Stanton Pierce of Jefferson Co., TN


A biography of one of Stanton Pierce's sons, James Perry Pierce:

Kentucky: A History of the State by Perrin (ed. 2), p. 735 (written between 1882 and 1888):

J. P. PIERCE, Countv Judge, Crittenden County, was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., December 16, 1841. His father, Stanton Pierce, was born in Wayne County, KY., in 1820, and is living in Lyon County. Subject's mother, Mary Pierce, is a daughter of Eli Bettis. Mr. Bettis was born in South Carolina, immigrated to Jefferson County, Tenn., where he lived until 1865, then moved to Crittenden County, and died in 1874, aged eighty three years. His widow survived him only a short time. The subject of this sketch is the eldest of a family of five children, named as follows: J.P., J.A., Mary Jane (wife of J.K.P. Greenleaf), Eliza F. (deceased) and George W. In 1856, J.P. Pierce entered the Mossy Creek College, where he remained two years; in 1858 he came to Crittenden County, Ky., where he commenced teaching scchool near Dycusburg, following the profession for three years, and farming to a limited extent during the summer vacations. In August, 1863, he enlisted in Col. Chenowith's regiment for the Confederate service, and as first lieutenant served to near the close of the war, when, on account of sickness, and not being able to keep up with the regiment, he surrendered to the Federals, and was paroled. He then went to Illinois, and engaged in farming in Gallatin County, remaining there one year. He then came back to Crittenden County, and moved to a farm between Marion and Dycusburg, and later purchased a fine tract of land, which he still owns. In 1874 he was chosen magistrate of the Dycusburg District, and two years later was appointed deputy sheriff of Crittenden County under R. A. Dowell, the duties of which he discharged until 1878. In the latter year he was elected sheriff by a majority of over 400 votes, and two years later was re-elected to the same office by 700 majority. At the expiration of his term of office in 1882, Mr. Pierce was elected county judge by a strict party vote, over a very popular competitor, and is holding the office at the present time. Mr. Pierce is very popular in the county, and is in every respect a self-made man. He carries on a large farm, and is also interested in the hardware business, being partner of the largest house of the kind in Marion. October 26, 1860, Mr. Pierce was married to Miss Emeline F. Ralston, of Trigg County, by whom he has seven children, all of whom are now living. The following are their names: Florence E., Cortis J., Ambie B., Cora A., Norval L., Collin and Ira. Mr. Pierce is connected with several secret and benevolent societies, and is an active member of the Baptist Church, as is also his wife; they having contributed largely to the building of the First Baptist Church of Marion, Crittenden County. He takes a lively interest in politics, voting with the Democratic party.

Another son, Jacob Ahart Pierce, also had a biography:

MEMOIRS OF THE LOWER OHIO VALLEY 1905, Personal and Genealogical V. 2, p182-3

J. A. PIERCE, farmer and stock raiser, near Salem, Ky.. was born in Jefferson county, Tenn., Dec. 16. 1842. He is the son of Stanton Pierce. a native of Russell county. Ky.. whose wife was Miss Mary Bettis, a native of Jefferson county, .Tenn. Stanton was the son of Jeremiah and Jane (Hall) Pierce, both natives of Russell county. He died in that county and she in Crittenden county-. He was a farmer, a Whig, and a Baptist. His wife was a member of the Primitive Baptist church. The maternal grandfather of J. A. Pierce was Eli Bettis, a native of North Carolina, whose father came to America from Italy in an early day and died in Jefferson county, Tenn. Eli Bettis came to Kentucky, locating in Crittenden county about the year 1865, and died there in 1869. His wife, Dorthula (Lewis) Bettis, was born in Virginia and died in Crittenden county. The father of the subject of this sketch received a common school education and learned the trade of blacksmith. From blacksmithing he went to farming, but is now retired from active business and resides in Crittenden county. He and his wife had five children, four of whom are living. The mother died July 4, 1902, aged seventy-nine years. J. A. Pierce was reared and educated in Tennessee. At the age of seventeen years he came to Crittenden county, and from there in 1884 moved to Livingston county, where he has since resided. Mr. Pierce is interested in the Pierce-Elder Hardware Company of Salem; is the owner of 600 acres of fine land and follows general farming and stock raising; is a Baptist and a Democrat. On Nov. 8, 1863, he married Miss Elvira Oliver, who was born in Trigg county, Ky., Dec. 28, 1845. She is the daughter of John W. and Mary Jane (Gee) Oliver, the former born Nov. 17, 1814, and the latter Oct. 7, 1826. John W. was the son of Walter and Mary (Winn) Oliver, both natives of Virginia, whence they came to Kentucky in an early day. The father of Mary Jane Gee was Anderson Gee, who came from Virginia to Crittenden county, where he and his wife both died. John W. Oliver was a farmer. Politically he was a Democrat, and both himself and wife were identified with the Baptist church. They were the parents of thirteen children, of whom four are living. His first marriage to Miss Station was blessed with three children, one of whom is living. J. A. Pierce and wife have had the following children: Willis C., Walter, John, Wirt. Oscar. Richard, who died NM. 21, 18;8; Marion and James. Willis C. Pierce, the eldest son, is a prominent Baptist minister, a graduate of Logan college, of Russellville, Ky., and the Louisville Theological seminary. He began preaching at the age of nineteen years and is now located at Orlinda, Tenn. Prior to going to Orlinda he filled the pulpit of the Baptist church at Catlettsburg, Ky., for seven years. and was for several years at other places in Kentucky.

Stanton is therefore established as the son of Jeremiah Pierce and Jane Hall of Russell Co., KY.  Their marriage is documented:

Wayne Co., KY Marriages and Vital Records, 1801-1860, vol 2 "K"-"Z" , June Baldwin Bork (1973) (976.964 v26 v2, p. 89: Pierce, Jeremiah and Jane Hall, Surety, Lapsley Hall. Minister return missing, Bond dated 27 April 1816. Note: "27 April 1816 this day I sertify that I have gave free consent for my daughter Jane to marry Jeremiah, by John Hall - witness, Lapsley Hall". (2) "this day I sertify that I have gave my consent for my son Jeremiah to marry Jane Hall, by William Pierce - witness, Tarlton Pierce".

Through this, they are found to have needed permission to marry (<18).  He was therefore probably born 1798-1800, and she stated in censes that she was born abt. 1800.  In 1880, mother and daughter gave ages that were 17 years apart, so a shotgun may have been present at the wedding.  We also find from the marriage record that Jeremiah's father was William Pierce and a Tarlton Pierce was probably his brother.  And her father was John Hall and a Lapsley Hall was probably her brother.

William Pierce had a will probated in 1840:  

Russell Co., KY Will Book 1, p. 200:

     In the name of god amen I William Pierce of the County of Russell and State of Kentucky being sick and weak in body but sound mind and disposing memory (for which I thank god) and calling to mind the uncertainty of human life and being desirious to dispose of all such worldly estate as it hath pleased god to bless me with. I give and bequeth the same in manner following, that is to say:

     Item 1st: I give unto my son Franklin Pierce one hundred acres of land lying on the creek Little Indian in the county of Russell commencing at the mouth thereof and extending up the same; also fifty acres on the Ridge on the north side of said creek and near the jumping off place each pattented in my name to him and his heirs forever.

     Item 2nd: I give unto son Joel Pierce fifty acres of land on said creek in the county aforesaid and adjoining the hundred afforesaid and extending to the upper end of the upper improvements, including both sides of the creek; also fifty acres of land lying on the south side of said creek and adjoining the old mill seat pattented in my name to him and his heirs forever. As it relates to Tarlton Pierce who is living on the first named fifty acres, he the said Joel Pierce is at liberty to him the sd Tarlton Pierce live and remain on said land as long as he Joel Pierce may think proper but to make him no title thereto.

     Item 3rd: I give to my son Tarlton Pierce thirty dollars in money to him and his heirs forever.

     Item 4th: I give unto the children of Polly Carnes Decd Five dollars to be equally divided among them.

     Item 5th: I give unto the children of Elizabeth Carnes Decd five dollars to be equally divided among them.

     Item 6th: I give unto the children of Jeremiah Pierce decd five dollars to be equally divided among them.

     Item 7th: I give unto my daughter Ann Wilson five dollars to her and her heirs forever.

     All the rest of my estate not herein before particular disposed of shall be sold and the money equally divided among the children of Polly Carnes, Elizabeth Carnes, Jeremiah Pierce and Ann Wilson and her heirs forever and lastly I do constitute and appoint my sons Joel and Franklin Pierce executors of this my last will and Testament, hereby revoking all other or former wills or Testaments by me hertofore made in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 1st day of September in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.

                                                                                                                                William Pierce (his mark)

witnesses: William Warrener, Aaron McClure

     12 Oct 1840 Russell Co., KY Court Order Book 3 1840-1852, film 0,594,407: p. 22, the last will and testament of William Pierce decd was produced in open court and upon the mostion of William George the proof of the same was continued until the nov. term of this court; p. 24, 12 Oct 1840: the last will and testament of William Pierce decd was produced in open court and partly proven by the oath of William Wariner and ordered to be filed; p. 30, 14 Oct 1840: the last will and testament of William Pierce decd was fully proven by the oaths of Aaron McGuire a subscribing witness thereto and on the motion of Joel Pierce and Franklin Pierce, the executors therein named, the execution thereof was granted to them they having taken the oath as such and executed bond as such in the penal sum of thirteen hundred dollars with James Mekining their security, conditioned as the law directs.

     14 Oct 1840 Russell Co., KY Court Order Book 3 1840-1852, film 0,594,407: p. 30, on the motion of Joel Pierce & Franklin Pierce executors of William Pierce decd it is ordered that William Wariner, Jonadah George, Alexander Carnes (x'ed out), Solomon McKinley, Aaron McLure or any 3 of them after being first duly sworn do appraise the slaves of any and personal estate of William Pierce decd and make report to this court.

Russell Co., KY Will Book 1, p. 199: Inventory returned 14 Dec 1840. included two pairs of mill stones, misc. tools, 5 old books, a trumpet, stock included 4 hogs, 2 cows, 1 calf, 1 heifer, 1 steer, a yoke of oxen, and a wagon.

Three of William's children (Polly Carnes, Elizabeth Carnes and Jeremiah Pierce) had predeceased him, as his bequests go to the "children of". 

Jeremiah, son of William Pierce, is probably the Jeremiah S. Pierce who was a state representative for Russell Co., KY and later Wayne Co., KY.

History of Kentucky, by the late Lewis Collins, 1874:

p. 695 Russell Co.: US. House of Representatives from Russell Co: Jeremiah S. Pierce 1830, 1831, 1832.

p. 754 Wayne Co.: US. House of Representative from Wayne Co.: J.S. Pierce, 1836.

Jeremiah S. Pierce is in the 1830 census of Russell Co., KY (although the record does not include young children, who may have been working or visiting an uncle nearby).  Jeremiah S. Pierce appears in Wayne Co. court orders numerous times 1836-1837, the last entry being 28 Aug 1837.  There is also a Dr. Jeremiah S. Pierce b. abt. 1803 d. 1856 in Garrard Co., who is thought to be a son of James A. Pierce and grandson of Jeremiah Pierce of Lincoln Co., KY, the uncle of the above William Pierce of Russell Co.  The two Jeremiah S. Pierces are therefore 2nd cousins.  There is yet another Jeremiah Pierce b. abt. 1798 Wythe Co., VA d. 1862 Wayne Co., IA, who was a son of Jesse Pierce and grandson of William Pierce of Wythe Co., VA (the father of the above William Pierce) who spent the 1830's in Wayne Co., KY.  This Jeremiah is thus a 1st cousin to Jeremiah S. of Russell Co.  Wayne Co., KY is therefore a hotbed of Jeremiah Pierces, and the records are therefore difficult to sort out.  However, Dr. Jeremiah was probably always referred to as Dr., and 1798 VA-born Jeremiah was a shoemaker in Iowa, not a politician, so it is apparent that the Jeremiah S. Pierce who was the state representative was one who predeceased his father William.

There is a court order in Wayne Co., KY:

28 Aug 1837: On motion of Martin Beaty Esq. ordered that Thomas Beaty be and is hereby appointed a processioner of land for the county of Wayne and in place of Jeremiah S. Pierce, who will in a short time [blank].

Cryptic because of the missing word - is he moving or dying?

Stanton Pierce appears in the 1850 census in Jefferson Co., TN as a blacksmith, before moving to Crittenden Co., KY before 1860 until his death.

1850 census, Jefferson Co., TN, p. 718 (film 444,841): Stanton Pearce 30, blk smith, KY; Mary 24 TN; James P. 8 TN; Jacob A. 6 TN; Mary Jane 5 TN; Eliza F. 4 TN; Benj. Reedles 25 saddler TN

He was in Jefferson Co. at least by 1841, since he was married there by Andrew Gass, another blacksmith (Stanton may have learned his trade or apprenticed under Gass, as he probably did not learn blacksmithing from his politician father):

Jefferson Co., TN Marriages (book: Us Tenn V25 1), p. 185: Pierce, Stauton and Bettis, Margot, bond 15 Feb 1841, married by Andrew Gass, MG (Minister of the Gospel) 18 Feb 1841. Gass was bondsman (he was a blacksmith c. 1830 according to Heritage of Jefferson Co. US Tenn Jeff H2 1).

Neither he nor his mother Jane Pierce appear in the 1840 census, even though they should because Jeremiah was already dead.  They do not seem to be in the households of their father (who was enumerated with his son, Franklin) or Stanton's brothers.  The only time Jane Pierce appears in the census is 1880 in Crittenden Co., KY, living with her son and daughter. 

1880 census, Dycusburg District, Crittenden Co., KY: p. 35: Pierce, Stanton 59 Farmer KY, Mary A. 55 TN, Jane A. mother 81 KY, Ferrel, Mary O. 64 sister KY; Bettis, Ida 12 niece KY. 

The census data was taken by her grand-nephew, Cortis Jackson Pierce, so should be accurate.  Jane Pierce is not in the 1850-1870 censes.

Two mysteries (connected, as we shall see) present themselves:

1. Why did Stanton Pierce leave his 5 brothers and sisters in Russell Co. to become a blacksmith in a different state?

2. Where are his mother, Jane Pierce,and sister, Mary O. (Pierce) Ferrell, 1850-1870?

The key to the solution is that Stanton's sister Mary married someone named Ferrell. 

1860 census, Jefferson Co., TN: B.A. McFarland 39 farmer and sheriff all TN; Mary S. 22; Margaret T. 3; A.B. McFarland 67; Jane 62; Margaret H. 28; Mary Ferrill 33 deaf and blind abt. 8 years cause unknown.

1870 census, District 12, Jefferson, TN: McFarland, A.B. 78 TN; Jane 70 TN; Benjamin A. farmer 50 TN; Mary S. 32 TN; M.T. (m) 13 TN; Addie (f) 9 TN; Harriet R. 6 TN; Farrell, Mary 41 TN blind (his 2nd wife's daughter by her first marriage); Satterfield, S.C. 33 farm laborer TN; Owens, Eliza J. 19 domestic servant TN.

We see that a Mary Ferrill/Farrell of about the right age is living with a B.A./A.B. McFarland in the same county as Stanton Pierce lived in 1850.  Furthermore, the wife of this household is Jane of the right age to be Jane (Hall) Pierce.  Andrew Blackburn McFarland's first wife died in 1840:

Hamblen Co, Witt Baptist Cemetery. Andrew B. McFarland died May 20, 1873, age 80yr, 9mo, 11 days. Wife Margaret, died Apr 28, 1840, age 52 years;  USGENWEB, Tennessee

According to a family bible, A.B. McFarland's 2nd wife was Mrs. Jane Pierce.

2nd wife was named, in family bible, "Mrs Jane Pierce" so another marriage for her. Source:A. B. McFarland bible now stored at the McClung Collection in Knoxville

Also, a Missouri Ferrill married a Pierce in Jefferson Co., TN:

Jefferson Co., TN marriages (film 0,024,709): #2821, Missouri Ferrill & Hannah Pierce 30 Dec 1836.

Since Mary is not Hannah, and other Pierces are present in Jefferson Co. at the time, this might not be Mary's marriage, but it is a Pierce and Ferrill married just before Jeremiah Stanton Pierce's family disappears from Russell Co., KY.

So the solution to the two mysteries is this: Perhaps before the death of Jeremiah Stanton Pierce, his daughter marries Missouri Ferrill, who lives or migrates from KY to Jefferson Co., TN.  Shortly thereafter, 1837-1840, Jeremiah Stanton Pierce, the husband of Jane (Hall) Pierce dies.  Also, in 1840 Margaret (Edgar) McFarland, the wife of Andrew Blackburn McFarland dies.  Whether Andrew McFarland and Jane Pierce meet each other or a marriage is set up through Missouri Ferrill being in Jefferson Co., TN, or through the Russell Co., KY McFarland family (Joel Pierce, brother of Jeremiah Stanton Pierce, married 1 Dec 1812 in Adair Co., KY, Mary McFarland, daughter of Benjamin McFarland, who is 1st cousin to Andrew Blackburn McFarland of Jefferson Co., TN).

Jane (Hall,Pierce) McFarland and her daughter Mary (Pierce) Ferrill remain in Jefferson Co., TN until the death of Andrew Blackburn McFarland in 1873 (see cemetery record above), when they presumably join Jane's other child, Stanton Pierce, who had already moved to Crittenden Co., KY.


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