Charles Samuel Pierce
Charles Samuel Pierce was born on the farm near Rockport in Atchison County Missouri to John Franklin and Alice Roena Johnson Pierce, February 22, 1874.
The son of a prosperous farmer and Missouri pioneer, he learned at an early age the importance of hard work. Growing up in the 1880s was a time when many pioneers were migrating to the Missouri territory. His father being among the first in the Rockport area.
His parents strongly beleived that schooling was an important aspect of his upbringing and he attended the gradeschools of the county and later became a student at the Stanberry Normal School, near St. Joseph, Missouri.
A normal school is the historical term for an institution created to train high school graduates to be teachers by educating them in the norms of pedagogy, (the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept) and curriculum. Most such schools, where they still exist, are now denominated “teacher-training colleges” or “teachers’ colleges”.Stanberry Normal School
Stanberry Normal was founded by Professor Charles Morris in 1881. In its almost 25 years of existence, it became the largest school in Northwest Missouri. In The State of Missouri Walter Williams lists an enrollment of 250 in 1904, but History of Daviess and Gentry Counties says that at times enrollment approached 500. While the Topeka Tribune describes SNBC as “a school for Farmers’ sons and daughters,” it drew students from 27 states, territories and foreign countries. It is quite evident that at the time that Charles attended most of the Missouri territory was made up of farmers.
Advertising itself as the “oldest independent normal school in Missouri,” it also saw itself as “the best commercial and shorthand college west of the Alleghenies.” Other departments included music, fine arts, and elocution (the skill of clear and expressive speech), especially of distinct pronunciation and articulation. Ads stated that students could enter at any time and select their own course of studies. As a school for “Young Ladies and Gentlemen of small means,” it advertised room, board and tuition for only $134 per year in 1902.That small amount at the time time was not something that came so easily to the farmer. To be able to send a child to college then was something only the elite were able to afford.
Commencement was a week-long affair beginning with a baccalaureate sermon on Sunday. Business, Normal, and Scientific students graduated on different nights, with each student giving an oration. One night was given to the annual musical program and another to the alumni banquet.
BACK TO THE FARM
Charles following in the footsteps of his father went into the business of farming from the time he reached his adulthood, living in the vicinity of his birth throughout his life.
He was the eldest of a family of eight children.
He married Amma Ruth Bartholomew on the 29th of January 1902. Amma was the daughter of Samuel Dawson and Angeline (Adams) Bartholmew.
Charles and Amma became the parents of their only child Donald Wayne Pierce, 31 JAN 1909. He too, was born and raised on the farm south of Rockport.
Charles suffered a stroke which left him almost helpless for some time before he died at his home on August 3rd, 1938.
It is said that he was a man who attended strictly to his own affairs. He took no particularly active part in public affairs but looked after his home and farm. Living there, as he did, all the days of his life, he was well known to everyone in the community, who respected him and looked upon him as a good neighbor.
Amma followed him in death barely six months later the 9th of April, 1939. They are buried together in the family plot at the Hunter Cemetery south of Rockport, Missouri.
Donald Wayne, served in the Sea Bees during World War II and played part in construction of the Navy airport in Guam. He enlisted on the 1st of May 1942 and was discharged 22 Dec, 1944. Donald was a truck driver by trade.
He married Dorothy Elizabeth Miller, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (Gerking) Miller, 12 Oct, 1945, and they settled in the Omaha, Nebraska area. They had two children, Donna Louise (2 Aug 1946) and Donald Keith Pierce (1950).
Dorothy died of luekemia 9 Nov 1957, leaving Donald to raise two young children. His son Donald remembers being sent off to his Great Aunt Lottie’s in Valentine, Nebraska for visits, and he also remembers going to his Dad’s cousin Johnny Pierce”s as he had sons his age. He mostly recalls Johnny’s son Dennis as they were to closest in age.
Donald then married Marion Jane Green, 10 Oct 1958. Marion was the daughter of Otto and Albertine Green.
As always thanks for stopping in. I do hope if you have any memories or stories to share that you will do so in the comments below.
The Pierce Family Historian