Biography of Rev. Berry Edmiston
Riverside County, CA Biographies





REV. BERRY EDMISTON
Having been for years closely associated with the development of Riverside, Mr. Edmiston is today a beloved and devoted citizen, the value of whose efforts in behalf of moral, educational and civic progress can scarcely be over estimated. Born March 16, 1831, in Lincoln county, Tenn., Mr. Edmiston's parents were James and Jane Edmiston, both natives of South Carolina. The son received a meager education in the schools common to that period, most of his time being spent in the hard labor of pioneer farming. Upon reaching his majority he spent several years in school, determined to make his first care the acquirement of an education. At the age of twenty five he entered the Methodist ministry, and upon his marriage in 1861 with Miss Ednah Lee, who was born in Sandwich, N. H., both himself and wife entered upon their duties in his chosen calling. Mrs. Edmiston's parents, Joseph and Maria Lee, were early settlers in Michigan and gave their daughter every advantage possible. At the age of sixteen she began teaching school and continued for eleven years. After her marriage, and while living in Morristown, she assisted her husband one year in the academy there. Mr. Edmiston preached in Michigan three years, after which he and his wife entered Adrian (Mich.) College, graduating therefrom in 1866. He then took up his ministerial labors in a suburb of Pittsburg, Pa. Two years later, in 1868, he was appointed principal of the Morristown (Ind.) Academy, and in 1869, having changed his religious views, accepted the pastorate of the Swedenborgian Church at Henry Ill., and continued there until failing health compelled him to seek a complete rest and change of climate. Locating in Riverside, Cal., in 1878, the family took up their residence on a government tract of ten acres at the head of Magnolia avenue, on Palm avenue. In the spring of 1880 Mr. Edmiston purchased a ten acre tract on the west side of Grand avenue, about three miles south of Riverside, erecting upon his property a cottage home, and devoted himself to horticultural pursuits. In 1881 he bought an additional ten acres adjoining his land on the south; and after seven years he added to his holdings thirteen acres, this being also a portion of a government tract located one half mile south of his home place. During the intervening years he has disposed of all but his home place of ten acres on Grand avenue.

Upon a partial recovery of his health, Mr. Edmiston resumed his labors in behalf of the moral welfare of the people about him, establishing in 1885 the new church society of the Swedenborgian faith, and chiefly through his efforts in 1886 a chapel was remodeled from a building erected for a school house on Central avenue, though services had been held in private homes from 1880. Mr. Edmiston not only acted as the first officiating minister of that church, but has since served continuously as pastor of that denomination, his people being thoroughly appreciative of the exceptional qualities of their leader. This chapel was later sold and moved to Arlington, where it is used as a house of worship by the Christian Church. In 1905 a modern building was erected on Locust street, costing $3,000, and here are held the meetings of the society.

Mr. and Mrs. Edmiston were blessed with three children: Joseph L., of Los Angeles; Charles H., and Lloyd H., who reside in Riverside. Sincere Christians, exemplifying in their daily lives the wonderful precepts of the Golden Rule, Mr. and Mrs. Edmiston enjoy the high regard of their many friends and co laborers in the field where they cheerfully serve.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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