Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Cyril O. Berry
Scope and Content
This collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center by Rod Whitney in April 2009.
Cyril O. Berry was born on June 3, 1902 in Saint Mary’s, Ohio to Elmer R. and Minnie B. (Poor) Berry. After the death of his father in 1917, Cyril, and his brother Basil, were sent to live in an orphanage for a short time. Berry’s uncle, Earl Poor, helped take care of the family until his mother remarried in 1920.
On February 7, 1920, Cyril enlisted in the U.S. Army at Camp Custer, Michigan. He was assigned to the 14th Infantry Regiment. The entire regiment set sail for Fort Davis, Panama on October 20, 1920, from Hoboken, New Jersey, to guard the Gatun Locks. Berry was appointed corporal of Company E on November 4, 1920, while stationed in Panama. He was given an honorable discharge at Fort Hamilton, New York, on February 21, 1923. The 14th regiment remained in the Canal Zone for the next 23 years, acquiring the unofficial nickname of “Jungleers”.
Upon returning to Celina, Ohio, Cyril married Daisy May Denney on October 6, 1925. They had two children, Ray Ellsworth and Eugene Marvin. During World War II he worked for the General Motors, Lima Tank Plant. The United States purchased the property on which the plant was built in 1942 to manufacture weapons. In November 1942, United Motors Services took over operations to process vehicles under government contract. The factory assembled the M5 light tank and the T-26 Pershing tank. At its peak during the war, the Lima Tank Plant employed over 5,000 people.
Cyril retired from the Mersman Table Company in Celina, Ohio as a foreman. Berry died April 9th, 1978 in Coldwater, Ohio and is buried at the North Grove Cemetery in Celina along with his wife Daisy.
Scope and Content
This collection, spanning the years from 1920 to 1945, contains 14 photographs and two Panama Canal souvenir books depicting Cyril O. Berry’s service in the U.S. Army’s 14th Regiment, Company E while stationed in Panama. The collection also includes 17 photographs of the Lima Tank Factory and its workers during World War II.
1- 14 photographs: Cyril Berry while serving with the Army’s 14th Regiment
2- 17 photographs: Lima Tank Factory during World War II
3- Two Panama Canal Souvenir Books (1920s)