Van Buren County
Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
CLARK PIERCE was born in Marlborough, Vt., in 1814, and lived with his parents, Joseph and Sally (Bartlett)
Pierce, until his motherís death, which occurred when he was ten years old. In 1832, Clark made his advent in the
State of Michigan, stopping first in St. Clair County, where he remained two years, removing thence to Prairie
Ronde, Kalamazoo Co., and finally bought of J. R. Monroe a quarter-section of land on section 32, in the present
township of Geneva, Van Buren Co., where he still resides. This purchase he made during the winter of 1837ó38,
paying twenty shillings per acre, thereby incurring an indebtedness which required some time to remove. He married
Mary S. Roys, of Brady, Kalamazoo Co., Mrs. Pierce thereby acquiring the distinction of being the first resident
white woman of Geneva township, Mr. Pierce being the first settler. There they have remained, witnessing the growth
and development of the country about them, and have reared and educated their children, of whom they had six, viz.,
Almon J., Irving, Laura, Quincy, Gertrude, and Etta. Quincy died when twenty-three years of age. The rest are living
in the vicinity of the old home, making the last years of their parents their best years.
The first school taught in Geneva was at their house, three terms having expired before a school-house was built.
His place was twenty-three miles from Paw Paw, the location of the nearest mill and post-office, and it required
about three days to make the trip. He, as an employee, aided in building the first frame house in South Haven,
living in it about eight months.
Almon J. Pierce enlisted in Company G, 19th Michigan Infantry, was taken sick, and re-enlisted, from convalescent
camp, in Elletís Marine Brigade of the Mississippi River, where he participated in the siege of Vicksburg. On returning
from the army,he entered the State Agricultural College, remaining two years. His studies included the rudiments
of surveying; and, leaving before completing the course, he began the practice of land-surveying in Van Buren and
Allegan Counties. His success in this line gained him the election of county surveyor in 1869, which position he
has since filled, excepting one term.
Irving W. was a member of the 28th Illinois Infantry; was at Mobile; returning from the service, as did Almon J.,
Mr. Pierce was first a Whig, then an Abolitionist, and now a Republican. The family attend the Congregational Church,
and are firm advocates of the principles of temperance. Mr. Pierce is known as one of the landmarks of Van Buren
County. His name is familiar in every household, and he is eminently a self-made man.
History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.