.

Mr. BERRY is a democrat and has filled several local positions including town council and
member of the local school board. He is a Knight of Pythias and is a Deacon in the Baptist
Church. Mrs. BERRY is also a Baptist and they reared their children in the same faith.

In May, 1891, Mr. BERRY married Miss PERSIA LEVISE WELCH, a native of Talladega County,
Alabama, and daughter of JAMES LEVI and MARIE (MALLORY) WELCH, who were of Virginia stock.
Mr. And Mrs. BERRY have two children, JENNIE and WILLIAM THOMAS Jr., both of whom are
married. These children have a wholesome combination of national lineage, the BERRY family
being of English descent, the ABERCROMBIES of Scotch, the WELCH of Welsh, and the MALLORYs
of Scotch-Irish lineage.
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