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Charles H. Berry

Manufacturer of building materials and contractor

The following is the 1889 obituary for well-known Wheeling buisnessman, Charles H. Berry.

OBITUARY -- from the Wheeling Intelligencer, Feb. 5, 1889:

A Well Known Business Man Goes to His Final Rest. A Brief Sketch.

Charles H. Berry, the well-known rope and cordage merchant and dealer in boat tackle and other supplies, died at 4:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon at his residence, corner of Chapline and Twentieth streets, aged between sixty and seventy years.

The deceased was actively engaged in the rope, twine and general cordage business, first as a manufacturer and latterly as a wholesale and retail merchant, from youth up to the time of his death. He was born in Boston, March 4, 1825. His father was a native of England, and while young, emigrated to Boston, where he married. About one year after the birth of the deceased, his father moved his family to Cincinnati, and four years later moved to this place, where he manufactured the first manilla rope made west of the Allegheny Mountains. His rope walk occupied an orchard in North Wheeling, near where the foundry of Joseph Bell & Co. now stands. The business proved a successful one, and in 1836 the old gentleman was enabled to build a walk and residence out the National road, near Fulton. Soon after the big panic struck the country, and from 1837 to 1844 th rope business reached such a low ebb that the elder Berry was forced to turn the business over to Redick McKee, a well remembered old time citizen; but in 1845 Charles H. Berry, the deceased, succeeded to the the business his father had started. He soon found himself hampered for want of facilities and securing an eligible tract of land below Benwood built a large rope walk there. Here he continued in business till 1868 when finding it impossible to compete in manufacturing, he sold the property and located here engaging in the jobbing business exclusively. He was then located on Water street, where in 1871 he was burned out; the loss was $12,500 – insurance $8,000. He then rented on Main street, and in the course of ten days had laid in an extensive stock. In the course of two weeks this warehouse was also discovered to be on fire, but was fortunately saved with but little loss. Shortly after he moved back to Water street, and in 1876 moved back on Main street at No. 1315. Later he moved back on Water street occupying the building on the corner of the Stamm House alley, where he has been ever since, doing a good paying business that has enabled him to prosper in other ways.

He was married in October, 1857, to Grace, eldest daughter of W. McMechen of Marshall county, who died the succeeding June. In the fall of 1859 he next married Agnes, second daughter of Mr. McMechen, by whom he has had four children – three sons and a daughter.

The deceased up to within a very short time enjoyed uniformly good health, and the news of his death will be considerable of a surprise to a large portion of the community. Mr. Berry was a man respected by all, and his death will be sincerely regretted by a large number, while his family will have the sympathy of a large circle of friends.

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