Dr. John Berryman.
Dr. Berryman, in passing from this life leaves behind the record of ambitions attained, of a life's work well done, and of many and many a one the better for having known him. He was 72 years of age, being born in St. John on December 9th, 1828, the second child of the late John Berryman. On his mother's side he was of Loyalist descent. His early education was received at the Grammar school here, and he soon showed that the decided trend of his wishes was to enter the medical profession in which he was to become so well known and valued a member. Before taking up his studies, however, he joined with other young men of his day, in a voyage to Australia, where the gold fever was then at its height. They bought a vessel and started their expedition arriving safely. They sold the vessel on arrival, and then proceeded to the gold fields and met with success. Mr. John McLeod, M.P.P., for St. John county, was one of the party and is now probably the only survivor. It was in 1852 they had gone out and a few years later Dr. Berryman returned and at once took up the study of medicine in this city and then went to Scotland where he completed his course at the University of Edinboro (sic). In that great institution he assisted in the professional labors of Prof. Sir James Y. Simpson, the noted discoverer of chloroform, and was a resident of his house for two years. The young doctor, who early showed promise of the ability and skill which marked his professional career, and availed himself of the opportunities afforded for practical experience in the city and university. A wide field for the use of his knowledge and skill was opened when the civil war in the United States broke out in 1861. On the advice of Prof. Sir James Simpson, who recognised his work, he tendered his services to the United States government and they were accepted. He was appointed to the charge of the hospital in West Philadelphia in which were 600 beds. Dr. Berryman was appointed by Surgeon-General Hammond to be a member of the examining board in connection with such noted men as Profs. Stillie, DeCosta, Weir, Mitchell and Gross, of Philadelphia, and Dr. Smith, an army surgeon, to decide as to the disposition of 3,000 soldiers in the hospitals. Through the course of the war he had opportunity for ample experience and for perfecting himself in surgical work. At the close of the war he came back to St. John and began practice of his profession, and his early experiences were of inestimable value to him. He worked up a very large and lucrative practice, for the demands for an army doctor were great. Dr. Berryman took an active interest in the volunteer movement, and served as surgeon of the garrison artillery here from April 18, 1864 until September, 1875. He was also surgeon of police from 1863 to 1875. These appointments and his large city practice did not prevent him from being called many times to attend several cases in outside parts of this province, and in Nova Scotia. He particularly was a specialist in female diseases and met with great success. It was he who performed, for the first time in Canada, the operation of removing a large ovarian tumor and he repeated the operation many times afterwards. Dr. Berryman, had he so chosen, might have had a large practice in Edinboro, Scotland, for such was offered him by Prof. Sir James Y. Simpson.
The success which he made for himself in his profession also was his as a public man. He was always a staunch Liberal in politics and when he offered for the House of Assembly in 1886, he was returned, with Mr. J.V. Ellis, by a large majority over the present Judge McLeod and Dr. R.F. Quigley. Dr. Berryman has been for years, and was at the time of his death, one of the commissioners of the General Public Hospital. In 1850 he joined the Masonic order, becoming a member of the Hibernia Lodge. He was president of the New Brunswick Poultry Association and an active member.
Dr. Berryman was twice married. On march 16, 1864, he married Mary A., daughter of Mr. George Sinclair Brodie, of London, Eng. About ten years ago he married Mrs. Charlotte Massie, of Virginia, who survives him. He also leaves four children, born of his first wife. They are Dr. Alexander Berryman, now a veterinary in New York; Mrs. Perry, now resident in London, England; Mr. George Berryman, who is in charge of a department in a ship brokers' firm in London, Eng., and Mr. Lorimer G. Berryman, of this city, in the I.C.R. employ.
Four of his brothers and three sisters survive of a family of 13 and in which there were three doctors. The brothers are Dr. Daniel E. Berryman, of this city; Messrs. C.J. and H.B. Berryman, of Central America; and Mr. F.M. Berryman, of San Francisco. His sisters are Mrs. G. Prescott and Miss Berryman, of St. John, and Mrs. (Dr.) G.S. Reed, of Boston. Dr. Berryman was an adherent of the Baptist church and worshipped with the Germain street congregation.
During his illness there had been many inquiries as to his progress, and sorrow was general when the news came from his sick room that there were no hopes for his recovery. He was a man whom to know was to respect and one whose friendship was warm and practical. No better citizen did St. John claim and the city, in his death, meets with a loss which is exceeded only by that of his family. His funeral will be held at 2.30 o'clock Tuesday afternoon.
THE DAILY SUN - NOVEMBER 5, 1900
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE "Brig AUSTRALIA" WEBPAGE