Albert Seaton Berry

Albert Seaton and Ann Berry



Albert Seaton Berry was born on his father's plantation "Fairfield"-at modern day Dayton, Kentucky, on Friday the 13th of February 1836. His parents were James Taylor Berry and Elizabeth Virginia Vice, daughter of Nathaniel Vice, founder of Visalia.  His father was one of the founding fathers of Jamestown. His grandfather Washington Berry was a charter trustee of Newport and the first judge to preside over Campbell County's Circuit Court.  Albert S Berry was a great nephew of General James Taylor; he also was brother-in-law to Harvard's Dean Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, a distant cousin to the distinguished George Washington of Newport-through the Washington family of Virginia and uncle to the Honorable Brent Spence.

After graduating from Miami University in 1855 and Cincinnati Law School in 1858 he moved to Newport.  Berry was appointed superintendent of county schools in 1859 and won election as city attorney in 1861.  He took up arms for the South when the Civil War commenced, and volunteered personally at Richmond, Virginia.  Authorities there advised him that he would be most useful in working to defeat the Union faction in his own state, so he returned to enlist Confederate volunteers.  He campaigned with the 9th and 13th regiments of Kentucky Cavalry and fought with Bragg's Army in 1862.  He took rank as a lieutenant of Confederate Marines and helped defend Charleston, South Carolina during its blockade and siege; upon its evacuation, his company left to join Robert E Lee's army only to be captured at Sailor's Creek, Virginia on April 6, 1865.  He remained in prison until July 5, when President Johnson pardoned him and restored his citizenship.

In 1867 Berry married Ann Shaler, daughter of Nathaniel Burger Shaler and Ann Hinde Southgate


Children of Albert Seaton Berry and Ann Shaler

1. Alice H Berry b-6 April 1869 in Newport; d-19 June 1940 in San Francisco; br-Evergreen; m-William H Nunn
2. Shaler Berry-9 May 1871 in Dayton; d-1 Mar 1928 in Ft Thomas; br-Evergreen; m-1 Jessie Southgate 7 May 1901 in Middletown Oh; 2-Alex in 1912; 3-Blanche Heath 7 Feb 1920 in Newport
3. Anna Elizabeth Berry-11 Nov 1873 in Newport; d-26 Apr 1944 in Montrose Penn; m-Walton C Hill 30 May 1908 in Cincinnati
4. Nathaniel Southgate Berry br-16 June 1879 in Evergreen "Our Baby"
5. Albert Seaton Berry Jr. b-11 May 1877 in Newport; d-30 Oct 1957; br-Evergreen
6. Robert L Berry

Berry returned to Newport to practice law and played a major role in Bellevue's residential development since he owned much land there.  He served as Newport's Democratic mayor during 1876-77 and 1888-1891.  He sat for two terms in the state senate where he supported civil service reform, improvement of inland waterways, prison reform and legislation to advance education.

During the 1884 flood Albert Berry, whose family then owned the Newport and Cincinnati Ferry, donated barges and boats to help salvage household property.

Kentucky's Sixth District elected him to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1892 and he sat for four terms again working on improving navigation on Kentucky's waterways while a member of the house Committee on Rivers and Harbors.  Nicknamed "the tall sycamore of the Licking"-he stood 6'5 and was the tallest man in Congress during the 1890s. 

Berry was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-third and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1893-March 3, 1901); unsuccessful candidate for re-nomination in 1900; resumed the practice of law; appointed and subsequently elected judge of the seventeenth judicial district of Kentucky and served from 1905 until his death in Newport, Ky. 7 Jan 1908. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Anna Shaler Berry died 18 Mar 1906 in Newport and was buried in Evergreen.


Judge Albert Seaton Berry's Obituary


The following information comes from the Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century

Published by J M Armstrong & Company 1878

BERRY, HON ALBERT SEATON, Lawyer, son of James T and Elizabeth V Berry, was born May 13, 1837 in Campbell County, Kentucky.  His father was a successful farmer and served as the first County Judge of Campbell County. His grandfather Washington Berry, came from Virginia and settled in that county in 1792.  His mother was a native of Alexandria, Virginia, daughter of Nathaniel Wise, a prominent lawyer of Virginia, and relative of the distinguished Henry A Wise, of that State.

He was liberally educated, graduating at Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio in 1856.  He graduated from the Cincinnati Law School, in 1857; in that year, began the practice of the law at Newport; in the following year was elected City Attorney; in 1861, entered the Confederate Army, as a private in the Fifth Kentucky Infantry; was in the army until the close of the war; saw service in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina; and participated in the battles of Princeton and Jonesboro and in numerous less important engagements.

From 1865 to 1875 he was largely engaged as a broker and dealer in real estate; in the latter year, he resumed the practice of law.  He has served as President of the School Board of Newport; has been once appointed and three times elected Mayor and President of the Council of Newport; and now is Mayor of that city.  He cast his first Presidential vote for John C Breckinridge in 1860 and is a Democrat.

In 1877 he made an exciting race for the State Senate, and was elected by a flattering majority.  He is a lawyer of ability and a remarkably energetic and successful business man; a man of vigorous, restless brain, quick in his conclusions and actions and ready at all times for any emergency; is decidedly scholarly in his tastes and attainments; is considerably over six feet in height, absolutely straight, and of great physical force.  He is a progressive, public-spirited and valuable citizen and is one of the first men of his section of the State.

Mr. Berry was married in 1867 to Miss Anna H Shaler, daughter of Dr. M (sic) B Shaler of Newport, Kentucky.

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