Berry-Millard Family

Happiness is the family……..

Text Box: Kate Pointer
Text Box: As related by Kate Pointer—1956 
Mrs. Mary “Kate” Berry Pointer came with her family at the age of 13 from Canada in 1877.  (At the time of this story, she was 93 years old)  The Berry family lived 14 miles from Windsor, and owned 20 acres of land.
Mr. Isaac Berry was born in Kentucky as a slave.  He ran away from Marion County to Windsor, Canada.  His master owned his mother and all her children.  When the master died, he was given to a daughter.  His mistress Julie Ann Pratt gave him permission to run away if he thought he could get away because her husband (who was a gambler) was selling everything for his gambling debts.  So Isaac left on a Saturday night as they would not be looking for him until Monday morning, to report back to the farm.  She told him not to talk or people would know who he was.  A man took him to where he could cross the Mississippi River. He walked to Ypsilanti.  His feet were sore and a colored man said, “Where you goin’-runaway slave?” “I’m going to keep on running”, he replied.  The man didn't mean any harm and he told his wife to give him water to wash his feet and they fed him.  At night the house was full of colored people.  They took a collection and sent him to Detroit and said—catch a ferry to Windsor and you will be under the Lion’s Paw, which he did.  Later he found out his master had followed him to Detroit.
Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Berry and six children and Mr. & Mrs. Steven Todd and 1 child came from Canada to Michigan in May 1877.
Isaac Berry bought land from a man who had it in trust at a loan company in Canada.  The man didn’t own it and after paying for it Mr. Berry and Mr. Johnson couldn’t own the land either.  (I don’t know where this land was located)
They had both come to Michigan because they had heard land was cheap.  
Isaac came as far as Stanwood because a daughter was ill so he stopped.  Here he met another man, Mr. Madison Robinson, who showed them some more land.  Isaac bought the land which was the School Section Lake land.  People in the area lumbered through the winter and farmed through the summer.
Mrs. Pointer’s husband was Charlie Pointer.  His people were here when the Berry’s arrived and were originally from Ohio.
Mrs. Pointer recalls that her father bought 10 bushels of potatoes from Mr. Thomas Cross at 40 cents a bushel the first year they were in Michigan.  They planted most of them, but she recalls how good the few they ate tasted.
Kate says there were a lot of Indians living here when the Berry Family came.  The Berrys went to school with them or rather they went with us for the Indians did not go regularly to school as the other children.  It was a little Log School house, Charlie Pointer, the Berry Children, The Johnsons, The Robinsons, and a few Indian Children went to school.
Two of the teachers who taught school were Millie Heart and max Dowling.  Mr. Berry was the director of the school and a Post Master for the county.  Mrs. Berry was a Sunday School Teacher.  Each man had to do a days work on the road each year and Mr. Berry told them where to work.
Mr. Anderson came from Canada later than the Berrys.
Mr. Absalom Johnson came in August 1877, he and Mr. Berry had bought land from the same man in Canada.
Uncle Madison Robinson as he was called, always seen about Sunday School when it was cold weather.  He had a big day to speak Bible Verses, Isaac Berry spoke the whole chapter, and the children lined up and recited their verses and sang songs.  Lucy made cookies and cakes to serve afterwards.
Izel Corcey and Mr. Gross came fighting fire and Kate had to watch to see that the fire didn’t go across the lake to the Berry Farm.  She set down her pail of water and sat on a log and fell asleep.  She heard Mr. Corcey call her so she woke up, afterwards she found out that Mr. Corcey died at the time fighting the fire.
Bears and Wolves were in the community, but Kate had never seen any.  The deer are more plentiful now than at that time.  Kate had five brothers:  Isaac Jr., Harve, Ben and John.  She had 2 sisters:  Lucy and Minnie.  Lucy married Mr. Minisee and lived in Madton, (King County) Washington.