James Henderson Berry

James Henderson Berry (May 15, 1841 – January 30, 1913) was a United States Senator and served as the 14th governor of Arkansas.

James Henderson Berry
Cabinet card of a bust portrait of Governor James Henderson Berry (cropped).jpg
14th Governor of Arkansas
In office
January 13, 1883 – January 17, 1885
Preceded byThomas James Churchill
Succeeded bySimon Pollard Hughes, Jr.
United States Senator
from Arkansas
In office
March 20, 1885 – March 3, 1907
Preceded byAugustus H. Garland
Succeeded byJeff Davis
Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byCharles W. Tankersley
Succeeded byA. A. Pennington
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1841-05-15)May 15, 1841
Jackson County, Alabama, U.S.
DiedJanuary 30, 1913(1913-01-30) (aged 71)
Bentonville, Arkansas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States
Branch/service Confederate States Army
Years of service1861–1863
RankConfederate States of America Second Lieutenant.png Second Lieutenant
UnitCompany E, 16th Arkansas Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Early lifeEdit

A 1908 monument in homage to James H. Berry and the Southern Soldier, located in the town square of Bentonville, Arkansas

James Henderson Berry was born in Jackson County, Alabama, to Isabella Jane (née Orr) and James McFerrin Berry. The family moved to Arkansas in 1848. Berry attended Berryville Academy in Berryville, Arkansas, for one year. The academy was named after his family.[1] Berry studied law and in 1866 was admitted to the Arkansas bar.

American Civil WarEdit

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Berry joined the Confederate States Army and was commissioned as a second lieutenant with Company E, 16th Arkansas Infantry. Berry lost his right leg during the Battle of Corinth in northern Mississippi. After recuperating from his wound, he worked as a school teacher and started a private law practice.

Political careerEdit

Berry was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1866. He was reelected in 1872 and in 1874. In his last term he was selected to be Speaker of the House. Berry was the chairman of the Democratic State Convention in 1876. In 1878 he became a judge for the Fourth Circuit Court and served in that post until 1882 when he was elected Governor of Arkansas. The Berry administration focused on reducing the state debt and creating a state mental hospital. Berry did not run for reelection. In March 1885, Berry was selected by the legislature to fill the unexpired term of Senator Augustus H. Garland. Berry remained in the U.S. Senate for the next 22 years.

Later lifeEdit

In 1910, Berry accepted a position with the Arkansas History Commission to mark the graves of all Arkansas Confederate soldiers who had died in northern prisons.[2] Berry died in Bentonville, Arkansas, and is buried at the Knights of Pythias Cemetery (present-day Bentonville Cemetery), Bentonville, Arkansas.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1865, Berry married E.Q. "Lizzie" Quaile. They had six children.


  1. ^ "History of Berryville". CarrollCountyAR.com. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  2. ^ "Arkansas Governor James Henderson Berry". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  3. ^ "Former Senator J. H. Berry Dead". Arkansas Gazette. Bentonville. January 31, 1913. p. 1. Retrieved April 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Arkansas
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Arkansas
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from Arkansas
Served alongside: James K. Jones, James P. Clarke
Succeeded by