Benjamin Franklin Pierce Father of JM Pierce

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					                                                                                   George and Jane were married to each other on 20 September 1863 in Ogden
       Benjamin Franklin Pierce- Father of JM Pierce                               Utah. They made their home on what is now known as West 2nd Street, then
                                                                                   known as Lynn Utah.
                                28 October, 1998
                                                                                   My father married my mother, Annie Louvenia Middleton in the Salt Lake
This is the history of Benjamin Franklin Pierce (9 September 1873 - 16 April       Temple on 10 March 1909. They made their home in the old Pierce family home
1930) as told by his son Julian Middleton Pierce. Also included is information     which his mother had willed to him prior to her death. My folks had four children
about BFP’s father and mother George Pierce and mother Mary Butler, along with     in al. I was the third child, born 12 April 1915. It was approximately one year
Mary’s second husband Richard Pryor and their son John.                            after my birth that my folks moved to the 2-story red brick home at 911
                                                                                   Washington Avenue in Ogden. My dad had planned this home right from the
Frank Pierce, as he was known to his family and friends,                           blueprint stage to its completion. We all lived there afterwards, and it wasn’t until
lived upon this earth during very trying times. Born of                            a number of years after Dad’s death that my mother finally sold the home and
pioneer parents, he was just one of eight children born to                         moved to her present location at 2419 Monroe Boulevard in Ogden, Utah.
George Pierce and Jane Nancy Romriell. His father
came to Utah from Pennsylvania in August 1859 in                                   Dad was a Railway Postal Clerk, and spent over 26 years in that capacity,
Captain Brown’s Company. His father being a truthful                               traveling over the rails 72 hours at a stretch between Salt Lake and Butte,
man, taught his children to be truthful and to be God-                             Montana. It was probably due to the severe cold weather he had experienced in
fearing young men and women.                                                       the cold drafty cars, lying down for short naps on hard benches and eating on the
                                                                                   run that accounted for his chronic bout with Rheumatism - and finally cardiac
There were other children in this family who were half-                            condition - that caused his early death at the age of 57 years.
brothers and sisters to my father. Frank’s mother, Jane
Nancy Romriell, second wife of George, his father, was of French descent. She      Dad didn’t keep many personal records of his family. However, we all knew him
came to New York in July 1855. She arrived in Salt Lake on the 22nd of             by his fine and genuine tenderness to his immediate family as well as to his
September 1855 in a hand cart company.                                             brothers and sisters. When he was on the run, upon his arrival at different cities
                                                                                   he would always remember to send post cards and letters home to loved ones.
George Pierce’s first marriage was to Nancy Campbell. Her father was Berropha
Campbell and her mother was named Eunice. George Pierce divorced Nancy             He was very talented in many ways. Although he was not trained in the various
Campbell in May 1861. Children of this marriage: Francis Marion, born 1 May        fields of endeavor such as carpentry and cement work, landscaping and
1858 at Liberty, Pennsylvania. Thomas Caton, born May 1859 and died in 1860.       horticulture, I recall that on his days off he would always be home making repairs
                                                                                   to water faucets, spraying fruit trees, adding closets, cupboards, chopping wood,
Jane Nancy Romriell brought children from her first marriage with her across the   budding trees, trimming the shrubbery, and even on occasion, moving an old
plains, and many are they who now bear this famous pioneer name. Since we are      house onto a vacant lot and converting it into a usable rental home.
                                                                                                                         B F Pierce 1
lacking details of this family heritage, we shall go on to other facts.
It was a sad day for us all when he passed through the portals of death and began       My father was called Frank by my mother and his friends outside the family. To
serving on the staff of the Great Master.                                               me, he was and always will be “papa.”

My father brought great joy unto all his friends, relatives and family whenever he      He was the 4th child of 8 children. There were 4 boys and 4 girls. Two of the
was in their midst. Educated at Stanford University, he was a natural at higher         girls died in infancy.
mathematics. He would have been a natural supervisor in his line of work were it
not for a serious hearing loss which prevented him from effectively receiving           Both of his parents had been married previously, his mother to Joseph Hammond
information over the telephone.                                                         in 1858. Two of papa’s sisters were born of that marriage: Mary Jane, or Janie, as
                                                                                        papa called her, and Matilda. Janie was born in 1858, and Matilda in 1859. Their
As mentioned above, he was a natural in giving readings and reciting poems. He          father died shortly before Matilda was born, and the two girls were raised in the
would keep a group of folks spell-bound while he recited parts of Shakespeare’s         Pierce family. Papa’s father, George Pierce, had been married to Nancy
works, or reciting other interesting works.                                             Campbell. There were two children of this marriage: Francis Marion Pierce and
                                                                                        Thomas Keaton Pierce. I have no knowledge of these family members, and
Due to his generosity, both my sister Myrtle and my brother Urban play the piano        research needs to be done here.
and organ beautifully, even to this day, and it had been his stated desire to see all
of his children trained on some musical instrument that they might have all of the      We need some stuff here about what happened to George’s first wife, and how he
things he had been deprived of due to the indigent circumstances of his childhood.      met Jane Nancy. We could really beef this up with some interesting info. Was
                                                                                        Jane Nancy acquainted with the Church when she married the first time? What
He provided well for his family, and when privileged to attend, he taught the           were the circumstances? What happened to Nancy Campbell? Was George and
Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School. And we might say in summarization,              Nancy acquainted with the Church when they married? Were they in a pioneer
that his was a full and rich life in the things that count most.                        company? Where can we get it?

I forgot to mention my other sister, Annie May (Nan Drummond).                          Papa’s childhood must have been pleasant, as he played with his brothers and
                                                                                        sisters. His mother, Jane Nancy, was a lovely French girl born on the Isle of
The following history of Benjamin Franklin Pierce with notes on Jane Nancy              Jersey (Ch Is.) She was educated in French and English. She must have loved
Romerill was written by Myrtle Pierce Hurst, B.F. Pierce’s eldest daughter, on          poetry and the art of public speaking, for she taught her little son Frank many
August 15, 1988.                                                                        readings and poems. He was always in demand to give readings on programs
                                                                                        from the time he was 3 years old. His sister Eliza told me that he would stand on
My father, Benjamin Franklin Pierce was born in Ogden, Weber County, Utah on            a table as he gave the readings. When I was a teenager, I remember reading in the
September 9, 1873. The place of his birth is the area in Ogden presently known          Ogden Standard Examiner in the column “Fifty Years Ago Today” about a
as Five Points. At the time of his birth that area was known as Lynn.                   program in which a “recitation was given by Franklin Pierce.”

                                                                                                                             B F Pierce 2
Frank learned to read books at an early age. He would get his book, climb into       miles, which he walked in all kinds of weather. Is there any information available
bed with his mother, and say, “Read to me, Mother.” His sister told me that he       that would supplement this part about his high school years?
was barely four at the time.
                                                                                     He was 16 years of age when he graduated from high school. There were 2 girls
My mother told me of an experience related to her by his sister Caroline, who was    and 3 boys in his graduating class. I have the picture of his class at their
6 years older. Caroline (or Carrie, as she was called), in her 6th grade class,      graduation. It would be class of 1899. What was the high school called? Did it
remembered when the “teacher brought my little brother up to read for my class,      precede the old Ogden High at 25th and Monroe, which later became Central Jr.
and he read better than we did. Imagine how embarrassed I was.” She may have         High? At graduation, his grades qualified him for valedictorian. A girl, M. June
been “embarrassed” in the context of what a youngster of that age thinks and feels   Peirce (is this the correct spelling, or was she a relative?), had the second highest
when attention is focused on them either from their own actions or from activity     grades. He was a gentleman even at the age of 16. He gave the honor to her and
of someone close to them. As she matured and reflected back on that incident, I’m    took second place for himself. His family could never understand this.
certain those feelings of embarrassment gave way to pride. Franklin was a gifted
young man, and his brilliance was noted all through his life.                        He loved to sing the Ogden High School graduation song. When he attended my
                                                                                     graduation, he was thrilled again with the rendition. The school had grown
Frank and his sister Eliza attended the same one-room school. They stayed after      considerably by then. My graduating class number 250 or more.
school to help the teacher. They swept the floor and helped clean the aches from
the big stove in the middle of the room. They straightened books and did other       At this time, he had aspirations of becoming a lawyer. I would like to continue to
chores. He and his sister were inseparable. My Aunt Eliza told me of an incident     recount my knowledge of his going to California, to attend Stanford University in
that happened after school. The teacher had gone home. She and Frank were still      this pursuit. As a child, I remember seeing an invitation addressed to him to
there doing chores. When they decided to leave, the fire in the big stove was        attend a reunion at Stanford with the class of 1904. He never was able to attend
burning and was too hot to leave, they thought. They got a large bucket of water,    that reunion because of his work. I wish I knew more about his life in California.
probably the drinking water for the classroom, opened the door of the stove and      He told me once that he worked with the thrashers in the wheat fields. At any
poured water on the fire. Eliza said it was a wonder they weren’t burned or hurt.    rate, he began his third year at the University of California (not Stanford?). A
                                                                                     letter from his father, which I read, said “I think it was a good move for you to go
Jane Nancy was an enterprising person. To supplement the family’s income, the        to the University.” Whether his father sent money to help, or my father was
children would peel apples which she would then dry and sell. My father learned      entirely on his own, I do not know. However, I heard my father say that say that
to like peeling apples, and I remember him doing big pans of apples for my           he attended his 3rd year at the University. Perhaps because of finances or to be
mother to bottle or dry. One time, mother had too many apples and she took a big     near home he entered the University of Utah. He did not graduate. Maybe he
pan of them to her mother, my grandmother, who was very happy to receive them.       thought if he could teach school he could continue his education his education
My grandmother was a wonderful cook and made cakes and pies.                         later.
When my father entered high school he walked the distance from West 2nd Street
to 25th and Kiesel, the location of the High School. The Elks Lodge later stood at   He passed an examination to teach in Utah schools. His first school was in
that location, back of Wonder Bread bakery. This was a distance of about 4                                                 B F Pierce 3
Huntsville. He boarded at the McKay home and was given David O. McKay’s             He was a wonderful father. We were always happy when he was home from
room David was on his mission in England at the time (1903). He became well         work. His job kept him away for two or three days. Then he would be “on the
acquainted with the two McKay sisters. He spoke of Jeanette who married Dr.         road,” we said, waiting for his next trip home.
Morrell. Her daughter Jeanette was in my high school graduating class. My father
often spoke of the hard winters in Huntsville. The bobsleds pulled by horses rode   When he was home, he spent his time beautifying the grounds of our home. He
over the tops of the fences.                                                        loved fruit trees and he had learned the art of budding from an “old timer friend”
                                                                                    in his youth. The best peach orchards were located on east 12th street at the time.
He taught all grades in the one-room school house.                                  He would cut a small branch from one of those trees. Near the base of the leaf
                                                                                    where the leaf was connected, he would carefully cut the leaf from the branch,
For two more years, he taught school in Poe’s Patch, north of Ogden by              leaving room by the connections. At his place was a little black protrusion. He
Pleasantview. They were happy years and he loved the children. I have a lovely      cut this part away. Then he would cut a slit in the bark of the tree he wanted to
cup and saucer set which was given to him as a present by two little sisters. His   change, and insert the part in the slit, wrapping it with a little cloth. He told me
social life must have been nice. He enjoyed the dances and other events.            plums and peach trees were easy to bud.

There is a chronology by years on the 9th page of the manuscript. We need to        We had a plum tree on the south side of our home. He left the plum tree as it was,
clarify that.                                                                       and in later years we had a half and half tree (half peaches and half plums). It was
                                                                                    very beautiful in the spring, and people stopped by to see it. The tree had white
I do not know the exact year my father began working for the railway mail           plum blossoms on one side, and pink peach blossoms on the other. We also
service. He died on April 16, 1930. I was then a freshman at Weber College.         picked fruit from that tree.
Mother said he had had more than thirty years in that position, so it must have
been at the beginning of the century (how does this mesh with his college and       My father liked to go to town on his days off. He rode the street car both ways.
school teaching years?). He said he had heard that the mail service was hiring      He wore his suit, white shirt and tie. He loved talking with people on the
men and the salary was better than a teachers pay. He went for an interview with    sidewalks and would come home telling us of the friends he had met. Often he
one of the chief clerks. He was asked what qualifications he had, besides his       went to the Washington Market, a store on Washington Avenue and about 25th
education and teaching experience. My father replied, “I’ll work.” He was asked     street on the east side. Often he brought home some cut of meat, and some
more questions to which my father replied emphatically, “I’ll work!” He was         delicacy for mother. Often in the winter, he would bring home a large ham,
hired and it was necessary that he pass a comprehensive examination every six       which he delighted in carving and frying for breakfast the next morning. (Mother,
months to hold his job. I have seen the scores on many of these exams. They         does your song fit here somewhere? “7 o’clock is striking, mother may I go out.
were always in the highest percentiles, 98, 99.5. At one time he was selected to    A nice young man is waiting to take me on the town. First he offered me candy,
be a chief clerk which would have necessitated moving his family to Pocatello.      second he offered a pear, third he offered me 50 cents to kiss him on the stair. I
At this time he was clerk in charge of his train. He would have been money-wise     took the 50 cents, and bought a slice of ham ……I can’t remember the rest.)
to accept this position, but mother was reluctant to leave her family.
                                                                                                                          B F Pierce 4
Hard work took its toll on my father. He was in a very bad train wreck also. He      Education played a big part in my father’s life. He continued his studies in Latin,
told us how he was jerked from side to side in the car as it rolled.                 and mathematics. There was never a problem he couldn’t work. And studying
                                                                                     his Latin from his college books was a pleasure for him. His friends would find
During that period of time, there were a great many robberies reported having        him on the street car going home as he worked some mathematical problem on the
taken place in the mail cars. He was ordered to wear a gun, which he brought         wrapping paper of something he had purchased in town. He could also draw
home and kept in the bottom drawer of mothers wardrobe, a tall cabinet which         lovely pictures (were any of these pictures ever saved?).
looked like furniture, having opening doors. This served as a closet for hanging
up her clothes.                                                                      I recall one Christmas Eve, when my brothers and I had brought home a
                                                                                     Christmas tree which we had purchased at the 12th Street store for $0.50. We put
When on duty, if confronted by a robber, he was order to shoot to kill. We were      the tree on the boys’ sled to bring it home. The boys had gone to bed and mother
always thankful that none of this ever happened.                                     and I were decorating the tree. My father wasn’t expected to come home, but the
                                                                                     front door opened and there he was. He was very ill and fell to the floor,
Papa was a kind and considerate father who really understood his children’s          frightening us. We finally had him in bed and called the doctor. This was the
problems. When my brother Julian was left at home and not invited to join the        first indication that he had a bad heart. Mother had him in bed until April.
boys (play?) as my brother Urban had been, to calm his hurt, our father took
Julian to town and bought him a shiny new black bicycle. This caused for             From that time on, he had many sieges of illness. At different times, Dr Rich
jealousy between the brothers, and mother sensing this took Urban to town, and       attributed his recoveries to the good nursing care he received from mother. At
arranged for Urban to get a bicycle on monthly terms. In later years, Urban felt     one time I remember the doctor saying, “Frank, I thought we’d have to plant
the hurt that he had to pay for his bicycle while Julian’s was a gift. Urban         flowers on you in the spring.”
confided this to me one night at mother’s house.
                                                                                     Papa loved school events in his children’s lives. Urban was in the R.O.T.C. He
But on the whole, my father was always kind to us all. He loved little Annie May.    wore a kaki uniform to school and sometimes marched in parades on the
He nicknamed her Nannie Fasters. He gave her that name because Nan would run         downtown streets. My father noted that Urban and his friend Wayne Tribe were
down Ninth Street to visit her friends. As she did so, she pounded her little feet   the smallest boys in the parade and marched at the end of the platoon. In fact, the
on the sidewalk making a loud clap. Thus she was given the name Nannie               gun each carried was almost as tall as they were.
Fasters.
                                                                                     He helped me with an oration on Abraham Lincoln that was very good, and I was
Papa loved to take us on walks. One Sunday evening we climbed the mountain           chosen to present it to the Veterans of the Civil war at one of the downtown
east of Seventh Street. It was a pleasant hike, but darkness overtook us. Julian     auditoriums. Frank Francis was a founder of this society. There were only a few
became tired and had to be carried. I wore my Sunday black patent leather            veterans of that war left. The mayor of Ogden and an editor of the Standard
slippers. They were ruined and mother was upset. But Papa bought me a new            Examiner newspaper spoke also. I was a 10th grader at North Junior High school.
pair.
                                                                                                                          B F Pierce 5
My father was on the road and could not attend, but mother was with me, at this      Service badge and was allowed to get something to eat. His train was never taken
time.                                                                                by robbers. As Clerk in Charge, father was responsible for moneys sent by mail.
                                                                                     Sometimes large amounts called registered mail. The receipts for the registered
At that time, I was also studying piano from a Salt Lake man J. Clement Crapo,       mail had to be posted in a book and turned in to the main office. This was
and my father paid for the lessons at $1.50 a lesson, which was considered to be a   father’s responsibility.
large sum at that time. Urban studied with an Ogden teacher, at $0.50 per lesson.
(How did you get with Mr. Crapo? Did you travel to Salt Lake? Did he travel to       On the early morning of his death, I was up late studying for mid-term
Ogden? If he came to Ogden, did he teach quite a number of students on one trip      examinations. At about 2:30 that morning he called from his room: “Myrtle, are
to make his commune worthwhile?)                                                     you still up?” “Yes, I replied, I am studying and finishing some papers I have to
                                                                                     turn in.” Then he said, “Would you please bring me a drink of water?” I was
From the time I was in the 10th grade until the time I was a freshman at Weber       reluctant to leave my studying, but I took him a glass of water. If I had known the
College, about 4 years, my father’s health was deteriorating. He complained of       turn of events then, I might have been more concerned and very anxious, and
pains in his arms and legs, which I am sure was a result of his heart problems.      grieved. As it was, I heard his last words: “Annie, I’m better. Doc Rich has done
Yet, he kept up his work on the road. We came to dread his sieges of sickness        a good job again. This time I’m better.” Then suddenly we heard a strange noise.
which would result from a cold or other exposure. I think water must have been       The doctor told me later it was the air cascading from his lungs. Mother was
accumulating around his heart then. But he loved his fruit trees and took care of    screaming, “Myrtie, call the doctor-tell him to come quick.” I called, and said
them. He sometimes attended an afternoon movie with us at a downtown theater.        “Come quick, doctor-something terrible is happening.” The doctor arrived
                                                                                     quickly. It was about 3:00 or 3:30 a.m. The doctor placed his stethoscope over
I don’t believe I have mentioned my father’s penmanship. During his college          my father’s heart. He shook his head. “He’s gone” was all he said-very quietly.
days in California he had won a beautiful gold pointed pen. It was black and had
a large gold ring around the top cover. It was, of course, a fountain pen. He        My father’s funeral was a lovely affair. It was held in the Tenth Ward on Kiesel
always carried it with his gold chained watch in his vest of his best suit.          Avenue, located between 16th and 17th streets, ½ block west of Washington
                                                                                     Avenue. Lucille Parry played “To an Evening Star,” by Richard Wagner (typists
He was talented in art and often would draw pictures of beautiful birds and young    addition) on the treddle organ. I don’t recall who gave the opening and closing
ladies. Sometimes he made comic pictures of men “on the stand” at church.            prayers, but at Aunt Eliza’s request Judge George S. Barker spoke. I don’t
These pictures were done in fun and caused laughter after he came home. Mother       remember much of his talk. It was scholarly and he bore testimony to the
thought he should have been paying more attention to the speakers. (do you have      truthfulness of the Gospel. The only time he spoke of my father was in his
any pictures he drew?)                                                               opening sentence, when he said my father was a “good man and a good
                                                                                     neighbor.” Other speakers were Bishop Ira Huggins who was a young man of 30
About 5 or maybe more years before his death, he was ordered to wear a gun at        years. He said my father often greeted him with “How’s the Boy?” But the main
work on the train because of robberies which took place on the mail train. A few     speaker was a man who was not on the program. He opened his remarks by
times he forgot to remove the gun when he left the train to get something to eat.
He was stopped by two police officers. Quickly he showed his Railway Mail                                                 B F Pierce 6
saying, “I have not been invited to speak, but I couldn’t let this service close      voices in various corners of the bank. But she didn’t suspect anything amiss until
without telling of this good man who has passed on.” He then spoke of my              the clerk took her check and went running with it excitedly. Then, the next day it
father’s great intelligence and learning of literature and history, and his love of   became known that the bank had failed. Mother was frantic. We had a neighbor,
mathematics. He told of my father riding home on the streetcar and working a          Mr. Lovedall was affiliated with the bank. She called him for help. He tried to
mathematical problem on the wrapping paper of something he had purchased in           reassure her that she would get her money back. We need more detail here.
town (usually a steak for dinner). Who was this person?
                                                                                      Father left other resources. We received a $2500 death benefit from the
The service closed and then the came the trip to the cemetery. His casket was         Woodmen of the World. That money was deposited in the 1st National Bank.
very wonderful. My uncle Jay G. Stone was engaged in the iron business at             His estate was appraised at $7000. This was a low appraisal by Uncle Jay. He
Ogden Iron Works. He told us that the steel used in the casket had an alloy which     did this to avoid State Tax. Evidently, Father did not have a will.
made it impervious to the elements, and water. It was the best that could be had
at that time. A big panel of glass covered the body. The casket was only
cemented in. But later, when mother was buried, Urban saw to it that when we
had to dig up the casket because of its proximity to another casket that his was
sealed in a vault.

From then on, we had to take up our lives without his care and guidance. Papa
had belonged to two lodges: The Woodmen of the World, and the Macabees. (Do
you recall anything about these lodges? Was it common for Church members to
belong? What was their charter, i.e., did they have civic goals?) Always during
his illnesses he would receive bouquets of flowers from these people. It is
interesting to note that after my father’s death, mother received insurance from
the Woodmen in the amount of $900, which was to help me go to college. He
probably would have merited more of a death benefit from this organization. He
had paid into the organization over the years, and evidently the organization
would give members the equivalent of insurance benefits for his family against
hard times, or in this case, his death. But he had decided at some point to
discontinue contributing to them. However, we decided to press the organization
for a partial payoff (who helped here, Uncle Jay?). This resulted in the check for
$900. The money was deposited in the Ogden State Bank, along with other
money, a few days before the bank closed its doors (Are you saying your family
lost all this money at the bank closure?) Mother told me since that she deposited
that money quite naively. She entered the bank, and saw people talking in hushed                                           B F Pierce 7