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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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J. Albert Berry, M. D., one of the best known members of the medical profession in Topeka, is distinguished as a specialist on diseases of the stomach, having spent years of study in this branch under the foremost specialists of the United States and Canada. He was born in Canada, March 22, 1861, and is a son of George and Ann Jane (McKinley) Berry.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was a native of the North of Ireland, and in early life emigrated to Canada, where the town of Berryton was named in his honor. George Berry, father of our subject, was born in Canada, where he became an extensive farmer and land-owner. He was united in marriage with Ann Jane McKinley, who was distantly related to William McKinley, late President of the United States. The genealogy of this family can be traced back for a period of 900 years, and is closely interwoven with the history of Northern and Central Scotland during that period. The name was originally spelled MacKinley, but the “a” was dropped from the name by the noted soldier, James McKinley, when he migrated to Ireland. George Berry and his wife became parents of the following children: Rebecca, wife of George Collinson of Canada; J. Albert; and George H., and W. J., who are engaged in farming in Canada. Mr. Berry died about 1890, and is survived by his widow who is past the age of 84 years.

J. Albert Berry was reared on a farm, working upon the home place during the summer months and attending school in the winter months, until he was 17 years old. His father had purchased another fine farm and was desirous of our subject taking charge of it, but the latter had become too strongly imbued with an ambition to practice medicine to give it up. He left the district schools for the public schools in town, graduating in 1881, and in 1883 completed a collegiate course. In October of the latter year, he entered the famous McGill University at Montreal, and was graduated from the medical department March 22, 1887, the 26th anniversary of his birth. Upon receiving his sheepskin, he came West to Kansas City, Missouri, and soon after located at Mill Grove, Missouri. His next location was DeWitt, Nebraska, arriving there empty-handed but full of ambition, and when he departed from that town he was worth $10,000. He next went to Kalispell, Montana, where he formed a partnership with an old classmate of McGill, a Doctor McDonald, and together they acted as surgeons for the Montana Division of the Great Northern Railroad, their territory extending as far West as Spokane, Washington. They filled this position from 1893 to 1895. In 1897 Dr. Berry took a special course in surgery at the Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital, No. 2400 Dearborn street, Chicago, paying $1,000 for an assistantship. After one month he concluded to take up conservative medicine and devoted his attention thereafter to the digestive tract,—the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines. In this hospital he was demonstrator in stomach clinics under Dr. Fenton B. Turk. After completing his course in 1898, he went to Spokane, Washington, but on account of sickness in his family returned home for a time. He then returned to Chicago and pursued a six-months’ course in diseases of the stomach, and took a special course on the eye, ear, nose and throat under Dr. Casey Wood and Dr. Thomas A. Woodruff, both Canadians of distinction. On December 20, 1899, Dr. Berry located in Topeka, where he has since built up a large office practice, working as a specialist along his own chosen lines. He is associated with Dr. Arthur S. Andrews in the Topeka Electrical and X-Ray Sanitarium, his specialty being; catarrh of the nose, throat and stomach and diseases of the rectum, kidneys, and bladder. He is physician for the Copeland Hotel, and is on the medical staff of the Jane C. Stormont Hospital. During the year 1900 he took a post graduate course in the New York Hospital. He is local medical examiner for the Illinois Life Insurance Company; the Franklin Life Insurance Company, of Springfield, Illinois; the Security Mutual Insurance Company, of Binghampton, New York; the National Life; the Merchants’ Life Insurance Company of Burlington, Iowa, and is council surgeon of the United Commercial Travelers of America. He is a member of the Shawnee County and Kansas State medical societies, and the American Medical Association.

Dr. Berry was united in marriage with S. Jennie Dagg, a daughter of Richard and Ellen (Ardell) Dagg, both natives of County Tipperary, Ireland. Her father was postmaster of the city of London, Ontario, Canada for a period of 20 years. Fraternally, our subject is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Elks.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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