Category: Uncategorized

OUR HERITAGE; THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY VALUES

 

If you’ve been following along,  by now you can see that our eighth, ninth and tenth great ancestors played a fundamental role in the development of our first colonies in the United States. Some came from Royalty if the lines are  followed back far enough, and yet they were men and women of strength and perseverance, to flee the persecution in their homelands, and to suffer the religious wars of the time.  This group of friends worked together and shared each others hardships and trials and together not only built a legacy for their descendants, built  homes and businesses from little and became the leaders of the communities and states.  These are the men and women from which our DNA has been pasted down for generations, and of that we have much to be proud of. The importance of family values in their daily living is proved to us time and time again as we learn more and more about their lives.

They, being fishermen, farmers, religious advocates, politicians, having little of the means needed to do such, they still persevered.

One can only  imagine, the fatigue and desperation they felt at times. The put their heads together and  they pooled their resources and trudged on. Which reminds me of Grandpa Blum’s theology “ALWAYS FORWARD”. They leaned on each other for answers and though there were disagreements that arose among st them, when push came to shove they stood strong together and stood for what they believed.

Their children grew up in tight knit communities, living, playing, celebrating and worshiping and eventually marrying and prospering.

When new opportunities arose such as the settling of new territories, they moved together. Eventually they migrated from coast to coast leaving behind them a trail of prosperity for all of us to follow.

Together they buried their babies, and loved ones, and endured  hardships that we have never had to know. They truly showed us the value of family, community and friendship.

At one time it was said that of the five thousand  inhabitants of Nantucket, all of them were cousins.

The more searching and information I gain in my research it is reasonable to assume that we are kin to ALL of Smyth Co., West Virginia, Guilford Co., North Carolina, St. Clair., Missouri, and Atchinson Co., Missouri. Heck, I’m starting to think all of Missouri is our KIN! Along the way they dropped off KIN in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and from there every which way to the west coast.

Our ancestors being the first to homestead, clear the land, and plow the ground all a crossed this great country. Somewhere, I read that 60% of our ancestors became farmers. Many well to do and prestigious men took to farming. Much of that of course was out of necessity. It was popular for them to gather as much land as possible. Many of them owning thousands of acres at the end of their lives.

Aside from that they built schools, railroads, roads, and cities for those that laid down roots.  It’s hard to fathom the strength it took these individuals, both emotionally and physically,  to leave behind what they had built..and many times their family and friends…and wander out into the wilderness to break new ground.

Providing for their families was always the highest on the list of priorities and to leave them with something better first and foremost.  There were times when doing just that was next to impossible, yet they struggled forward. Among them were warriors, doctors, lawyers, politicians, plantation owners, slave owner, carpenters merchants, brewers, etc. Trades were past down to new generations as well as large acreages of land..eventually divided into parcels to be left to their heirs.

It’s from all of these we must succumb…as we have so very much reason to hold our head high when we proclaim our Heritage.

I am proud to state…

“I AM A PIERCE”

Happy Hunting!

The Pierce Family Historian

As always,  thanks for stopping by and if you like what your reading, let me know by leaving a message in the comments. If there is anything about the family that you would like to know about, let me know that also. I love being able to share with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IS BLACK FRIDAY A HOLIDAY TRADITION TODAY

IS BLACK FRIDAY A HOLIDAY TRADITION TODAY

Wow..in no time Thanksgiving will be upon us. My brother and his wife are planning to host the dinner this year and she sent a message to us asking who was going to be there. That got my head churning and remembering all the Thanksgivings, Christmases, and Easters we had with family when we were growing up and the memories we have due to it. Call them traditions…they use to be. I’m not sure families honor traditions like they use to as I can barely get my family all under the same roof without issue, but perhaps some do. Today Black Friday seems to have become a TRADITION.

What family traditions have you carried on when it comes to the hoidays?

What are some of the memories that come to mind when you think of them?

One of the Thanksgivings that stands out to me the most is the time that we all went to Omaha to my Uncle Martin and Aunt Mary Blums. Mom and Dad went somewhere…I think with Uncle Martin, and meanwhile us kids stayed with Aunt Mary as she was getting things ready for dinner. I’m not sure how long they were gone, and kids don’t pay attention much to what grownups do, but apparently Aunt Mary was having a little nip as she was preparing the meal. She got drunk and fell down in the kitchen as she was getting a pot out of the cabinet. I don’t recall thinking of it as anything but an accident. She got up and carried on and dinner went on as planned as far as I remember. But perhaps there was more to the story than I remember, as I recall Herb and Una Jean driving us kids back to Grandmas, and discussing it on the way how deplorable to do such a thing in the presence of all these kids, and I remember Aunt Mary telling Mom and Dad that Marty was mad at her.

We almost always went to families for a holiday dinner back in those days unless Mom and Dad hosted it that year and they came to us…but tradition then was to get together with family, and cousins grew up knowing each other familiarly. I’m curious as to how many families still do that?

I mean it was nothing for someone to drive 8 hours or more to spend the day with the family. Heck, I remember loading my kids up and driving from Colorado to Missouri to spend the holiday at my parents or the family of my husband. It was more or less expected of you.

ONE OF MY WORST THANKS GIVING MEMORIES

One time I took the bus.. seven months pregnant, with my 2 boys, 9 months and 3 years from Dodge City, Kansas, to Springfield, MO.  to have Thanksgiving with the family. That was just one of the most miserable trips ever with my kids. On the way home the bus stopped in Joplin and I bought the boys a hamburger. (my kids, all three of them, had a tendency to get car sick) We barely made it out of Joplin when Joey got sick and puked all over my pregnant stomach, and then Stevan did too! The bus driver scolded me for cussing. I stripped Stevan down to his diaper, but I was stuck wearing my puky clothes until someone on the bus asked the driver if he would stop and let me get a clean top out of the suitcase. Never the less I had to deal with the ick until we got to Witchita.

But my point is…you just did it. You didn’t think about how long the drive was, you just knew that that was what was expected of you for the holiday. Does anyone do that anymore?

As everyones family grew, Mom would plan Thankgiving dinner as our once a year family get together and we were just more or less expected to be there. I remember one time my dad sending me gas money so that I wouldn’t miss it. As the families grew and more and more of the children became parents, the tradition more or less faded away. Mom didn’t expect them to come at Christmas, as she felt the kids should be able to stay home and play with their new toys, and  to be home on that day. However, Thanksgiving was one day a year she wanted her kids together.

Then when the kids kids started having kids, the family seemed to just split up and the only ones that came were the single ones that had no where else to go. I haven’t had a holiday dinner with my three kids and all the grandkids together since 2000. I’m still invited of course to the homes of other family members, but it really isn’t the same, as when the whole dang gang was together and there were kids running around everywhere, hanging out with cousins, and most likely doing something to get in trouble.

BLACK FRIDAY

Now of course,  the tradition is what is called “Black Friday”. Who does that? I did ONCE back in the 80’s and that was once enough for me. Yet there are a lot of people who do it. Heck, I think the last Thanksgiving dinner we had a bunch of them planned ahead to put it on the agenda. So that got me thinking (oh dear watch out when I start thinking) when did all this “Black Friday” start anyway? Have you ever wondered that or have you just got caught up in it? When I lived in Washington, I knew people who would get together with family members and take the train to Oregon for Black Friday because there was no tax in Oregon they figured it paid for the train trip.

So here’s the Scoop

According to wikipedia:

“Related to Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas, Buy Nothing Day
Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952, although the term “Black Friday” did not become widely recognised or used until the early 2000s.”

Can you beleive that?

Since 1952…heck that was before I was born!!! I don’t recall it being all that popular until perhaps the late 80’s, but then time flies doesn’t it?

“Most major retailers open very early, as early as overnight hours, and offer promotional sales. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday.  Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.”

I actually know people who will go the night before or get up at like 3 in the morning to go stand in line or camp out just to be the first one in the door! ARE YOU FOR REAL?! I for one do not want anything that bad!

Black Friday has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005, although news reports,  have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time. Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.”

“In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession. $50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year. However, the U.S. economy was not in a recession. Christmas creep (you know where they keep creeping closer and closer to SUMMER!) has been cited as a factor in the diminishing importance of Black Friday, as many retailers now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December rather than concentrate them on a single shopping day or weekend.”

It is crazy to see Christmas gearing up before Halloween is even over with. 

I for one HATE shopping with a passion and steer clear of the stores during the holiday season if at all possible. I find people rude and grouchy and pushy and shovey and they don’t act to me like people with the spirit of the holiday in their hearts.

“The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. This usage dates to at least 1961. More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”.” (makes sense right?)

For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers (including Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Bealls) opened at midnight for the first time. In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers. In 2014, stores such as JCPenney, Best Buy, and Radio Shack opened at 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day while stores such as Target, Walmart, Belk, and Sears opened at 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day.Three states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores, and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving, due to what critics refer to as blue laws.

BLACK FRIDAY GOES ONLINE

“There have been reports of violence occurring between shoppers on Black Friday. Since 2006, there have been 10 reported deaths and 111 injuries throughout the United States.It is common for prospective shoppers to camp out over the Thanksgiving holiday in an effort to secure a place in front of the line and thus a better chance at getting desired items. This poses a significant safety risk, such as the use of propane and generators in the most elaborate cases, and in general, the blocking of emergency access and fire lanes, causing at least one city to ban the practice. Since the start of the 21st century, there have been attempts by retailers with origins in the United States to introduce a retail “Black Friday” to other countries around the world.”

With that being said, it’s no wonder many have chosen to steer clear of the stores during this holiday may ham and find a better alternative, that being Cyber Shopping. And notably the online shopping malls are aware of it and  giving the shopper what they want by offering the same savings online without the push shove hustle bustle of going to the physical store, and in some cases you can get next day shipping.

Some of your online shopping stores are opening up deals earlier this year.

Walmart, for instance is opening up “Black Friday” savings on the 21st of NOV at 6 p.m.

Target Black Friday deals will start online on Thanksgiving morning. Time limitations: Doors will open at 5 pm local time on Thanksgiving, but deals will be available online before then.

Best Buy is opening it’s doors online at 5 pm Nov 21 to 1 am Friday the 23.

Amazon is already promoting it’s Black Friday deals as their deals started the 1st of Nov.

If you are like me and want to AVOID the death of BLACK FRIDAY click  here and lets  go shopping! I know this is where I will do mine!

Thanks for sharing a few memories with me! I hope ya enjoyed it and perhaps it stirs up a favorite memory of yours. If it did I would love to hear it! Leave me a story in the comments below and lets have a laugh together!

As Always

Happy Hunting

The Pierce Family Historian

 

Santa Claus is Coming and So is Black Friday

Santa Claus is Coming and So is Black Friday

Christmas is creeping up on us and though there are some that enjoy going to the mall and wrestling with the hustle and bustle of Christmas crowds when the weather is cold and nasty, the majority of people are happy these days to stay home and order their purchases online. Remember the day when you waited impatiently for the Sears and Roebuck Christmas catalog to get there. We would spend hours going through the toy section of the catalog dreaming of what Santa would bring us. Now we browse sites like Amazon and Ebay and dream of what we would like.  That being said I am going to show you a few things that you might consider while shopping for your family genealogist.

Even A Genealogist Needs A Tool Box

One wouldn’t think there was much a genealogist would need but actually we have quite a list. I hope to share some ideas with you that might make the genealogist in your life smile.

Some things to consider:

Three ring notebooks, File Folders, Plastic Sleeves, Scrap booking supplies

One never has enough room for storage of family papers, photos, and records. These things are essentials for the genealogist. You might even want to add some fancy boxes to store pictures and papers in while the work is in process.

Scrap booking supplies could include fancy papers, scrap books, plastic sleeves for finished projects, markers, pens, embellishments, glue, scissors, stamps, stickers. The list is endless.

How about a nicely framed family tree chart that can be filled out and hung on the wall. You can find free printable ones on Pinterest and have it framed at Michel’s or Hobby Lobby. Your genealogist is always trying to find new ways to show off their work.

Journals make nice gifts and genealogist love having them to write things down in. We seldom let any bit of information get past us.

Try filling the Tool box with some of the things your genealogist will use!?

SUBSCRIPTIONS

How about a one year subscription to Ancestry or My Heritage?

Has your genealogist had their DNA done?…if not they would love a test and you can buy them for anyone. (Some are being sold in stores now.) There are several to choose from and they will probably have a special on them with the holiday season coming up. Ancestry, 123 and ME, and My Heritage are the most popular but there are other good ones out there. A simple search of  Amazon will bring up a few to pick from. I will be doing a review of some of the different ones down the road.

Perhaps you have a beginner genealogist that needs some help. There are some great learning tools in the Kindle store to help your genealogist in their search. Aside from that there are tons and tons of books on genealogy and history to choose from. Try Kindle Unlimited! 

Computers, Scanners, and Ipads

One of my favorite tools is the good ole Ipad. It’s invaluable for your traveling genealogist. The camera comes in handy for scanning photos and taking cemetery pictures that can easily be uploaded to the program of your choice.

External hard drive

Back up is always important so  consider an external hard drive. Make sure it has some a good amount of storage on it.

Scanner

A good scanner is also a necessity for the genealogist that collects records and pictures. They can scan their records to files on their computer as well as up load them to their tree on ancestry. I personally would love to have a mobile rechargeable scanner that could be taken with me when I visit other family members in search of old family photos and documents. I especially like the ones you can feed the pages into as it makes the work seem less agonizing! 

Laminator 

This is a fun tool to help in saving papers though I have heard that they are not good for archival papers. That is always something to keep in mind when preserving documents. You might want to check google to see what some of the best methods are. (a little research doesn’t hurt). Personally I use mine most in saving news articles after they have been scanned so that I can put them into a scrapbook. It might not be the best way to save them but it works for me and after it’s been scanned it can always be retrieved. Don’t forget to throw in an extra box of sheets to go with it!

Printer

A good printer is also a necessity for your genealogist, and while your at it don’t forget the ink and paper! We go through a lot of that and the expense adds up so any help you give your special person in that area is always appreciated.

Thumb drives

Thumb drives are a handy tool for all genealogist. They are essential for library visits and backing up your work.

Software programs

Software programs are always a nice add on to the tools of a genealogist. Check out some of the latest family tree software. It might be just the thing.

Computer

A new computer? I personally have my eyes on one with double monitors. Double monitors! That is so handy when moving information from one program to another without having to type it all in. Simply copy and paste! Someone told me that there are new computers with built in scanners!!! WHAT! I would love one of those.

 

I hope this relieves some of the pain of “WHAT DO I GET MY GENEALOGIST” for Christmas and helps you choose something for them they will love! I KNOW I would if you are looking for something for me!

As always, leave me a comment, and if you have ideas to add please do share.

Merry Christmas Shopping!

Happy Hunting!

The Pierce Family Genealogist

 

Monetizing your Passion for Genealogy

Do you have a HUGE Passion for Genealogy?

Have you ever wondered, how could you make a living doing something you love and do everyday anyway? Work is not work when you are doing something you are passionate about.

I know myself I always wondered what I could do to monetize my passion, and get paid for something that I absolutely love to do. Perhaps there is something else that you are passionate about or you would just like to find your passion? Say dogs or animals for instance…have ya ever given thought to the fact that there might just be a way that you can turn that into income?

We’ve all heard the talk about what it cost to open a franchize, or run a brick and mortar type of business. We know that if you really want to do something you will find a way. We know that going to school for four years (or more) to get a degree is the most preferred avenue…but maybe just maybe there is another way?

Perhaps you’ve tried MLM’s or selling at home to make a few extra bucks but just nothing ever worked out. You took the training, you paid for training, you watched the videos and followed the advice of everyone from your upline to the guru’s and nothing worked. The truth is most MLM’s are designed to see you fail and 97 percent of people will.

What if I told you that you don’t have to do it on your own?

What if there was a coaching program out there that will guide you step by step, inch by inch, and that didn’t cost an arm and a leg to participate in?  What if I told you you could do it for FREE? What if there was a community in place that WANTS to see you succeed? What if I told you there are people waiting for you to ask for their help? Would that give you a little more incentive to get started with your own business?

I was like you.

I wanted so badly to find a way to make a few extra bucks at home. I know people are doing it online all the time. I mean every web page you go to will take you to a landing page asking you to sign up for their newsletter. I started taking every training there was available (and could have gone to college for what I’ve spent!) but the frustration of not know how to do what they were training was just total overwhelming! And I was still asking myself “HOW DO THEY DO THAT!”

You have to have a BLOG, you have to have a web page, you have to have a landing page, and a capture page, etc etc etc BUT NO ONE WOULD HELP set it all up!

There was no one to talk to.

There was no one that would show you how. Some said they would help but when you ask a question it would be crickets…or they would re direct you back to a video that didn’t answer your question the first time. I spent hours and hours watching videos and going back through the steps. Heck, half the time I had no idea what they were even talking about.

Eventually I just gave up.

I just didn’t understand enough or know enough to do this. One day I was signing up for a group on facebook that offered help tips for business owners and my world took a different path. There was a link there that said if you wanted help to click here….so I did…and it took me to a page that told me about WA. At the end of the article the guy said that if I would sign up he would HELP me …that I would never be ALONE! For some reason, I believed him.  I sent him a message…not really expecting to hear anything back from him and asked him if he really would help.

I got the most awesome response from him.

DID I MENTION IT WAS FREE!

I joined and was anxious to get started.  I had this “ya,ya…but it’s free only til you want to know something”…playing in the back of my head…”then they are going to make you pay for it!”

This is not the case with WA. They have the most awesome online community in place where all your questions can be answered within minutes…NOT DAYS.

They literally walk you through step by step so the average “no clue” person can make sense out of it. It’s all done in a very laid back manner that is easy to follow, and you can work at your own pace. NO PRESSURE! As a matter a fact they help take the pressure off.

No HYPE get rich schemes here either. They tell it like it is. IT’S GOING TO TAKE TIME, COMMITMENT, AND PERSISTANCE! but if you follow the plan and the steps they lay out…you can do it like the big guys.

That was four months ago

I can’t begin to tell you how my life has changed. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time… that it’s now time for me to give back! I want to see YOU succeed at your passion also. And I will be there to help in each and every way along the journey. All you have to do is ask, right along with the rest of the community cheering you on to success.

Check it out! I’m sure you won’t regret it.

If ya have any questions at all leave them in the comments below and I’ll get right back to you! I so look forward to working with you.

Oh right…Did I mention it was FREE?

I wish you the best of success!

and Happy Hunting

The Pierce Family Historian.

 

Cecil L Pierce: A Shearer of Sheep

Cecil Lon Pierce
1934

Cecil Lon Pierce was born January 24 1928 in Beatrice, Gage County, Nebraska to Venus and Marie (Blum) Pierce, he was also my father and a man that I not only admired but adored. He was my hero and there was no other like him.

He was the third son to be born to Venus and Marie and the first of the children to be born in a hospital. I asked him why he was born in a hospital as the other two had been born at home. He said he didn’t know but maybe they had worry of problems. Grandmother Marie had lost a baby at 5 months prior to her pregnancy with Cecil. She thought it was caused from riding in a buck board wagon.

Growing up on a farm  in rural Nebraska was hard as he lived through the great depression. The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in US history. It began in 1929 and did not abate until the end of the 1930s. The stock market crash of October 1929 signaled the beginning of the Great Depression. By 1933, unemployment was at 25 percent and more than 5,000 banks had gone out of business. This is only part of the story.

Farmers struggled with low prices all through the 1920s, but after 1929 things began to be hard for city workers as well. After the stock market crash, many businesses started to close or to lay off workers. Many families did not have money to buy things, and consumer demand for manufactured goods fell off. Fewer families were buying new cars or household appliances. People learned to do without new clothing. Many families could not pay their rent. Some young men left home by jumping on railroad cars in search of any job they could get. Some wondered if the United States was heading for a revolution.

During World War I, farmers worked hard to produce record crops and livestock. When prices fell they tried to produce even more to pay their debts, taxes and living expenses. In the early 1930s prices dropped so low that many farmers went bankrupt and lost their farms. In some cases, the price of a bushel of corn fell to just eight or ten cents. Some farm families began burning corn rather than coal in their stoves because corn was cheaper. Sometimes the countryside smelled like popcorn from all the corn burning in the kitchen stoves.

Daddy told me that they would collect corn cobs and sticks just to get enough food for the horses in the winter.

In some ways farmers were better off than city and town dwellers. Farmers could produce much of their own food while city residents could not. Almost all farm families raised large gardens with vegetables and canned fruit from their orchards. They had milk and cream from their dairy cattle. Chickens supplied meat and eggs. They bought flour and sugar in 50-pound sacks and baked their own bread. In some families the farm wife made clothing out of the cloth from flour and feed sacks. They learned how to get by with very little money. But they still had to pay their taxes and debts to the bank in cash.

These were tough times on the farms. There was such a surplus in 1933 that the AAA called for the destruction of some crops and livestock. But the following year, nature more than eliminated the surplus. In the plains states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, the lack of rain had dried up much of the topsoil and blow it half way across the continent. All across the Midwest severe heat and drought parched the land. Many families lost all they had and hearing of the riches in the west packed up what they had and went to California, Oregon, and Washington to find a better way. Those that stayed…struggled desperately. There was such a surplus in 1933 that the AAA called for the destruction of some crops and livestock. But the following year, nature more than eliminated the surplus. In the plains states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, the lack of rain had dried up much of the topsoil and blown it half way across the continent. In Iowa severe heat and drought parched the land.

 

Cecil was the Team Manager
Reynolds basketball team

Cecil was raised on a farm near Reynolds, Nebraska and attended country school. I asked him if he walked to school or if Grandpa took him. He told me that he and his younger sister Carol had a white pony that they would ride to school. They would tie it to a tree and somehow the pony always got loose and went home…so they would have to walk home. One day they were on their way home from school and as most horses will do…it was in a hurry to get there. When they got to the drive the pony took a sharp turn into the drive and Cecil and Carol went flying into the culvert. Grandma was so so distraught that she didn’t like the children riding the pony after that.

 

Cecil’s brother Cliff told that as a child, Cecil was a cry baby. I don’t think he ever out grew that. He had a big heart and emotions overtook him at times. When Cecil was just a toddler, Marie was dressing chickens. Back  then  they would boil large pots of water outdoors over a fire, and dunk the chickens into the pot to make the feathers easier to pluck. Cecil got a little too close to the pot and knocked the boiling water over on him. Cliff remembers him crying for days as Marie tried to console him by rocking him. Whatever treatment they used back then must have been good because he was not scarred from the accident.
ROUNDING UP THE RABBITS
Jackrabbit drives in  midwest were viewed as a battle of survival between farmers and the rabbits during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the mid 1930s. The land was plagued with hoards of  Lepus californicus melanotis, black-tailed jackrabbits. These jackrabbits were migratory and ate green plants and their roots. Adults were capable of producing three to eight offspring every 32 days.  Reminiscent of the grasshoppers 60 years earlier, the rabbits ate everything in their path. Thus, the few farmers who eeked out crops had to cope with the rabbits demolishing their livelihood.
In early years the rabbits had been a blessing to people of the Midwest as they provided a meal or two but now they had become a nuisance and the need to diminish the population was vital. They would have hunts where as the farmers would come together and surround a field and round up the rabbits by walking them to the center of the field and clubbing them. Cecil participated in one such hunt, and he said it was the most horrible brutal thing he had ever witnessed. He never did it again. Cecil had a tender heart, and it wasn’t any easy thing for him to kill an animal. We was never a hunter, but did love to fish.

While walking to school Cliff and Cecil decided to stop and check some traps that Cliff had set out. There was a skunk in the trap and they both got sprayed. When they got to school the teacher sent them home as the smell was too bad for anyone to take.

Cecil went to Reynolds High School, in Reynolds, Nebraska and graduated in the 1945-46 school year. He was not able to participate in sports due to the work he was required to do at home on the farm. All he knew growing up was work. They worked hard to keep things going. He never acquired hobbies as some do as his whole life revolved around hard work .His father Venus Vern Pierce died of a stroke in 1948. At that time his brother John came back and took over the farm and Cecil became a laborer on the farm. Even his mother told that it was not right what Johnny did but for some reason nothing was done about it.

I asked Cecil what was the naughtiest thing he ever did as a child? He laughed and then recalled that his mother had a big beautiful rooster on the farm, and though it was a beauty, it was mean and would attack him every time he walked across the yard. He was only about seven or eight years old, and he hated that rooster. One day he picked up a sie and when the rooster came at him he clobbered him with it. He thought he had killed it and he knew his mom was going to tan his hide for it. He picked the dead carcass up and laid it in the manger in the barn and waited to be found out! He said the next morning to his surprise the rooster was alive and well. It had come back from the dead but it never messed with him after that.
Another time he was playing with matches in the out house and started the outhouse on fire. He got a lickin for that one.
He said he had an old pocket watch that didn’t work, and he was playing around the well. He looked down into the well hole and saw all the gears turning in it and he just wondered what would happen if he dropped the watch down in there. So, he let go of it and down it went, getting hung up in the gears of the well, and the pump quit working. He said he never told anyone, and nothing was ever said about it but he was sure he had been the reason for the well needing to be fixed.

When WWII struck the United States, Cecil’s brothers Johnny and Cliff were drafted, and Cecil stayed home and took care of the farm with his father.

Cecil served in the National Guard for twelve years and was a Lance Corporal. He was part of the 353rd Military Police Co., in Fairbury, NE.  The personnel was composed of men from four counties — Jefferson, Thayer, Gage and Nuckolls– with the majority of the members being farmers from Jefferson county. The majority of the members went to Fort Leonard Wood, MO., for two weeks summer training. Company C was organize in 1948 when five officers and four enlisted men met in Fairbury with Major Carl Goering and began organizing a reserve unit in the city.

 

Cecil Pierce 194

On Feb 24, 1949 the first unit was formed, transferring Co. C, 310th Military Police Battalion from Omaha to Fairbury. It was this small group who foresaw an organized company of trained cadre should an emergency ever come.

National Guard
1948

Co. C was organised with Capt. Michael J Schmal named commanding officer. Their first summer field training at Camp McCoy, Wis., was in 1951. On April 19, 1952, when the 319th Battalion was deactivated the Fairbury unit survived the Army reorganization. This was the year the 320th Military Police Co. was transferred to Fairbury.

Following the summer field training at Camp McCoy , Col Hardin Sweeny, chief of the Nebraska Military District, and Col. Harry Baker, Nebraska senior Army instructor visited the local unit. It was then decided by the Nebraska Military District to transfer the 320th MP Co to Omaha and the 353rd MP Co. to Fairbury.

This was done Oct 10 1952–making the Fairbury unit in a class with pay every Wednesday night and a possible strength of six officer and 212 enlisted men. Cecil is among those listed on the 1953 roster. His rank was Lance Corporal.

Cecil met Peggy Nutsch from Haddam, Kansas at a dance, and after Peggy graduated from high school, they were married on the 24th of May, 1953 at the Four Square Church in Fairbury, Nebraska. It was a private ceremony with only their parents in attendance.

Cecil and Peggy Pierce
1953-2015

Peggy was a young 16 years old, a naive little farm girl from Haddam, Kansas. They moved in with Cecil’s mother Marie west and north of Reynolds. Shortly after their marriage, Peggy went with her parents to Wichita for a day. They got back late and Peggy stayed the night at her parents and they took her back to Reynolds the next day. Marie asked Cecil where Peggy was and he said he didn’t know. (He knew.) When Peggy came home Cecil’s brother Johnny came and gave her holey hell about leaving, as Marie (Cecil’s mother) had gone to Johnny and told him that she had left him.

John, Cliff, Marie, Cecil, and Carol

Johnny often bossed Cecil and not in a nice way.  There were times he would come to the house especially early in the mornings and come right into their bedroom and scream at Cecil to get up! Even with all the problems that Cecil dealt with with his brother Johnny, in his late years Cecil made that comment that he had been blessed with the best of brothers.  He never spoke ill of any of his siblings, or anyone else for that matter.

After this incident Cecil and Peggy made the decision that something had to change, and they moved to his brother Cliffs house south of Reynolds, as Cliff and his wife Barb were in California.

The couple went to Blair, Nebraska where Cecil had found work for awhile before they moved to a farm that Cecil bought with money he inherited from his father just north Hubbell, Nebraska, and farmed it for about five years. It was on this farm that Peggy and Cecil begin their family. In 1954 Feb. 22 their first daughter, Charline Lynnette Pierce was born in Hebron, Ne., coincidentally on the birthday of Cecil’s brother Johnny’s birthday. For years we always went to Uncle Johnny’s to celebrate the birthdays together.

Cecil Pierce Shearing

On the farm Cecil and Peggy had sheep and cattle as well as fields of crops and pasture. They found it difficult to find someone to shear when the time came so Cecil bought the equipment needed to do it himself and a new career came from it. He was a very good sheep shearer, self taught. He  traveled all over the mid-west, and was very well known for his talent. He could easily shear 150 head a day. Through out his life time he made most of his living shearing and claimed that it was from that income that he raised his children.

On June 19, 1955 the couple welcomed their first son, Jeffery Daniel Pierce to their family, also born in Hebron, Nebraska.

In 1956, the farm crops looked very good, but nature took it’s toll and all of the crop was lost due to hail and grasshoppers.  They were expecting their third child when they packed up that fall and traveled to Oregon where Peggy’s brother Jack was working. The Land of Milk and Honey!  Cecil obtained work as a welders helper on the ships in Portland, and they lived in an apartment in St. Helens.  In December, the 8th day, the sun was shining brightly when Peggy gave birth to their third child around noon.  When she left the hospital that evening with their new baby daughter, Susan Annette (myself), it was snowing big white flakes. The hospital bill was 98 dollars and it had to be paid before they left.  Joke was that they left Oregon without ever paying the doctor bill for the birth so I was to be on alert for repossession.  Cecil worked out the winter in Oregon, and they then returned to the farm in the spring of 1957 in time for planting. On the moved back to Nebraska they were caught in a snow storm and had to spend a couple of days in the basement of a church.

On  December 13, 1958 a second son was born and was named Henry David.  Cecil then bought a farm on the county line just south of  Narka, Kansas..  They called it the county line farm as it was right on the Republic/Washington Co. lines.  Here he and Peggy raised livestock, had an orchard, and acres of crops and pasture land.  Many times he would go to Haddam and work part time at the elevator, and still continued to shear sheep while Peggy was left alone with the farm work and children to tend. She loved the country life having grown up a farm girl herself.  While on the farm in Narka, Cecil and Peggy had two more children, Angelia Gail, born August 24, 1960 and Clifford Martin, born November 28, 1962.

Cecil and Peggy had a farm auction in December of 1964, sold the farm and moved to Byron, Nebraska early in 1965 where Cecil leased a tavern and ran it for a couple of years. Often during this time Peggy would work the tavern during the day and Cecil would shear sheep or work various other jobs.  A month after their move to Byron, Andrea Rose was born on February 15, 1965.  Cecil bought an empty building on main street in Byron and moved the tavern to that building. He received a liquor license and built a big dance floor and beer garden and had dances about once a month.

Cecil and Charline
1966
Pierce Tavern
Byron, Nebraska

Still while living in Byron, Cecil and Peggy received their last two children, Matthew Lon born June 15, 1966 and Beth Marie born April 26, 1968.

After seven years in Byron, in 1971 Cecil again became restless and they sold the tavern and home and made plans to move to Mankato, Kansas where the couple purchased Dreamliner Motel.Their oldest daughter Charline, married Wayne “Dink” Snyder that year on July 21 in Hebron, Nebraska. He was the son of Kenneth “RED” and Maxine HOLMES Snyder of Superior, Nebraska and was serving as a marine during the Vietnam war and was deployed at the time. They moved the family in the September of that year to the apartment attached to the motel.

The children started the school year in Mankato in August. Jeff and Susan were sophomores in high school. They would get the children up at 3 in the morning and Cecil would drive them to the Lovewell lake where they would meet the bus and ride to school from there. It made for very long days as it would be nearly 6 in the evening before they got home.  Annie (Andrea) was only in the first grade, and would fall asleep on the bus on the way home and Susan would carry her to the car where Cecil would be waiting for the children.

This business venture turned out to be a bad investment and after a long court battle, they bought a large Victorian home in Mankato and Cecil went to work at the Dubuque Packing plant until he opened up the first private club in Jewell County, Kansas and named it the Hideaway.  He did very well here and employed his three oldest daughters, his wife and several others and after three years they sold the club, had an auction where they sold most of their belongings and moved to Missouri. By this time only the three younger children remained at home.

Jeff had started his own mechanic business in Mankato after he graduated high school in 1974, and Susan married  Jack Alcorn son of Doyle and Barbara Alcorn on May 24, 1974 one week after her high school graduation. Henry graduated high school in 1976 and went to Beloit Vo Tech before he married Kimberly Elkins, May 25, 1980. She was the daughter of Bud and Kay Elkins.   Angelia graduated high school in 1978 and married Roger Reiter on May 28, son of Arnold and Pauline Reiter.  Clifford moved to Gordon, Nebraska where he worked putting up irrigation sprinklers.

In 1979 Cecil and what was left of the family at home, moved to Jenkins, Missouri.

Cecil didn’t like it in Missouri and was not happy about anything while they were there. Their youngest son Matt didn’t like Missouri either and moved back to Mankato where he lived with his older brother Jeff and sister Angelia until he was out of high school and able to support himself.   They struggled financially, as the sale of the Hideaway was to be their retirement money, however a few months after the move the Hideaway burned to the ground and they had to fight to recover the money.  During that time Cecil did some shearing and worked a few places, but just was never satisfied.  Peggy however, loved it there and she was able to work at her crafts and have her animals and the peace and quiet of the country. They had a nice home on an acreage in the country south of Aurora, Missouri.  Cecil put the property on the market and it sold right away to their surprise.  This resulted in the decision to move back to Kansas.

He and Peggy returned to the Narka, Kansas area in 1983 and they opened a restaurant/grocery store that they ran for nearly 20 years.   They left Missouri with only their youngest child, Beth remaining.  Andrea chose to stay in Missouri and finish her last year of high school and then married Doug Wilson of Aurora.  Cecil and Peggy operated the store and for a time the gas station.  He served on the city council and even took his turn at being mayor.

Upon reaching the age of retirement, Cecil closed the store, and worked part time in the nursing home in Belleville, Kansas.  He helped out at the elevator in town during the harvest, and mowed the city grass, and did other odd jobs until he just couldn’t do anything anymore. He raised dogs for awhile then phased that out. Peggy however, continued on with dog raising right up to the day of her death in 2017.

 

Cecil passed from this life on a Monday, May 11, 2015 at the Belleville Health Care Center where he had resided for three years,  at the age of 87 years, after suffering for several years from a paralyzed colon, high blood pressure and a series of strokes. He is buried at the Union Cemetery south of Narka, Kansas.

Cecil did various other jobs over the years, but was most proud of his sheep shearing skills. He felt his biggest blessings were his children and grandchildren and was extremely proud of all of them. He could hardly speak of his son’s without tears of pride coming to his eyes. At the time of his death he and Peggy had  28 grandchildren: 42 great grandchildren’ and a number of nieces and nephews.

Cecil Pierce Family
Cecil with Jeff and Charline
1956
Cecil with a few of his Grandchildren

A Poem For Daddy 

August 21, 2010

I looked out my kitchen window
and I saw coming up the road,
an old man in an electric chair
straying not to far from home.
He comes this way most everyday
after making rounds about the town,
to share the news he’s gathered –
he starts spreading it around.
He doesn’t always get his stories straight
and he never stays too long.
He just lets you know what he thinks he heard
and then he travels on.
He’s always in his overalls
with a dirty ole cap upon his head,
and occasionally he’ll be wearing
the jelly from his bread.
Sometimes he brings along advice of
to him what just looks wrong.
Sometimes he’s just been thinking
or has a job for you to do,
or he tells you ’bout his aches and pains
and complains of his age too.
Perhaps something compells him
to share a story now and then
of something he once did
or places that he’s been.
Tears will well up in his eyes
if he speaks about his kids.
Of all the things the years have given him
he hasn’t much to show
‘cept for the son’s and daughter’s,
that’s one thing that he know’s.
Cause, they’ll throw their arms around him,
to them he’s not so bad,
and he knows they really love him
every time they call him “Dad”.

by Susan Holmes

About Susan

Welcome to The Family Historian. I hope this is a place where you can find interesting and helpful content for your genealogy search.

Susan Holmes The Family Historian         

I’m just a back woods country girl that got thrown into the city as a young adult and forever yearned to find my way back. There are three things that I love, that I just can’t get enough of, my family history, my animals, and of course my children and grandchildren.

I was in grade school when we had an assignment to write a biography on someone, and I chose my grandfather, Venus Pierce, whom I had never met, as he died before he was ever a grandfather. In high school I had a teacher who taught a bit about tracing back your family history and I was hooked. I’ve been at it for almost 45 years. Before the internet it was much more difficult. Ancestry.com and other similar programs online have made tracing the family tree so much easier than it used to be, and if you consider all the postage you save..it’s well worth the cost.

Searching the counties, and states of the places my ancestors lived, and learning about their lives fills me with wonder, but it also gives me a sense of being closer to them in some way. The strength and hardships that they endured lives on only in the memory of what has been, now a never ending paper trail. Until someone like me picks it up and continues to carry it forward. So this is my destiny.

Finding an old picture, document, or a letter from the past is a treasure that excites me. It’s like digging for gold! I search family history books, cemeteries, and records in hopes that it will lead me to a lost ancestor or family member. DNA has connected me with distant cousins that accept you instantly as family. It’s always exciting to add a new member to my family.

My animals. That being a King Charles Cavalier named Moses, a Jack Russel terrier called Barney, a Shichon whose name is Lulu but called Little Bit, and a Shih tzu, Winnie. a cat named Geneva, and a horse named Gracie. Fondly known as ‘my boys’ (the dogs), and “my girls”.

I was a single mother of two sons and a daughter. I raised my children in Oregon while working as an Adult Foster Provider for Lane County Mental Health. When my daughter, the youngest, graduated from high school, I moved back to Kansas to be closer to my aging parents. I’m now the grandmother of six boys and one little princess that was born on my birthday!

 

“Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.”

I am a genealogist addict! Tracing my tree is fun but I also enjoy helping others by sharing tools, tips, and tricks that might be helpful in their search for their roots. I hope that by sharing with you my genealogical journey might also help you in your search.

My Mission

I hope to share with you content that will lead you to the information, tools, and help that will assist you in your journey into the past.

If your ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Susan A Pierce Holmes

The Family Historian

Who Am I by Susan Pierce

 

 

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