Berry, George Othello (B.S. , 1935[?]; D.V.M., 1938)

Graduation headshot of George O. Berry

George Othello Berry was born 15 July 1913 in St. Paul, MN, the second child of George W. Berry, a carpenter, and Bertha Oldham Berry, a waitress in private service. Young George attended Mechanic Arts high School in St. Paul before attending Iowa State College. Though Berry’s undergraduate days at ISC are not currently known to this project, his Northern Pacific Railway personnel file indicates that Berry received a B.S. from Iowa State University (sic), which suggests that he returned to ISC later to embark on a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (Ancestry, n.d.).

As a summer job, after graduating from ISC with a Bachelor’s of Science in 1935, Berry worked as a waiter for the Northern Pacific Railway Company from August to September that year (a job his father also held by that time). His subsequent seasonal employment as a railway waiter–June-September 1936, June-September 1937, June-October 1938, and December 1938-January 1939–carried him through his D.V.M. coursework, which he completed in spring 1938, and also tided him over after graduation, before he was hired as a junior veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January 1939 (Ancestry, n.d.). The Winter 1939 edition of the Iowa State Veterinarian tells us that Dr. Berry was hired to work on Bang’s Disease (aka Brucellosis) with the Bureau of Animal Industry (Kuennen, 2022; “Alumni News,” p. 61). Minnesota was ramping up focus on that devastating disease in farm animals in 1939 as part of a state-federal partnership with the Bureau of Animal Industry (Fitch and Boyd, 1940). 

Later in 1939, after securing a full-time position with the U.S.D.A., Dr. Berry married Thelma E. Sayles in Hennepin County, MN, on 22 June. The newlyweds were living with George’s parents in St. Paul, MN, at the time of the 1940 Census. By the time of the 1950 Census, the couple had divorced, and Dr. Berry, continuing his work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was married to Rozelle. The couple had three children (“Berry,” 1993).

Dr. George Othello Berry died 22 March 1993 in Hennepin County, MN, and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Maplewood, MN.


Photo credit: Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. (1938). [Graduation portrait of George O. Berry]. Iowa State University. Retrieved from

Alumni news. (1939, winter). The veterinary student. Iowa State University. Retrieved from (n.d.). U.S., Northern Pacific Railway company personnel files, 1890-1963 for George Othello Berry, File Number 174619.

Berry. (1993, Mar. 23). Star Tribune, p. 16. Retrieved from

Fitch, C. P.,  and Boyd, W. L. (1940, June). Brucellosis or Bang’ s Disease of farm animals. (Bulletin 348). University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from 

Kuennen, Brad, ISU Veterinary Medicine early graduates of color, University Library, Iowa State University,. Retrieved from

Shannon, Joseph Lionel  (D.V.M., 1909)

Headshot of Joseph Lionel Shannon.

Joseph Lionel Shannon was born 15 February 1885 in San Fernando, Trinidad, one of two sons born to Julia Caroline Shabler and Joseph Luther Shannon. The younger Shannon arrived at Ellis Island on 12 August 1905, with $90, having paid his own fare from Barbados to attend school at Iowa State College, where he earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1909. Upon immigration, his profession was noted as “clerk” (, 2010a). While at ISC Shannon was a member of the Veterinary Medicine Society, the Cosmopolitan Club, and Sigma Upsilon Phi. In 1906, he lived in the home of widow Louisa Walters on Boone Street, near what is now the northwest corner of Hayward Avenue. Following graduation, Dr. Shannon stayed in Iowa until 1910, when he returned to Barbados (, 2010b). 

By January 1915, Dr. Shannon had been appointed as the first Government Veterinary Surgeon of St. Kitts, British West Indies, an appointment heralded as “progressive” and indicative of the “importance of scientific veterinary work” by the Agricultural News: A Fortnightly Review of the Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies (1915, p. 24). In the next few years, Shannon traveled between the U.S. and his West Indian home on several occasions. He returned to the United States in 1916 to purchase a thoroughbred racehorse to bring back to St. Kitts (Famous, 1916, p. 9). Then, on 21 January 1917, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, “Dr.  J.  Lionel  Shannon,  of  St.  Kitts,  British  West Indies,  has  been  retained  by  John  E.  Madden  as  veterinarian at  Hamburg Place” (p. 9).  Becoming a vet for Madden, the top breeder in the United States from 1917 to 1927 (Voss, 2022) and the man who bred Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner (1920), acknowledged Shannon’s expertise in the field of equine medicine. By 1919, Shannon had returned to the British West Indies, once again employed as a government veterinarian, this time in Trinidad, but  he returned to Kentucky on a mission to purchase “fine stock and turkeys for his government for the purposes of breeding” (“Buys,” 1919, p. 5). That same year, he married Grace Constance Marshall in Trindad.

Shannon was still working for the government of Trinidad and Tobago in 1924, when he was employed as the overseer of the government farm, according to The Trinidad and Tobago Year Book (Franklin, 1924). What occurred in Dr. Shannon’s career after that has yet to be discovered in this project’s research. J. Lionel Shannon died in Trinidad in 1963.


Photo credit: Iowa State University. (1909). 1909 Bomb (p. 92). Retrieved from (2010a).  New York, U.S., arriving passenger and crew lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Operations. (2010b) List or manifest of alien passengers for the United States immigration officer at port of arrival. [database on-line]. Operations.

Buys fine stock. (1919, May 27). The Mt Sterling advocate. p. 5. 

Famous Old Pastorella bought by R. T. Wilson, Jr.–other good sales of thoroughbreds in Bluegrass. (1916, Oct. 8). Lexington leader. p. 9

Franklin, C.B., compiler. (1924). The Trinidad and Tobago year book. Franklin’s Electric Printery.

Lexington herald-leader. (1917, Jan. 21). Lexington, Kentucky. p. 9.

Personal notes. (1915,  Jan. 16). Agricultural news: A fortnightly review of the Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, vol.14(332), p. 24. 

Voss, Natalie. (2022, Jul. 6). Kentucky farm time capsule: Before Hamburg Place was a shopping center. The back ring. Retrieved 17 February 2023.  

Richardson, Samuel Alonzo (D.V.M., 1918)

Headshot of Samuel Alonzo Richardson

Samuel Alonzo Richardson was born December 25, 1892, in Charleston, South Carolina, to Charles Richardson and Mary White Richardson (Kuennen, 2022). In 1912, after receiving a 2-year diploma from Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), Samuel then came to Iowa State College to study veterinary medicine. While attending ISC, he was summoned back to South Carolina due to the sudden death of his father.  He worked for the Roup shoe store the summer of 1917 but left the position to “enter the senior class” at ISC. Richardson earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from ISC in 1918.

During his time in Ames, he lived in several locations: Boone & Welsh, Frank’s Place (2840 West Street), and 157 Campus Avenue. Like Black classmates, he joined the Corps of Cadets, which helped to subsidize his tuition at ISC, having reached the rank of Sergeant by the time he registered for the WWI draft in June 1917. Upon graduation, a “reception for the colored boys who are caled (sic) to the colors” was held by Mr. and Mrs. Gater on Kellogg Avenue to honor Dr. Richardson, as well as four other students, before they left Ames to enter (“Ames, IA,” 1918).

After the war, Richardson returned to Iowa. He married Mildred Ethel Beaubian at the A.M.E. Church in Boone, Iowa, on September 19, 1920. The following year, Richardson began coursework at the University of Iowa to pursue a career in medicine. He completed a B.S. in 1926 and his M.D. in 1926. Graduation was followed by interning at a Chicago hospital and, in 1929, a move to Milwaukee, WI, where he was licensed to practice medicine that January (Kuennen, 2022). When Dr. Richardson appeared with his wife and two children in the 1930 U.S. Census, he was working as a meat inspector at a packing house. By the time of the 1940 U.S. Census, two children later, he was employed as a physical scientist at a Milwaukee hospital. He was self-employed as an M.D. by the time he registered for the Old Man’s Draft in 1942.

By 1950, the Richardsons had separated, and Samuel had returned to Charleston, where he opened a shoe repair store. How long he was employed in the profession he worked at while attending ISC is unknown, but at the time of his death ten years later, his occupation was once again listed as “veterinarian.”

Dr. Samuel Alonzo Richardson, died 28 July 1960, at the age of 68 of natural causes in Lincolnville, SC, and is buried in the Reserved Fellowship Cemetery in Charleston, SC.


Ames, IA. (1918, July 19). The bystander. n.p.

Kuennen, Brad, ISU Veterinary Medicine early graduates of color, University Library, Iowa State University,. Retrieved from

Bowling, Lynce Crawford (D.V.M., 1920)

Headshot of Lynce Crawford Bowling

Lynce Crawford Bowling was born on 22 September 1893 in Fannin, MS, to Rasberry B. Bowling and Annie Adams Bowling. He completed high school and college in Mississippi before enrolling at ISC in fall 1916. While at ISC, Bowling served in the Iowa State Agricultural & Mechanical College Federal Service, Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps, the Cadet Corps (Fold3, 2015). He enlisted in the Army on 6 Jan 1918, was on active duty as a Private from 1 October 1918 to 15 November 1918, and was honorably discharged on 1 February 1919. He  graduated from ISC with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1920. After his Army service, he married Doris Victoria Jackson.

Dr. Bowling served as Head of the Veterinary Department of Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Louisiana, Scotlandville, LA (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1925). Following that, he worked for two decades at the Carsten Meat Packing House as part of the Bureau of Animal Husbandry, Meat Inspection Division, Field Station Tacoma, WA, ca. 1927-1947 (Bowling, n.d.). He died 26 February 1956 and is buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery, CA.


Photo credit: Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. (1920). Class of 1920. [Photo]. Retrieved from

Bowling, Lynce C., Dr. (Doris). (n.d.) Tacoma Public Library Online Digital Collections [Item Description]. Retrieved from

Fold3. (2015, 26 Feb). Headstone applications, 1925-1963, database and images. Retrieved from,bowling

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (1925, March). List of workers in subjects pertaining to agriculture 1923-24 (Office of Experiment Stations Miscellaneous Circular No. 34). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Experiment Stations. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (1936. List of technical workers in the Department of Agriculture and outline of Department functions 1935 (Miscellaneous Publication No. 233). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Personnel and Business Administration. Retrieved from