Berryman, Helena Dill (1804–1888)

By: Lessie Carlton

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 4, 2017

Helena Dill Berryman, pioneer settler and philanthropist, daughter of Helena (Kimble) and James Dill, was born in Nacogdoches on September 8, 1804. Her family believed her to be the first Anglo child born in Texas. While attending school in Natchitoches, Louisiana, she met and married Capt. Henry Berryman in 1823 and moved with him to Virginia. She inherited the southwest league of the Helena Kimble land grant near Alto, and the couple returned to Texas to live. In 1847 the Berrymans built a log mansion called Forest Hill Plantation. After the death of her husband in 1859 Mrs. Berryman continued to live at Forest Hill, which was the home not only of the three Berryman children but also of thirty orphan children. Mrs. Berryman was the first contributor to Buckner Orphans Home (see BUCKNER BAPTIST CHILDREN'S HOME). She died on March 13, 1888, and was buried in the family cemetery on the plantation. In 1969 the Texas Historical Commission placed a marker at the site.

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Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Women
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers
  • Agriculture
  • Plantation Owners
Time Periods:
  • Antebellum Texas
  • Civil War
  • Reconstruction
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • East Texas
  • East Central Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Lessie Carlton, “Berryman, Helena Dill,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 24, 2022,

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August 4, 2017

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