Personal Reminiscences
and Fragments of the Early History of
Springfield and Greene County, Missouri



My father, Maj. Daniel D. Berry, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in July, 1805, and was brought up and educated there. When he was about 21 years old he, having the spirit of the pioneer in his make-up, "came west," and first stopped at Bolivar, West Tennessee, where he spent five or six years, and while there married my mother, who was Miss Olivia M. Polk. He then moved further west and came to Greene County and settled where the Country Club now is. This was in 1832. In 1836 a county seat was to be selected and three places were contesting for the site, each offering to donate land for the location. One was at the Danforth Spring, six miles east of here, on ground owned by Finley Danforth; another two miles southeast and owned by Daniel D. Berry, and the other on the present site on ground owned by John P. Campbell. My father and J. P. Campbell, fearing a divided interest so near each other would result in the selection of the Danforth place, concluded to unite their forces and agreed on the present site, which was carried. My father then moved to the new county seat and went into merchandising where Holland's Bank is now. He afterwards formed a partnership with his nephew, Benjamin Snyder, and afterwards with a Mr. Sterling Allen, and then with S. S. Vinton, and after this with J. S. Moss, which continued up to the "war".

My father was never a politician, but was in 1833, as shown by old records, a justice of the peace, and some years after this was county treasurer and was the first treasurer to make an itemized settlement with the County Court. It may seem that I am giving a biography of my father instead of writing a history of Greene County, but the history of one is almost the history of the other, as he was so prominently connected with the early history that it would be difficult to disassociate them. He died in Memphis, Tennessee, in October, 1862, and is now buried in Hazelwood Cemetery. He was the father of twelve children, ten of whom arrived at maturity and survived him.

It was mainly through his efforts the branch of the State Bank was established here and he was its first president, and because it gave the settlers a chance to get the money to enter their land and energetic men to borrow money to trade, it was a great factor in putting Springfield to the front.


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