Legislative Reference Library

Texas Legislators: Past & Present

Berry H. Durham

Full Name: Berry H. Durham
Other surnames: Durrum
Birth date: 1811
Death date: 1848

Terms of Service

  • House, 1st (1) (2) Legislature
    2/16/1846 - 12/13/1847
(1) JEFFERSON, TX (MARION COUNTY). "In 1846 Jefferson became the county seat of Cass County, upon that county's separation from Bowie County, and served as such until Linden became county seat in 1852 . . . In 1860 Jefferson became county seat of the newly established Marion County." Handbook of Texas Online .
(2) Democrat. Table of members of the 1st Legislature, The Texas Democrat (Austin, Texas), 5/20/1846, p. 3, crediting Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Portal to Texas History (University of North Texas Libraries) .

Biographical Notes and Resources

Resolutions and Journal entries

Other Resources

  • John Berry Durham, born circa 1810 in North Carolina; son John Berry Ennis Durham, born 2/11/1842 in Texas; wife Eliza Howell Durham, died 5/20/1886 in Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas. Howell Family Tree.
    Berry H. Durham, born 1811 in North Carolina or South Carolina, death date before 11/16/1848. Durham Family Tree.
    Death certificate of daughter Elmira Dickson; parents John Berry Durham and Eliza Howell, born in North Carolina. Ancestry.com .
  • Son John B. Durham, birth date 2/11/1842, death date 7/7/1883, burial in Oakland Cemetery, Shreveport, Caddo Parrish, Louisiana. "John Berry Ennis Durham was born to Berry H. Durham and Eliza Howell Durham in Cass County, Texas. After Berry Durham's death in 1848 . . . " Find a Grave .
  • Biographical sketch, Berry H. Durham, "Jefferson's First Resident," Spring/Summer 1998, p. 14. Durham settled inside the present limits of Jefferson in 1840 and was the first postmaster. States "The only published profile on Durham is contained in Lucille Bullard's Marion County, Texas: 1860-1870. The profile is derived from the September 1, 1876, Daily Jimplecute, which provides the first history of Jefferson to appear in print." Jeffersonian .
  • Biographical sketch, Berry H. Durrum [Durham], Foreword, pp. ii-iv, quoting the Daily Jimplecute of Jefferson. Marion County, Texas: 1860-1870 1965.
  • Berry H. Durham. Members of the Texas Congress 1836-1845; Members of the Texas Legislature 1846-2004 2005.
  • B.H. Durham, Bowie county, age 35, born circa 1811 in North Carolina, farmer. Table of members of the 1st Legislature, The Texas Democrat (Austin), 5/20/1846, p. 3, crediting the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Portal to Texas History (University of North Texas Libraries) .
  • Candidate announcement, "Col. B.H. Durham as a Candidate for Representative for the county of Bowie, in the legislature of the State of Texas," 11/26/1845, p. 3. Col. B.H. Durham speech on lake cleanout in Jefferson, 6/23/1847, p. 2. Candidate announcement, "Col. Berry H. Durham, of Jefferson, as a Candidate to represent the Second Senatorial District, composed of the counties of Red River, Bowie, Titus, and Cass, in the next Legislature of this State," and "Communications, Red River County, July 26th, 1847," column on "the Honorable Mr. Durham" as a candidate for state senate, former member of North Carolina Legislature, 7/31/1847, p. 2. Response of Berry H. Durham, "Communications," 8/21/1847, p. 2. The Northern Standard (Clarksville, Texas), crediting Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Portal to Texas History (University of North Texas Libraries) . 11/26/1845 6/23/1847
  • 7/31/1847 8/21/1847
  • Biographical sketch, Berry H. Durrum [Durham] of Jefferson in Bowie County, which later became Cass County. "The City of Jefferson: Her Situation, Past History, Commerce, and Future Prospects . . . ," The Daily Jimplecute (Jefferson, Texas), 9/1/1876, p. 2. "The precise date at which our city was founded cannot be exactly determined, but the first man who ever settled inside of her present limits was Berry H. Durrum in 1840. He built his cabin on the bank of the river near where the Marshall road so long crossed by ferry and bridges, under an arrangement or lease with Allen Urquhart, for the purpose of establishing a ferry at that point. This territory was then in Paschal county, but was afterward Red River, and became Bowie county by Act of Congress by the then Republic of Texas, January 16th, 1843. The first session of the Legislature of the State after annexation (which took place in 1845,) created Cass County . . . Berry Durrum was the first Postmaster, and for many years this was the only post office for a long distance north and west. Mr. D. was a great fisherman, and often when persons came for their mail they would have to go down to the river until they found him—but he always had the mail in his hat and had only to take it off and look over the list of letters." Portal to Texas History (University of North Texas Libraries) .
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