Tazewell County
Photo of the Month

The "Berry Gang"
Emanuel, Isaac ("Ike"), and Simeon Berry
"The Berry Gang"
T.J. Scherer? - 2000

The Berry Gang - This gang of horse-thieves and road agents terrorized the people of Tazewell County for years during the late 1860's.  On 30 July 1869, they became involved in a gunfight with a sheriff's posse at Circleville.  During the fight, Ike Berry fatally shot deputy sheriff Henry Pratt.  Over the next few days there would be a massive manhunt, mob action, and ultimately, a lynching.  These events are the subject of the book Lynch Law, written by TCGHS member, James Conover.
The Photo - The photo is a copy of a tintype found by T.J. Scherer during a recent remodeling of his home on Amanda Street in Pekin.  The photo was found in the ceiling  joists along with an additional tintype of an unidentified small girl.  The home was owned by William Berry (a distant cousin of the Berry Gang members) until the 1940's.  After consulting with several members of the Berry family, the tintype is believed to the only known photo of the "Berry Gang".  If you have any additional information about the photo or the Berry Gang, please contact the society.

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Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society © 1999-2016
P. O. Box 312
Pekin, Illinois 61555-0312
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Mike Dickson