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Thomas & Rowena Berrey

By Christine (Berrey) Heintz

Thomas R. and Rowena Berrey and their five children came to Kansas in 1909. We came to Wilmore by train, The "Doodle Bug." Our final destination was to go to our Aunt and Uncle's place in Kiowa County.

That ride in an open spring wagon on a very hot summer day will never be forgotten. We lived at the Cliff Woods home until Dad and several good neighbors built us a basement house. We lived there the first year until the top story and the roof was put on. Then we had a full house for a home.

Madoline, Cecil and myself, Christine, went to the Cobb School our first year in Kansas. We walked two and one-half miles, regardless of weather conditions.

We lived eight miles from town. The only means of transportation was a buckboard wagon. The true pioneer spirit was exercised here. We did not have the lush fruit and green vegetables we had in Missouri. This was truly an experience with much hard labor to establish our new home in Kansas.

A few years later we moved two miles north of Wilmore. All of us were in school now. Madoline and Cecil graduated from Coldwater High School in 1916. Wilmore Rural School was not an accredited High School at the time.

After graduation in 1916, Madeline taught School one year and in the spring married Cecil Fisher. They had one son, Leo Max. They spent most of their life in Colorado and New Mexico. Cecil was District Supervisor for Safeway Stores. They retired and moved back to Greensburg, Kansas to celebrate their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. They are now both deceased.

Cecil Berrey joined the Armed Forces after graduation in 1916. When he was discharged he went to work in oil fields. He married Agnes Schill of Casper, Wyoming. They had two children, Phillip and Paula. They retired and moved to Winterhaven, Florida. Cecil died in 1976.

After graduation from Wilmore High School in 1922, I taught in one-teacher Rural Schools for two years.

The next year we moved to Kansas City. In 1929 I married Ralph E. Heintz. We have two daughters Barbara and Carolyn. Ralph was a fireman for the Rock Island Railroad. He died of a heart attack in 1946. I returned to Kansas and completed my degree in Elementary Education at Hays State College, and taught twenty-three more years of school. I am retired. My home is in Coldwater.

Barbara is married to Tom Moss, and lives in San Francisco, California.

Carolyn married Dale Swisher. They have four children, Clay, Barbara, Coleman and Shannon. They live in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Elizabeth graduated from Wilmore High School in 1924. She married Bernarr Seaman. They have two children, Larry and Rowena. Larry has three children, Berrey, Lindy and Bradley. Larry lives in Sherman, Texas. Rowena is married to Bud Michaels. They live in Kansas City, Kansas. They have one daughter Peggy. Peggy is married to Barry Billings and lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Bernarr died in 1977.

Virginia, the youngest of the Berrey children graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri. Virginia married Ward Booth. They lived in Kansas City until he retired from The Ford Motor Company. Ward was an inspector for thirty-five years. They are now living in Forsyth, Missoure. They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1979.

Virginia and Ward are enjoying their retirement with the many opportunities provided for Senior Citizens in that resort community.

Comanche County History, page 252, Comanche County Historical Society, 1981.

The T.R. Berreys Celebrate Their Golden Wedding Anniversary
Sunday, December 23

Residents of Wilmore 33 Years. They Are Among Community's Most Highly-Respected Citizens; 75 Friends Attend Open House

The golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. T.R. Berrey of Wilmore, Kansas, was celebrated Sunday, December 23, 1945 with open house. About 75 close friends and neighbors called.

The centerpiece of the table was a three-tier white cake decorated in gold and white. Gold and white tapers in crystal candelabra completed the table decoration.

Bouquots of yellow and white chrysanthemums were placed throughout the house. The buffet was graced with 50 golden rosebuds, symbolic of 50 golden years.

Tea, wedding cake, wafers and mints were served to the guests by the granddaughters, Carolyn and Barbara Heintz was in charge of the guest book. Many beautiful gifts were received and displayed in the home. The seventy 50 cent pieces were individual gifts of members of the community.

Mr. and Mrs. Berrey came to Kansas 36 years ago and have lived in Wilmore 33 years. The children are: Mrs. Cecil Fisher, Scottsbluff, Neb; Cecil Berrey, Casper, Wyoming; Mrs. R. E. Heintz and Mrs. W. R. Booth of Kansas City and Mrs. B.M. Seaman of Wilmore, who with their families were present for the celebration and Christmas dinner.

The seven grandchildren are: Leo M. Fisher; Phillip and Paula Berrey; Barbara and Carolyn Heintz; and Larry and Rowena Seaman, and there is one greatgrandson, Leo Max Fisher Jr.

Mrs. Berrey was born in Missouri in 1877 and Mr. Berrey, a native of Virginia, was 80 years old December 19. They are among Wilmore's most esteemed citizens.

On Christmas eve at the Christian Church program their granddaughter, Barbara Heintz sang, "Bless This House", and dedicated it to her grandparents and their children.

(The above newspaper clipping is from the collection of Robert Hackney and was provided courtesy of Bobbi Hackney Huck. It was published in either The Wilmore News or The Western Star.)

The Western Star, November 14, 1949.

Death Comes to Mrs. T. R. Berrey

Funeral services for Mrs. T. R. Berrey were held in the Wilmore Christian church at 2:30 Thursday afternoon and were in charge of Rev. D. B. Bennett of Pratt, with Rev. Maurice Bigger of the Wilmore Christian church and Rev. Noel Woods of the Baptist church assisting.

A mixed quartet composed of Mrs. Wayne Flory, Medicine Lodge, Mrs. Austin Cobb and R. H. Baker of Wilmore and Walter Smith of Greensburg sang "Looking This Way" and "There is No Night There."

Mrs. Cobb of Wilmore and Mrs. Leroy Cline of Coldwater sang a duet, "Only Shadows," and Mrs. Wayne Flory sang a solo, "Prayer Perfect."

Interment was in the Wilmore cemetery. The pall bearers were Lester Trummel, Wm. Uhl, Fay Smith, Geo. Kennedy, C. O. Masterson, all of Wilmore, and Geo. Brown, of Great Bend, Kans.


Rowena Dale McDaniel wa born March 12, 1877, in Saline county, Missouri, and passed away October 4, 1940, at her home in Wilmore, Kans., at the age of 72. On December 24, 1895, she was united in marriage with T. R. Berrey in Saline county, Missouri. To this union were born five children: Mrs. Madoline Fisher, Scottsbluff, Nebr., Cecil Berrey, Casper, Wyo., Mrs. Christine Heintz, Coldwater, Kans., Mrs. Elizabeth Seaman, Wilmore, Kans., and Mrs. Virginia Booth, Grandview, Mo.

Mrs. Berrey moved with her husband to Kansas 40 years ago. They have lived in Wilmore for the past 37 years. Mr. and Mrs. Berrey celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary December 23, 1945. Mrs. Berrey was a member of the Christian church from an early age. She was also a member of the Eastern Star.

She leaves to mourn her passing her husband and her five children, one daughter-in-law, three sons-in-law and seven grandchildren; Leo M. Fisher, Phillip and Paula Berrey, Barbara and Carolyn Heintz and Larry and Rowena Seaman; two great grandchildren: Leo Max Fisher, Jr. and Thomas Robert Fisher.

She also leaves one brother, Dr. J. S. McDaniel of Trenton, N. J., and four sisters: Mrs. Laura Bailey, Grandville, N. Dak., Mrs. Sallie Barger, Marshall, Mo., Mrs. Del Smith, Chicago, Ill., and Mrs. Jennie Armentrout, Amsterdam, Mo.

Two brothers and one sister preceded her in death.


Only one love of a mother,
Only one blessing so rare,
No one is nearly sp precious,
No one will ever compare.
Peacefully resting in Jesus,
Sleeping to wake no more
Till the archangel's trumpet shall be sounded
Up there on that beautiful shore.
The light of her presence has vanished,
And we see her vacant chair,
But in christ we hold fast to the promise
The hope of reunion-up-there.

The Western Star, April 24, 1953.

Death Comes to Thomas R. Berrey
Had Been a Resident of the Wilmore Community 44 Years

Thomas R. Berrey, who had been a resident of Wilmore for many years, passed away in the Kitch Home in Pratt April 14, 1953 at an advanced age.

Funeral services were held in Wilmore Christian church Thursday afternoon April 16, at 2:30 and were in charge of the pastor, J. A. Nichols. Mrs. F. M. Moberley, Mrs. Austin Cobb and Gene Dorsey sang "Looking This Way," "There Is No Night There" and "Going Home." The accompanist was Mrs. Wade Zeigler.

Interment was in the Wilmore cemetery. The pallbearers were C. O. Masterson, George Kennedy, Lester Trummel, Lester Fry, Ernest Ferrin and Fay Smith.


Thomas Raymond Berrey was born December 19, 1865, in Madison county, Virginia, to Robert and Eliza Berrey and passed away in the Kitch Home in Pratt, Kans., April 14, 1953, at the age of 87 years, 3 months and 14 days.

He was united in marriage, December 24, 1895, with Rowena Dale McDaniel, who preceded him in death on October 4, 1949. To this union were born five children: Mrs. Cecil Fisher of Denver, Colo.; Cecil R. Berrey of Wheatland, Wyo.; Mrs. Christine Heintz of Coldwater, Kans.; Mrs. B. M. Seaman of Wilmore and Mrs. Ward Booth of Kansas City, Mo.

Mr. Berrey came to Kansas with his family 44 years ago and lived most of this time in Wilmore until the last year, when he lived at the Kitch Home on Pratt.

Mr. Berrey was united with the Christian church in Houstonia, Mo., early in life and was a charter member of the Wilmore Christian church.

Mr. Berrey was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him and was a good citizen, husband and father in every respect.

He is survived by five children, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. His mother, father, two brothers and three sisters preceded him in death.

The Wilmore News, June 21, 1917.

Fisher - Berrey

Sunday, June 17th, 1917 the home of Mr. and Mrs. T. R. Berrey of Wilmore, Kansas looked especially pretty for the marriage of their daughter Ella Madeline to Mr. Cecil Fisher. The colors used in decorating the room being pink and white. Joseph R. Babbs pastor of the Christian church of Coldwater, Kansas officiating using the ring services, for the Wedding party to enter the room, Mrs. Powell Wood played the wedding march and Miss Leone Powell, usher, Eula Wood, flower girl and Virginia Berrey, little sister of the bride, ring bearer. Miss Berrey entering the room on the arm of the groom where they took their place under the arch the bride wearing a white Habatui silk draped with silk net and a corsage of white roses and the groom attired in a dark blue suit. After which a delicious five course luncheon was served by the Misses Mabel Brown, Helen Wood, Christine Elizabeth, and Virginia Berrey as waiters to about forty relatives and friends. The out of town guests at the wedding were Miss Leone Powell and Mr. Ernest Wood, Coldwater, Kansas, Mr. Flake Fisher, Mills, New Mexico, Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Haynes, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Hawes, Bucklin, Kansas, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Fisher and family, LaFontaine, Kansas. The groom is an industrious and trustworthy young man and the bride possesses the qualifications of an ideal companion. After their relatives and friends wishing them an abundance of happiness and success they departed on their wedding tour through Colorado and New Mexico. Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Fisher will be at home to their many friends on their ranch near Mills, New Mexico after July 1st. The bride and groom were the recipients of many beautiful presents.

Bernarr & Elizabeth (Berrey) Seaman

Christine Willa (Berrey) Heintz, daughter of Thomas and Rowena Berrey.

Thomas & Rowena Berrey figure prominently in the memoirs of Gertrude Helena (Wood) Cordray.

This web page was added to this site by Jerry Ferrin on 08 Sept 2002. It was last updated 9 Sept 2006. Thanks to Bobbi (Hackney) Huck for transcribing the Comanche County History article and providing the 50th Wedding Anniversary article, and to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above obituaries and the wedding notice for Ella Berrey and Cecil Fisher.