An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Berry, Martha McChesney

(Oct. 7, 1866-Feb. 27, 1942). Founder of Berry College. She was born and grew up at Oak Hill, a cotton plantation near Rome, Georgia. She inherited a substantial estate in her early twenties when her father died. In the 1890s she started a Sunday School in the Blue Ridge mountains north of Rome, where her family had a hunting lodge. In 1902 she opened the Boys' Industrial School, later the Mount Berry School for Boys, and in 1909 she opened the Martha Berry School for Girls. These were vocational boarding schools that taught the mountain children agricultural and domestic skills. In 1926 these schools became Berry College. In 1924 the Georgia legislators named her a “distinguished citizen.” Berry died in Atlanta and is buried on the grounds of Berry College.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.