Brewton-Parker College: A Private Christian/Baptist College located in Southeast Georgia Academics - Social and Behavioral ScienceAcademics - Social and Behavioral ScienceAcademics - Social and Behavioral ScienceAcademics - Social and Behavioral Science

The Berry Thompson House

Berry Thompson House By the end of his life, Berry C. Thompson, Sr. (1822-1901) had left a legacy of economic success based on talent and hard work, and improved his community through church-building and other enterprises.  But his story began rough in that Thompson was born illegitimate.  Thompson’s story illustrates the opportunities for social advancement in the mid 19th century in southern Georgia.  His mother, Pheroby Thompson, entered Berry in the 1827 land lottery which then became the foundation of his rise to wealth.  His family moved to Montgomery County in the 1820s, where Pheroby acted as guardian of Berry’s land holdings. 

By 1842, Berry Thompson was ready to assume control over his land.  He built his home that year, and moved in with his newly married wife, Mary Mosley.  Perhaps as a romantic impulse, Thompson included decorative carving on the front porch pillars.  Thompson was a successful trader in real estate, and owned a grist mill, and North Thompson community was named for him.  His land holdings at their height were extensive, including a mill tract that consisted of one thousand acres as late as 1878 when he sold four hundred acres to his son Berry C. Thompson Jr. for $400.  When he died, Thompson left his wife three hundred acres of timber land, along with the house and some stock, to be used until she died.  The mill tract and acreage in Vidalia was sold and split between Thompson’s heirs.

Berry Thompson House Berry Thompson House

Unlike George Cooper, Berry Thompson Sr. remained in the Montgomery County for the rest of his life, but as with the Coopers and Conners, the Thompson family gave much to their settlement.  Berry Thompson gave land for the North Thompson Baptist church and cemetery and two of Berry Thompson’s sons, Berry C. Jr. and John Andrew, started the South Thompson community at the other end of the county, and provided land for the local church and cemetery.  Berry Thompson Sr. is mentioned as registering with the county militia in 1862 during the Civil War, and, pragmatically, is listed as taking the oath of loyalty to the United States in 1867 so that he could register to vote.  Both actions were common for men of his era.   

Berry Thompson House Berry Thompson House

The Berry Thompson House is furnished similarly to the Cooper-Conner house.  The two houses and the histories of their inhabitants provide a useful and fascinating means for informing the public of the lives of early Georgia settlers.  Though the Montgomery County Historic Village freezes a segment of this history for visitors to enjoy, we know that the Coopers, Conners, and Thompsons, like many other Georgia settlers lived in times that were constantly in flux.  Active in building homes and fortunes, families also contributed to local institutions, kept abreast of regional and national events, and moved when it best suited them.  Their history was an active one and the Montgomery County Historic Village provides insight into their stories. 

The Historic Village is open by appointment.  Please contact Mary Waalkes at 912-583-3110 or mwaalkes@bpc.edu to arrange a visit. 

Academics - Social and Behavioral Science
Brewton-Parker College | Located on U.S. 280 at 201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle, P. O. Box 197, Mount Vernon, GA 30445
with a site in Newnan
912-583-2241, 1-800-342-1087
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The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
 
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
 
Updated on: April 15, 2010 8:26 PM