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Second Lieutenant
Edward Potter Botsford
U. S. Army Air Forces

Jul 28, 1916 - May 5, 1943
Hawley Cemetery
Blessing, Matagorda County, Texas

Gold Star Mother
Sarah Anice McFarland Botsford


The early life of Second Lieutenant Edward Potter Botsford, U.S. Army Air Forces is extremely sketchy at best.  He was born July 28, 1916 at Missoula, Missoula County, Montana.  His parents were Dr. Lelon Potter Botsford [May 25, 1883 - ___-___], a surgeon, and Sarah Anice (McFarland) Botsford [November 11, 1892/96 – September 19, 1974]* who were married in South Dakota on August 31, 1912.  They were living at Valley City, Barnes County, North Dakota at the time.  It is known they divorced between 1918 and 1930; the location is unknown.  After his parents divorce, he was raised by his Aunt and Uncle, Mr. and Mrs. R. P. Strough of Syracuse, New York. Edward received his business administration diploma at the Central City Business College in Syracuse, and then attended Syracuse University for two years.  In 1939 he moved to Houston, Texas, where he worked for Piggly Wiggly, Inc.  He was transferred to Palacios, Texas when the Coulter Corporation (Piggly-Wiggly) began to operate in Palacios in 1940; he continued with them until he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces January 28, 1942.  His military career included primary flight school at Chickasha, OK and Randolph Field, San Antonio, TX “The West Point of the Air”.  On December 13, 1941, he married Miss Grace Pearl Pierce, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abel H. Pierce of Palacios.  The nuptials took place in Bay City. At the time of his death he was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey.  On May 5, 1943 the plane he was co-piloting crashed near Philadelphia, PA with no survivors.  His funeral was held May 10, 1943 at the Palacios Funeral Home and he was interred at Hawley Cemetery near Blessing, Texas, where many of the Pierce family members are buried.  He was survived by his wife; her parents; two Aunts, Mrs. Mildred Strough of New York and Mrs. Gladys Sheppard of Michigan; his brother Llewellyn Thomas Botsford, CM2, U.S. Navy and other relatives from Texas. His daughter, Anne Louise, was born a month after his death.


Though born in Montana and raised in New York, 2nd Lieutenant Botsford had made his home in Palacios, and had married a young lady from Palacios; at the time of his death he was a Matagorda County resident.


*Note:  A Mrs. Sarah Anice Botsford, born November 11, 1892/96** and died September 19, 1974 was found at Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, FL. Mrs. Botsford had married Raymond Burns Swartzell in April 1963 and after his death on June 14, 1971 she apparently reverted back to the name Anice Botsford. This may be 2nd Lieutenant Botsford’s Mother.


**Florida Death Index gives 1896 – Social Security Death Index gives 1892.



E. G. Botsford Is Flying Cadet At Randolph Field

Edward G. Botsford, formerly employed by the Colter Corporation in this city, is now a Flying Cadet at Randolph Field, Texas, "The West Point of the Air," according to information received here from the public relations office of that post.

Cadet Botsford received his business administration diploma at the Central City Business College, in Syracuse, N. Y., his former home, and then attended Syracuse University for two years. He is also a flying alumnus of the primary school at Chickasha. Okla.

He recently married Miss Grace Pearl Pierce, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Pierce of this place.

In about 12 weeks Cadet Botsford will complete his flying training and will be graduated from the advanced flying school and will be commissioned in the U. S. Army Air Forces and receive his wings.

His friends in Palacios and elsewhere wish him the best of luck in his new career and "happy landings."

Paper and date unknown


Stationed At Fort Dix; Burial At Hawley Cemetery

      Funeral services for Lt. Edward Potter Botsford were held Monday afternoon at the Palacios Funeral Home, with Lt. J. B. Holland, Episcopal Chaplain of Camp Hulen in charge. Remains were taken to the Hawley cemetery near Blessing and burial made with full military service. Pallbearers were J. J. Healy, Charles F. Newman, Wesley Buller, Carl Halliday, Calvin Sexton and Carl Sexton.

      Lieutenant Botsford met instant death as did the pilot, Captain Runyon, when their plane crashed near Philadelphia, Penn., Wednesday, May 5th.

      The body was shipped to Palacios, accompanied by Lt. Frank Tester, of the 28th Service Group, of Fort Dix, New Jersey.

      Left an orphan in early childhood, by the death of his parents, Lieutenant Botsford was reared by an aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. R. P. Strough, of Syracuse, N. Y.

      He attended Syracuse University and business college, and in 1939 came to Houston, Texas, where he worked for Piggly Wiggly, Inc. He was transferred to Palacios when the Colter Corporation began to operate here in 1940, and continued with them until he enlisted in the Air Corps in January, 1942. He received his wings at the Army Flying School in Lake Charles, La., and since then has been in the service of his country in different places all over the United States, and had been at Fort Dix for some time.

      On December 13, 1941, he was married to Miss Grace Pearl Pierce, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abel H. Pierce, of Palacios, who survives and who has the sympathy of the entire community in this time of sorrow.

      Other survivors are one brother, Thomas Botsford, of the U. S. Navy, and two aunts, Mrs. R. P. Strough, Syracuse, N. Y., and Mrs. Gladyse Sheppard, St. Joseph, Mich., both of whom were ill and unable to attend the funeral services.

      Relatives here for the service were Mrs. Thomas Botsford, Galveston, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Pierce, Jr., and son of Freeport; Mrs. E. D. Yeatts, O’Donnell; Mrs. C. D. Wade, Brownfield; Mr. C. E. Yeatts, Lubbock; Mrs. Levi Gray and daughter and Miss Joan Watts, O’Donnell.

Palacios Beacon, May 13, 1943


Grace Pierce Adams, widow of the late Walter H. Adams Jr., of Tyler, returned to Heaven on Friday, April 27, 2012, in Arlington.

Mrs. Adams resided in Tyler for more than 50 years. She was the daughter of Stella and Abel Pierce, of Palacios. She was a beloved wife and mother of four children. She leaves on earth her children, Dr. Anne Botsford-Puretz, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Margaret M. Adams, of Fort Myers, Fla.; Walter H. Adams, of Mansfield; Priscilla Adams Goode, of Houston; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; and a brother, John Pierce of Katy. She loved family, cooking, gardening and beautiful music. After retiring from ETMC, Grace lived in Florida and studied creative writing, authoring short stories and a book.

Visitation is at Lloyd James Funeral Home, Tyler, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday. Funeral services are 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at the funeral home.

Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on April 29, 2012


Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jan. 28, 2006
Aug. 30, 2012