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Matagorda County Recorded Texas Historic Landmark


A. B. Pierce Home








Inscription typed by Faye Cunningham


Abel B. Pierce, Sr., Family
By Abel B. Pierce, Jr.

Abel Brown Pierce, Sr., son of Jonathan Edwards and Nannie Lacy Pierce, was born on December 4, 1874, at Deming’s Bridge. He attended the South Jersey Military Academy, studied for two years at The University of Texas, and attended Draughon’s Business College before entering the Navy as a Paymaster during the Spanish American War. He assisted his father in establishing businesses in banking and land management in the Blessing area, and also supported civic improvements. He met Adelaide Hall at a party in Palacios in the home of the H. B. Farwells, who had been neighbors of the Hall family in St. Paul, Minnesota. They were married in St. Paul, on January 19, 1909. Adelaide Emily Hall was born on August 27, 1885, to Lee and Alice St. Germain Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota, and educated there. Alice had been born there of French Canadian-English parents in 1866. Lee was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1863. His father was born in Massachusetts and his mother in Maine. They often visited in the home of Adelaide and Abel in Blessing, and both died there, he in 1940, and she in 1966. They were buried in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Mr. Pierce
Abel Brown Pierce, Sr.

Mrs. Pierce
Adelaide Hall Pierce

Abel B. and Adelaide had four sons: Abel Brown, Jr. (October 20, 1909-July 3, 2003); Hall Edwards (September 24, 1911-November 24, 1932); Lee Mudge (November 11, 1913-July 12, 1998), who married first Jedie Chiles and second Annie Marie Selden; and Clinton Lacy (August 3, 1918-January 18, 1934).

In addition to maintaining a gracious home for her family, Adelaide entertained Episcopal Bishops Kinsolving and Clinton S. Quin, many civic groups, and had a formative influence on the development of the area. She helped to establish and served as President of the Hawley Cemetery Association, the Blessing Library Association, the Matagorda County Tuberculosis and Health Association, and the Matagorda County Federation of Women’s Clubs. She served as secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Blessing Independent School District for thirty years. She served on the Matagorda County Citizen’s Highway Beautification Committee, and the Blessing Good Roads Association. She was chairman of the Scholarship Loan Committee for the Matagorda County Federation of Women’s Clubs, and Treasurer of St. Paul’s Episcopal Mission. She was County Canning and Sewing Plants Supervisor in World War I, a member of the Matagorda County Historical Society, the Texas State Survey Committee, the Board of Directors of the County Museum Association, the Bay City Book Review Club, and the Comfort Wood Chapter of DAR. She was the author of Deming’s Bridge, Hawley Cemetery, Tres Palacios Baptist Church, 1960. Abel B. Pierce, Sr., died on May 23, 1944 at his home in Blessing; Adelaide died on October 24, 1967, in Bay City. Both were buried in Hawley Cemetery.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 405-406                                                

Adelaide Hall Pierce and her sons, Lee Mudge, Abel Brown, Jr., Clinton and Hall Edwards

Lee Mudge, Hall Edwards and Abel Brown Pierce, Jr., sons of Abel Brown and Adelaide Hall Pierce

Abel B. Pierce, Jr., Family
By Abel B. and Ruth Harrison Pierce

Because there was no hospital near, Adelaide Pierce went home to her parents in St. Paul Minnesota, to have her first born. Although he was named for his father, Abel Brown Pierce, his prenatal nickname “John Henry” remained. Born on October 20, 1909, he was brought home to Blessing as an infant. He had three brothers: Hall  Edwards (September 24, 1911-November 24, 1932), Lee Mudge “Tick” (November 11, 1913-July 12, 1998); and Clinton Lacy (October 3, 1918-January 18, 1934). The family was Episcopalian and was of English-French extraction.

They lived in the new Blessing Hotel while their home at Avenue C and Eighth Street in Blessing was built; but spent many summers at White Bear Lake, Birchwood, Minnesota during their childhood. Abel was educated in Blessing Grammar School; Shattuck School, Faribault, Minnesota; Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as a draftsman for E. N. Gustafson, County Engineer in 1932-33; as draftsman and delineator for H. D. Payne, Architect in Houston 1933-36; draftsman, inspector, designer, delineator for Nunn & McGintry, Architects 1936-42 and 1945-48; was a partner in the firm, Office of George Pierce-Abel B. Pierce, Architects & Planners 1948-1969. Although Abel was a Second Lieutenant in the 360th Infantry Reserve from 1930-36, he had to resign his commission because of a detached retina. However, he worked as materials control engineer for Brown Shipbuilding Company, Greens Bayou, constructor of sub-chasers, destroyer-escorts, landing craft infantry, and salvage vessels for the United States Navy, 1942-45.

Abel was Secretary in 1958 and Vice-president in 1964 of the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects; was a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission, later the Board of Adjustment for Piney Point Village, Harris County, Texas, from 1963-75; was a vestryman of the St. Francis Episcopal Church, Houston, and the Bishop’s Committee for St. John’s Mission, Palacios; a member of the Matagorda County Historical Society and Historical Survey Commission in 1979; a member of the building committee of the Matagorda County Cultural Association; and chairman of the Matagorda County Museum Association for 1983-84.

Abel and Ruth Perla Harrison, daughter of George A. and Lena Dickert Harrison, were married on October 3, 1942, in St. John’s Episcopal Mission in Palacios. Their children were: Adelaide Pierce Carter, Sally J. Pierce and Jonathan L. Pierce. Ruth was born July 21, 1916, on a farm about ten miles from Palacios and walked the one and one-half miles from the “Viets Place” to the Prairie Center School with the children of the Lees, Johnsons, Dannels, Powers and Margaret Hill. Sometimes they caught rides on “Baldy” the horse of the teacher, J. R. Laslie. Robert Margerum was Ruth’s first teacher. The farm had interesting outbuildings, a stocked pond, a dipping vat, and a big red barn with hay and drying peanuts in the loft.

The family moved to Palacios when it was still much like the country; and kept a cow, chickens and had ice delivered in blocks by the iceman. The children rode their horse, read, and traveled in the summer. The Harrison family purchased the C. B. Truitt house at Second and Morton Streets, which was still owned by the family in 1984. Another activity remembered was the cake sales held to help pay the expense of moving Grace Chapel, which became St. John’s Episcopal Mission, from Collegeport to Palacios in 1928.

Ruth was graduated from Palacios High School in 1933, and attended Rice Institute for two years, and then joined her sisters, Naomi and Marion, at The University of Texas where she was graduated. She worked for Dr. Home Prince in Houston as a Medical Technologist before returning to college to complete her M. A. in Bacteriology. She was a member of Iota Sigma Pi, an honorary fraternity for women in Chemistry. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and after her marriage worked with the Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Ruth was a member of the Board of the St. Francis Episcopal Day School, was on committees at the Kinkaid School, and was President of the Piney Point Garden Club. She was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary to the Houston Chapter, American Institute of Architects, and the State and local chapters of the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas. She studied Spanish at the National University of Mexico and handweaving in Darlarna, Sweden. She joined her husband as Secretary of the Matagorda County Museum, Secretary-Treasurer of the Blessing Historical Foundation, and membership in the Heritage Societies for Harris and Gillespie Counties, Matagorda County Historical Society, Matagorda County Historical Commission, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 404-405


A. B. Pierce Rites Set For Thursday At Blessing Home

Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 25, at 4:00 p.m. at the family residence in Blessing for Abel Brown Pierce, 69, who died there Tuesday at 10:22 a.m.

Mr. Pierce had been a life-long resident of Matagorda county.

He is survived by his wife; two sons, A. B. Pierce, Jr., of Houston and Lee M. Pierce of the U. S. Navy; one sister, Mrs. Heffelfinger of Blessing; one half-brother, Jonathan Pierce of Houston.

Officiating at the funeral rites will be Rev. N. Chafee Croft of Angleton. Taylor Bros. will be in charge of burial in Hawley Cemetery.

THE DAILY TRIBUNE, Wednesday, May 24, 1944, Matagorda County, Texas

Adelaide Emily Hall Pierce

Pierce (Mrs.) Adelaide Emily Hall, 82, died Tuesday afternoon in Matagorda General Hospital. Funeral services will be at 3 p. m. Thursday in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Bay City with burial in Hawley Cemetery. The outstanding civic leader of Matagorda County was the widow of Abel Brown Pierce, who with his father, Jonathan Edwards Pierce, founded the town of Blessing. She is survived by two sons, Abel B. Pierce, Jr. of Houston and Lee Mudge Pierce of Blessing; six grandchildren, Lee Hall Pierce, Michael E. Pierce, Frederick Pierce of Blessing; Adelaide Harrison Pierce, Sally Jeannette Pierce, Jonathan L. Pierce of Houston; three great-grandchildren, Michael E. Pierce, Stacy Pierce, and Lee Edward Pierce of Blessing; and many nieces and nephews. Pallbearers will be G. K. Nelson, J. E. Cornett, B. B. Rhodes, Richard Dawdy, Verner Bowers, and R. B. Trull. Honorary pallbearers are L. L. Rhodes, Wyatt O. Selkirk, Ben H. Wheeler Jr., A. R. Matthes, Frank Cobb, A. M. Logan, C. P. Butler, George L. Harrison, L. L. Chiles, and Paul J. Wheeler. Ushers will be Paul Braden and Thomas Holsworth. Funeral arrangements under direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.

The Daily Tribune, October, 1967

Abel B. Pierce, Jr. - Hawley Cemetery

Ruth H. Pierce
(July 21, 1916 - August 13, 2010)

Ruth H. Pierce, 94, died peacefully in her home in Blessing, TX on August 13, 2010. She was born in Palacios on July 21, 1916 to George A. Harrison and Lena S. Harrison. As a child, she lived on the family farm at Prairie Center, between Blessing and Palacios. Her father was a long-standing county commissioner during the difficult years of the Great Depression. She was the oldest sister to four siblings: Naomi Brown, Marion Robinson, George “Bill” Harrison, and Laura Huddleston. She attended Palacios High School and graduated as valedictorian of her class. After attending Rice University and the University of Texas, she earned a BA in Chemistry with honors and a subsequent Masters degree in Bacteriology. These were uncommon accomplishments for women at that time. While employed as a medical technologist in Houston, she met her future husband Abel B. Pierce, Jr., of Blessing. They were married at St John’s Episcopal Church on October 3, 1942. From 1938 to the present she was a member of the Iota Sigma Pi Honorary Fraternity for Women in Chemistry. She was an avid historian and co-founded the Blessing Historical Foundation, a non-profit organization aiding the upkeep of the historic Blessing Hotel. Her interest in history was secondary only to her interest in genealogy, prompting her to commission a Pierce family history that when unrolled spilled over the edges of a ten-foot table. She was a lifetime member of the Matagorda Co. Historical Museum Board, as well as the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas, serving as President from 1966-67. She was a lifelong member and devoted supporter of St John’s Episcopal Church, Palacios. She is survived by: daughter Adelaide Carter and her husband Gary, daughter Sally, son Jonathan, his wife Anna-Maria, and their daughter Jennifer. She is also survived by her dear sister Naomi Brown. She is lovingly remembered by all who knew her as a remarkable woman and will be sorely missed. Memorial Service: St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Bay City, at 11 am on Thursday, August 19, with Dr. Jim Ely officiating. Burial will follow at Hawley Cemetery. Pallbearers will be: Fred Brown, James Drew, John Harrison, Lee Edward Pierce, Harley Robinson, and Logic Tobola. Honorary pallbearers will be: Preston Bolton, Guy Claybourn, Jim Lovett, Frances Parker, Lee Hall Pierce, and Michael Pierce Jr. Visitation will be Wednesday, August 18th from 6:00-8:00 P.M. at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Blessing Historical Foundation or St. John’s Episcopal Church of Palacios.

Bay City Tribune, Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hall Edwards Pierce

Hall Edwards Pierce, age twenty-one years and two months, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Abel B. Pierce of Blessing, died on Nov. 24, 1932, at his home in Blessing, where he was born on Sept. 24, 1911.

Hall was a second year student at the University of Texas, where he was taking a course in engineering, hoping someday to be a designer of aeroplanes. He was president of the University Aeronautical Society.

He is survived by his parents, his three brothers, A. B. Pierce, Jr., Lee Mudge Pierce, and Clinton Lacy Pierce, by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Hall of St. Paul Minn., by three aunts, Mrs. Allen J. Smith of Philadelphia and Blessing, Mrs. W. W. Heffelfinger of Minneapolis, and Mrs. F. S. Van Bergen of St. Paul, also by an uncle, Mr. John Pierce of Palacios.

The burial took place on Saturday, Nov. 26 in the family cemetery at Hawley, near Tide Haven on the old Pierce Ranch.

Hall E. Pierce

The Tribune, Thursday, received the sad news of the death of Hall E. Pierce, son of Mr. and Mrs. Abel B. Pierce of Blessing, which occurred at his home in

Bblessing following an illness of several weeks.

Hall was 21 years old and two months of age and was born and reared in Blessing. He was a student in the University of Texas and was making a splendid record when he was stricken and compelled to return home.

The end came at 5:30 Thanksgiving morn. The funeral is set for Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock, with religious services at the home, the burial following immediately in the Hawley Cemetery , near Blessing.

This young man was the scion of one of the oldest and most prominent of South Texas’ families, of a sincere and studious nature and possessed of many sterling qualities. His friends amongst the old as well as the young are many. The sadness and regret over his untimely end is genuine and general in the hearts of all who knew him.

The Tribune joins the hosts of friends of Mr. and Mrs. Pierce in extending to them our sympathy in this, their darkest hour of trial.

The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, December 1, 1932

Lee Mudge “Tick” Pierce

Funeral services for Lee M. “Tick” Pierce, 84, of Blessing, will be held at 4:00 PM Tuesday, July 14, 1998 at the Taylor Bros. Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Nick Novak officiating. Interment will follow at Hawley Cemetery
, Blessing.

Pierce passed away July 12, 1998 in Bay City. He was born November 11, 1913 in Blessing to Abel Brown Pierce and Adelaide Hall Pierce. He attended Blessing Elementary School and graduated from St. James Episcopal School in Maryland.

Pierce joined the U. S. Navy during World War II and was stationed in the Pacific. He was a farmer, rancher and owner and operator of the Ace of Clubs Ranch and the Pierce Insurance Agency.

He was a member and was instrumental in the establishment of the American Legion Cecil Lee Post # 649, of Blessing and served as Commander, Adjutant, Treasurer and Judge Advocate. He was President of the Hawley Cemetery
 Association in Blessing, he served on the Tidehaven I.S.D. School Board for fifteen years and was also School Board President.

Pierce was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church of Palacios and served as member of the Board of Vestry and served as Senior Warden for many years. He was a member of the Blessing Historical Foundation and a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas in Bay City.

Pierce is survived by his wife, Pauline Pekar Pierce of Blessing; by his sons and daughters-in-law: Lee Hall Pierce & wife Ona Lee of Blessing, Fredrick L. Pierce & wife Crystal of Blessing, and Yvonne Pierce of Blessing; by his Step-children, Jody & Raymond Matura of Pt. Lavaca and Carolyn & Eddie Heatwole of Houston; and by a brother: Abel B. Pierce & wife Ruth of Blessing.

He is also survived by his grandchildren: Michael E. Pierce, Jr. & wife Jackie, Stacy G. Pierce Wolf & husband Joe, Lee Edward Pierce, Jedie L. Pierce, Sarena A. Pierce Williams & husband Travis, Sabrina L. Pierce, and Colton T. Pierce; by his step-grandchildren: Natalie Longacre & husband Wayne and Christe Heatwole; by his great grandchildren: Heather Pierce, Wendy Pierce, Michael Wolf, Phillip Zarate, Jr.; by his step-great grandchild: Mark Longacre.

He is preceded in death by a wife, Jedie Chiles Pierce in 1970, by a wife, Anna Marie Selman Pierce in 1990; by his children, Michael E. Pierce, Sr. and Mary Alice Pierce; and by his brothers: Hall Edwards Pierce and Clinton Lacy Pierce.

Pallbearers will be Lee Edward Pierce, Michael E. Pierce, Jr., Joe Wolf, Mel Anders, Emmitt Owen Chiles, and Lawrence Bartosh.

Honorary Pallbearers include the Members of the American Legion-Cecil Lee Post # 649, his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren, and his Step-Grandchildren and Step-Great Grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to: Blessing Historical Foundation, P. O. Box 275 Blessing, TX 77419; Matagorda County Museum, 2100 Ave F. Bay City, TX 77414; or to the charity of choice.

Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home, Bay City.

The Daily Tribune, July 14, 1998


Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Pierce Dies Suddenly

Clinton Lacy Pierce, fifteen-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Abel Pierce of Blessing, died suddenly yesterday, Thursday at 12:15 at the schoolhouse in Blessing, Texas. During the lunch hour the young man was playing with several of his school chums when he suddenly dropped dead. His death was attributed to heart trouble.

He is survived by his parents, and two brothers.

The funeral services, under the direction of Taylor Bros. will be held from the family residence in Blessing Saturday afternoon at 2:30. Mr. P. E. Engle will officiate. Burial will be in the Hawley Cemetery.

The Daily Tribune, January 18, 1934


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Sep. 5, 2011
Sep. 5, 2011