From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Berry, Thacker Louis "T. L."

(born: Oct. 16, 1892  -  died: June 7, 1944) 

Dr. T. L. Berry was born in Hopkinsville, KY on October 17, 1892, the son of Louis and Josephine Dade Berry. He was a physician in Murray, KY, according to his World War I Registration card.

Berry was also the Surgeon in Chief at Winnie Scott Hospital in Frankfort, KY. From 1915-1959, the Winnie Scott hospital primarily served African Americans. In 1920, Dr. Berry was practicing in Columbus, KY where he and his wife Lelia, from Mississippi, lived on Doring Brattset Street [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. 

Dr. Berry left Kentucky in 1924 to join the staff of Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, where he became  a member of the Cincinnati Medical Association.

Dr. Berry was a 1910 graduate of Male and Female College, where he earned his A.B., and a 1915 graduate of Meharry Medical College. He died in Frankfort, KY from a gunshot wound to the chest, June 7, 1944 at 4:45 p.m.; it was a case of homicide [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death, State File No.13518; first name misspelled as "Thackery"]. He and his wife had moved back to Kentucky and were living at 607 Washington St. in Frankfort, where Dr. Berry was again practicing medicine. He was in a liquor store in the Craw section of town when he was shot by Will Castleman; the two men had had an ongoing disagreement over Castleman's wife calling another doctor to an emergency rather than calling Dr. Berry [source: "Local Negro doctor shot," The State Journal, 6/8/1944, pp. 1 & 6].

Dr. Berry had come to the liquor store and was encountered by Castleman. Dr. Berry drew his gun and fired at Castleman, but the shot missed and the bullet lodged in the wall over Castleman's head. Castleman was also armed and fired several shots at Dr. Berry. One of the bullets struck Dr. Berry in the chest beneath the heart. He staggered out of the liquor store and made his way to the pool hall across the street where he died. 

Dr. Berry's funeral arrangements were handled by the Thomas K. Robb Funeral Home, and he was buried in Hopkinsville in the Cave Spring Cemetery [see Find A Grave]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Berry, Thacker Louis "T. L.",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-08-24 16:46:46