Berry Creek, Georgetown, TX
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Quick Fact About Berry Creek, Georgetown, TX
Berry’s Creek, also known as Johnsonville, was on Berry Creek five miles northeast of Georgetown in central Williamson County. John Berryqv, one of the earliest settlers in the county, founded a gristmill on Berry Creek in 1846, on a league of land granted him by the Republic of Texas. By the 1860s the Berry grant was also the site of a store-tavern-stagecoach stop called Berry’s Creek, and the scattered community also had, at various times, a blacksmith shop and a gin. The Berry’s Creek school, also called Boatner’s School, had forty-five pupils and one teacher in 1903. Swedish emigrants came to the area in the late nineteenth century and about 1915 built the Free Mission Evangelical Church. The community had a population of fifty and two businesses in 1941. The school was consolidated with the Georgetown district in 1949. In 1988, though the Texas Almanac still listed the community as having a population of fifty, Berry’s Creek no longer appeared on the county map. A population of fifty was reported again in 1990. No population estimate was available in 2000.
John Berry was born in West Louisville, Kentucky, in 1786. He died of the infirmities of old age on December 24, 1866, at his home on the Berry League in Williamson County, Texas.
John volunteered for service in the U.S. Army during the war of 1812 at Rockport, Indiana Territory, a small town across the Ohio River from Owensboro.  He served for a short time in Captain Thomas Spencer’s company of spies, Indiana Militia, but soon transferred to a mounted unit commanded by Captain William Smeathers, his father-in-law.
In 1826, John and his family prepared to migrate to Texas, possibly after hearing reports of its many opportunities from his former father-in-law, Bill Smothers. The Mexican government required of all land applicants a character reference from residents of his former home. A citation commending John Berry and Burton Tarkington (his niece’s husband, who was also making the journey) was drawn up and executed Sept. 23, 1826, in Bloomington, Indiana. It was signed by about 25 friends and relatives, and attested to “the honesty, sobriety, morality, and industry of John Berry and Burton Tarkington.”
The Berry and Tarkington families set out for Texas, arriving in Atascosito (later Liberty) County early in 1827. The Mexican government on May 2, 1831 granted John Berry one of the original town lots in the city of Liberty. It was located at the southeast intersection of present-day Cos and Milam Streets, and on it, John built a blacksmith shop.
The Berry family moved to Bastrop in 1834, where John once again established a blacksmith shop.  There he played host to a famous visitor early in 1836. David Crockett, on his way to eventual death and glory in the Battle of the Alamo, stopped at John’s smithy to have his rifle, “Old Betsey”, repaired. John affixed to the broken breech a silver band while Crockett visited with the family, holding on his lap the two eldest of John and Hannah’s children – Mary-and Emanuel. 
John Berry received title to his long-awaited land grant from the Republic of Texas on August 29, 1845. It was a league and labor in size, located in western Milam County (later Williamson County) about three miles north of Georgetown. The property was traversed by a swift stream of water, which came to be known as “Berry’s Creek” with the passing years. By this time, John and Hannah had six children, and six more, including two sets of twins were born on the Berry League, where John Berry was to spend the rest of his days. He and his sons cleared the land, erected split-rail fences, and built several cabins to house their families. As always, John built a blacksmith shop and forge. The usual crops were planted, along with a kitchen garden and a fruit orchard, and row upon row of pecan trees, some of which still stand today.
John also built a large grist mill, one of the first in Williamson County, to which other settlers in the area came to grind their corn and wheat. It was constructed at the site of a swift-flowing spring of water, which came out of the-ground at an estimated rate of two to three million gallons each day. A dam was erected, behind which a millpond soon formed. For many years it served the needs of hundreds of families in the vicinity, and even the Indians of the area brought their corn to be ground at Berry’s Mill.