TAVNER B PIERCE
Tavner B. Pierce, one of the early settlers of Brown county and a substantial farmer and worthy citizen of Washington township, was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, January 30, 1840. He was a son of Charles R. Pierce, a pioneer of Sangamon county, who went there from Tennessee, where he was born in 1805. He was an active and prosperous farmer until late in life, when he retired and passed some years in Leavenworth, Kansas. He died in Springfield, Illinois, in 1887, and his body lies in the cemetery at Richland, Illinois. He was an Indian fighter in the Black Hawk war, in which Abraham Lincoln did his historic military service. He took an active part in county politics and before the war was a Douglas Democrat. His wife was Miss Malinda Anderson, a Tennessee lady. She died in 1889. Their children were: Caroline, who resides in Broken Bow, Nebraska, and is the wife of John Willis; Tennessee, who was married first to Thomas Shoemaker, one of the pioneer politicians of Leavenworth, Kansas, and again to Abram Brown, and lives in Kansas City, Missouri; George, who is dead, married Miss Virginia Hall, of Athens, Menard county, Illinois; Isaac C., of Marshall county, Kansas; Henry, of Springfield, Illinois; Oliver P., of Cowley county, Kansas; Tavner B.; Clinton B. of Fort Worth, Texas; Casarilla, who lives at Rock Island, Illinois, and is married to E. J. Searle; Annie, wife of James Cunningham, of Oklahoma City, Qklahoma; and Wyckliff, who is dead.
After due attendance at the public schools Tavner B. Pierce spent one year in college at Jacksonville, Illinois. The war coming on he went into the service in November, 1861, in the Tenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, under command of Colonel Barrett. His regiment was in the Seventh Army Corps, under General Steele, and operated in the western department. It participated in the battles of Prairie Grove, Pea Ridge, Arkansas Post and Cotton Plant and wound up its service in Texas, where it went to maintain federal authority and guard government property surrendered or captured from the Confederate forces in that state. Mr. Pierce was mustered out at San Antonio, Texas, in the fall of 1865 and was discharged at Springfield, Illinois, in December, of the same year. He entered the army as a private and served four years and four months and was promoted through all the grades to major.
Mr. Pierce took up the occupation of farming as soon as he laid down his soldier trappings, and was a farmer in Illinois for two years. In the fall of 1867 he went to Kansas and purchased a quarter-section of land in Brown county, part of the farm on which he now lives. He brought enough funds with him to maintain him through a season and to pay for his land, believing that after the first year the farm would be self-supporting. The first two years the drouth and the grasshoppers kept early Kansans guessing as to where they would eventually land in a financial way and some pretty trying times were endured, but in 1868 Major Pierce brought his bride out to Kansas and Mr. and Mrs. Pierce managed to make their expenses equal their income. He brought the wild sod under the plow and planted orchard and forest trees, which now render theirs one of the most beautiful places near Everest. Prosperity came as time passed and Mr. Pierce added another quarter-section of land to his homestead and upon this the Rock Island Railway Company located its station and named it Pierce Junction, in honor of the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Pierce married, in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1868, Mary Fowler, an orphan girl. Their son, Albert T. Pierce, agent of the Rock Island Railway Company at Pierce Junction, is their only child. He is married to Miss Mabel Pomeroy. Mr. Pierce is one of the well-known Republicans of Brown county; his face is a familiar one at conventions of his party and he has served on the township board, of which he has been treasurer.