© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Baby Left on Modoc Battlefield Finds a Home

During the Modoc War of 1872-73 that pitted Captain Jack’s small Modoc band against some 1,000 Army troops and artillery at the lava beds stronghold near Northern California’s Tule Lake, a Modoc woman fled with two babies.  Unable to make her escape carrying both children, she abandoned one on the battlefield.

A Major Thomas found the baby and took her home to his wife.  They named her Jennie and she grew up in their home in Fort Jones.

Jennie later moved to the home of Dick Berry and his wife, the daughter of Major Thomas.  Jennie then took the name Berry.  After both Berrys died, Jennie moved in with Robert and Gladys Burton.  Robert was like a son to Jennie, who had helped Mrs. Berry raise him after his mother had died giving birth to him.

Jennie spent the next 17 years with the Burton family before dying on April 14, 1934.  She was thought to be 65 years old.  Many attended her funeral at the Kunz and Bills Mortuary, where the Rev. P.C. Knudson officiated and the Etna Choir provided special music.


Source:  Nelson, Irene. "Modoc War Tragedy Recalled In Death of Jennie Berry." Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook. No. 3 ed. Vol. 3. Yreka: Siskiyou County Historical Society, 1960. 45. Print.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.