Martha Berry dedicated her life to education but had only one year of formal schooling herself.
Berry was born in Alabama and moved to Rome, Georgia as a baby. Home-schooled by a governess, Martha Berry attended finishing school in Baltimore for less than a year.
Back home in northwest Georgia, a chance encounter with two young boys who didn't attend church or school led her to build the Boys' Industrial School in 1902. At the urging of Theodore Roosevelt, she later opened a girls' school and then a junior college.
Berry focused on educating the rural poor. Her work–study curriculum emphasized "the head, the heart, and the hands": a mix of industrial, agricultural, and domestic arts.
Berry's schools flourished; Good Housekeeping chose her one of America’s most influential women in 1930.
Her legacy thrives at Berry College, one of the South’s leading liberal arts institutions.
Martha Berry, one of Georgia's great educators was born on October 7, 1866, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.