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Berryman Family Collection

Collection 189



The Berryman Family Papers were donated to the Manuscripts Department of the Kansas State Historical Society by Roy V. Shrewder of Ashland, Kansas, on July 21, 1983. Mr. Shrewder was the husband of Dorothy Berryman Shrewder, daughter of Jerome W. Berryman. Roy Shrewder was a Kansas legislator, and his papers are in a separate collection.

The main portion of the collection relates to Jerome W. Berryman, although there is business and personal correspondence for Gerard Q., William S., and Jerome C. Berryman. There are also some files of correspondence from other family members.

The collection contains six linear feet of business and personal correspondence and other business related materials. There have been no additions to this collection and there are no restrictions on access to the collection.


In some of the miscellaneous files a few of the later papers of Jerome Causin Berryman are found. He was born in 1810 in Kentucky and came to Kansas in 1833 to establish the Kickapoo Indian Mission near current day Leavenworth. He later, in 1841, became superintendent of the manual labor school at the Shawnee Methodist Mission.

He later moved to Missouri and established a high school in Arcadia. There his son Gerard Q. Berryman received his preparatory education for medical school, which he attended in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the last years of the Civil War.

In 1869 Gerard married Minerva Woods. They resided in Arcadia until 1887, when they and their four children moved to Elk City, Kansas. Gerard practiced medicine and ran a farm in Missouri. In Kansas he resumed his medical practice but also bought controlling interest in the Elk City Bank, which was part of the Charles Q. Chandler and William S. Woods’ banking interests.

Also in 1887, Minerva was diagnosed as having an absess in the lungs. By 1891 her illness was severe enough that a climate change was recommended and she moved to Tucson, Arizona. Later she moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Gerard joined her there in August of 1891. Minerva’s health never recovered, and she died in November of 1892. Gerard returned to the southwest in December, this time to El Paso, Texas.

The climate suited his failing health. He was diagnosed with pulmonary troubles. In 1893 he tried to obtain the position as United States consul to Juarez, Mexico, in the Grover Cleveland administration. Over 190 letters of recommendation were sent on his behalf by friends, relatives, and colleagues. He did not receive the appointment and subsequently requested the position of collector of customs at El Paso, Texas. There is no evidence that he obtained this position either.

In May of 1894, Gerard returned to Elk City, Kansas. His health never improved and he died on August 2, 1895.

Jerome W. Berryman was the eldest son of Gerard Berryman. He was born on March 12, 1870, in Arcadia, Missouri. He came to Kansas in1887 at the age of seventeen to work in the bank of his cousin, Charles Q. Chandler. He was very successful and his responsibilities increased. It was Jerome’s success and confidence in the banking profession that brought his father to invest and buy controlling interest in the Elk City Bank. By 1888 he was head cashier and managed the institution until 1892. In that year he moved to Medicine Lodge to become the vice president of the Citizens National Bank.

In the fall of 1892, Jerome became interested in the development of the Cherokee Strip in Okalahoma Territory. He established the Bank of Pond Creek in Pond Creek, Oklahoma. He met his future wife in Pond Creek and on June 8, 1898, he married Annette McNickle.

After Jerome and Annette (Nettie) were married, they returned to Elk City, Kansas, where the first of their five children was born in 1899. Shortly after this the family moved to Ashland, Kansas, where C. Q. Chandler and Jerome bought controlling interest in the Stockgrowers Bank. Jerome bought out Chandler in 1907.

Jerome’s business interests broadened and he also was elected as a State legislator. He served five terms in 1905, 1907, 1923, 1925, and 1927. Jerome’s primary motivation for returning to the legislature in 1923 was to secure funding to buy and restore the Old Shawnee Mission, the place where his grandfather had served as a missionary.

Jerome always had an interest in history. He became president of the Kansas State Historical Society in 1926 and was also a charter member and vice president of the Clark County Chapter of the Kansas State Historical Society.

Late in 1939, Jerome suffered a severe cold and an attack of influenza. Both were thought to have weakened his heart. In March, 1940, he went to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He was recovering from surgery when he died suddenly of pulmonary and coronary complications on April 19, 1940.

Scope and Content

The Berryman Family Papers consist of approximately six linear feet of records dating from 1858 to 1899. The collection mainly includes business and personal correspondence for Gerard Q. Berryman and his eldest son, Jerome W. Berryman. There are also miscellaneous folders for Rev. Jerome C. Berryman and other members of the family. Rev. Jerome C. Berryman’s papers are from his later life and include reports from the Quarterly Conferences of the Methodist Church of the Arcadia Station, Iron Mountain District.

Gerard’s correspondence includes letters from family members, friends, and business associates. Many were written at the time of the Civil War, although they deal primarily with family affairs. His business papers are divided into his medical practice, other business interests, and the Harvill Estate, of which he was the executor. In 1893 Gerard tried to secure the position of consul to Juarez, Mexico. The collection contains over 190 letters of recommendation from friends, relatives, and colleagues. There is one box that contains personal correspondence addressed to Minerva Berryman, Gerard’s wife.

Jerome W. Berryman, who was the recipient of the bulk of the collection’s correspondence, received letters from men and women friends, as well as relatives. The content of the letters is typically light in tone, often dealing with the health of the correspondent. One box exclusively contains courtship letters from Annette McNickle, who became Jerome’s wife. There are 127 letters spanning a 30 month period. Jerome and Annette met in Pond Creek, Oklahoma. She had a farm and millinery shop and Jerome, too, had a claim and ran the Bank of Pond Creek. Their correspondence occurred when Jerome returned to Elk City, Kansas, on business or Annette returned home to Cortland, Nebraska. There is also a draft of a letter from Jerome to her father requesting her hand in marriage and Mr. McNickle’s response.

Jerome’s business correspondence includes letters, business cards, and receipts, mostly from his banking interests. Among these papers are machine copies of newspaper articles from the Pond Creek Tribune and other Oklahoma Territory newspapers containing notices of Jerome’s involvement with the town’s fight to obtain a railroad depot on the Rock Island line in Pond Creek. After much destruction of railroad property by the good citizens of Pond Creek, the U. S. Congress approved a bill requiring railroads to have depots in towns that have government business. Pond Creek was the county seat of L (now Grant) County, Oklahoma.

William Berryman, younger brother of Jerome W., has a small amount of personal and business correspondence contained in two boxes. Most interesting was his involvement in 1895 as a partner in the F. J. Gentry and Company Dog and Pony Show. The company had special railroad cars that took the animals all over the Southeast. The collection includes telegrams telling in which towns they were appearing, colorful flyers, and animal order forms.

In addition, the Kansas State Historical Society has library materials, photographs, and newspapers relating to the Berryman Family.

--Kelly Fairbanks, Intern

Spring, 1986

Contents List

Box 1 Gerard Q. Berryman
Folder 1 Certificates of Exemption from the Civil War for
Folder 2 Harvill Estate and Reeves Estate, G. Q. Berryman,
Folder 3 Letters of recommendation for the job of Counsul
  to Juarez, Mexico, February – March, 1893 – 122
Folder 4 Letters of recommendation for the boy of Counsul
  to Juarez, Mexico, April – June, 1893 – 70 letters
Folder 5 Letters of recommendation for the job of Collector
  of Customs at El Paso, Texas, May – August, 1893
Box 2 Gerard Q. Berryman
Folder 1 Miscellaneous medical papers, 1865-1891
Folder 2 Miscellaneous business papers, 1869-1879
Folder 3 Miscellaneous business papers, 1880-1894
Folder 4 Legal documents – Land deeds, 1860-1887 (also four
  deeds are located in Berryman oversize)
Box 3 Gerard Q. Berryman
Folder 1 Letters from Minerva Berryman, Gerard’s wife,
Folder 2 Letters from Gerard’s children, Jerome, William,
  Channie and Emily, 1885-1895
Folder 3 Letters from friends and relatives, c. 1858
Folder 4 Letters from friends and relatives, 1858-1866
Folder 5 Letters from friends and relatives, 1867-1895
Box 4 Gerard Q. Berryman
Folder 1 Letters from Gerard’s brother and sisters,
Folder 2 Letters from Gerard’s brother and sisters,
Folder 3 Letters from Gerard’s brother and sisters,
Folder 4 Letters from Gerard’s father, Rev. Jerome C.
  Berryman, 1858-1889
Folder 5 Letters from Gerard’s father, Rev. Jerome C.
  Berryman, 1890-1895
Box 5 Minerva Woods Berryman
Folder 1 Letters from her husband Gerard Berryman, 1891
Folder 2 Letters from her sons and daughters, 1890-1892
  Minerva Woods Berryman (cont.)
Folder 3 Letters from relatives, 1870-1892
Folder 4 Miscellaneous personal letters, 1886-1891
Box 6 Jerome W. Berryman
Folder 1 Miscellaneous business papers, 1888-1897
Folder 2 Business correspondence from C. Q. Chandler and W.S. Woods, 1887-1895
Folder 3 Miscellaneous business papers from Pond Creek
  Oklahoma, 1893-1898
Folder 4 Rock Island Railroad Incident, 1893-1895
Folder 5 Papers from Knights of Pythias Grand Lodge,
Folder 6 Elk City Bank Drafts
Folder 7 Correspondence addressed to Mr. M. D. Valdez,
Folder 8 Business and personal cards
Box 7 Jerome W. Berryman
Folder 1 Courtship letters from Annette (Nettie) McNickle,
  Dec. 1895-1896 (53 letters)
Folder 2 Courtship letters from Annette (Nettie) McNickle,
  1897 (58 letters)
Folder 3 Courtship letters from Annette McNickle Jan – May,
  1898 (16 letters)
Folder 4 Draft of letter of proposal of marriage from
  Jerome and Mr. McNickle’s response, June, 1896
Box 8 Jerome W. Berryman
Folder 1 Letters from his mother Minerva Berryman, 1878-
  Nov. 1891
Folder 2 Letters from his mother Minerva Berryman, Dec.,
Folder 3 Letters from his father Gerard Berryman, 1878-1895
Folder 4 Letters from his grandfather Rev. Jerome C.
  Berryman, 1881-1898
Folder 5 Letters from his brother and sisters (William,
  Channie and Emily), 1889-1899
Folder 6 Letters from relatives, 1880-1898
Box 9 Jerome W. Berryman
Folder 1 School papers and essays
Folder 2 Correspondence from women friends, 1885-1897
Folder 3 Correspondence from men friends, 1887-1897
Folder 4 Miscellaneous cards and invitations, 1886-1892
Box 10 William S. Berryman
Folder 1 Letters, telegrams, and flyers concerning the
  F. J. Gentry and Company, Dog and Pony Show,
Folder 2 Miscellaneous business papers, 1890-1897
Box 11 William S. Berryman
Folder 1 Letters from his mother, Minerva Berryman, 1890-
  Aug., 1891
Folder 2 Letters from his mother, Minerva Berryman, Sept.
Folder 3 Letters from his father, Gerard Berryman,
Folder 4 Letter from brother and sisters (Jerome, Channie,
  Emily), 1890-1896
Folder 5 Letters from relatives, including grandfather,
  Rev. Jerome C. Berryman, 1890-1893
Folder 6 Miscellaneous personal correspondence, 1889-1897
Folder 7 Miscellaneous correspondence from women friends,
Box 12 Miscellaneous
Folder 1 Miscellaneous papers of Rev. Jerome C. Berryman
  (Box unfinished)
Box 13 Miscellaneous
  Box contains diaries, prescription books and miscellaneous
  account books.