Monday, March 14, 2011

Clifford Wade Pierce

Venus John and Clifford William Pierce
about 1926

Clifford W. Pierce

On your Own Clifford Pierce by Marie Presnell

You are on your own dear little man
and you know right from wrong:
Quite some time back your tones began
To change from high to strong.
Be guided well while on your won,
Increase the wisdom you have shown.

An honest man receives "the breaks"
That cheaters cry about:
And in temptations Neer forsakes
His mother's faith devout.
Be guided well while on your won,
Increase discreation you have known.

Dear little lad, in deed and word,
Remember well and long--
"Tis easy to go with the herd"
It urges you to "come along".
Be guided well while on your own,
If you would profit when you're grown.

"Protect your honor and your name,"
You mother's mother said.
She wished for you no blot of shame,
And for good morals pled;
Be guided well while on your own,
That heritage do not disown.

Grandmother Blum's exact words:
"Whatever you do, preserve and protect your name and honor."

Marie Presnell

This woman started a scrap book for Clifford to keep track of all of his achievements for his mother, Marie Blum. At the time of Cliffords death the book was handed down to his brother Cecil and then to me, and one can see from looking at this scrap book that Clifford had many accomplishments to be proud of.

Clifford also served during WWII.  Of what he did while we was in the service, I do not know. It has been said that he fought in the worst part of the war, and that the demons followed him throughout his life. After the war, Cliff returned to the home of his parents, in Belvedere, Nebraska.  His father owned a big building there and Clifford turned it into a restuarant, and he also ran the feed store.  This was left to him by his father after he died.  Clifford sold the store, and before it was paid for, a year later, a tornado went through the town and flattened it.

Clifford married a beautiful young lady by the name of Barbra Dowe.  They never had any children, and after many years of struggling to keep their marriage together, they were divorced.

Cliff took up horse training and was well known and thought of by many horse breeders.  I remember as a child going to Omaha, and Uncle Cliff taking us to the barns and letting us ride around the barns on the horses, and showing us how they were cared for and prepped for the races.  He took a lot of pride in his neices and nephews, and took every opportunity to show them off.

After Grandma Pierce's funeral, my sister and I rode with Cliff from the church in Omaha to the cemetry in Fairbury.  He occupied us on this trip by telling us stories about my father when he was young.  He had a special way of keeping your attention when he told a story.  He would often pause between sentences and you would have to wait patiently for him to begin again.  We were never sure if he was finished or not.

Marie and Barbara Cliff's mother and wife
In my observation, Cliff, was an easy going, good natured kind of guy.  He was well liked by most of those who knew him, and I think in some ways he was a  lonely man.  He lived a rather wild and carefree lifestyle, which played a tole on his physical condition, and caused him an early death.  Cliff died of a stroke, coupled with heart problems, in August of 1985, one year after the death of his mother while training a horse. He never had any children.

He is buried in Fairbury, Nebraska, with his father and mother, and brother Venus John.

Susan Holmes

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


 Cecil and Peggy NUTSCH Pierce. 

Cecil Lon Pierce
Cecil Lon Pierce was born in the cold month of January on the 24th in the year of 1928 in Beatrice, Nebraska.  He was raised and lived the life of a farmers son, moving from place to place, as his father did a lot of land trading.  During WWII Cecil remained on the farm and took care of things while his two older brothers served in the Army.  Cecil was in the National Reserves, and did his part by keeping the farm in rural Reynolds, Nebraska running smoothly for his parents.  His father died in 1948 and Cecil took care of things for his mother.

Peggy Pierce
Charline Lynnette
He met Peggy Nutsch from Haddam, Kansas at a dance, and after Peggy graduated from high school, they were married on the 24th of May, 1953 at the Four Square Church in Fairbury, Nebraska. She was barely 16 years old. They moved in with his mother for the first few months of their marriage, but that didn't work out very well, so they soon found a place of their own. The couple went to Blair, Nebraska where Cecil had found work for awhile before they moved to a farm that Cecil bought with money he inherited from his father near Hubbell, Nebraska, and farmed it for about five years.  He was a very good sheep shearer, self taught. He  traveled all over the mid-west, and was very well known for his talent.  In 1956, the farm crops looked very good, but nature took it's toll and all of the crop was lost due to hail and grasshoppers.  Cecil and Peggy, at this time had two children, Charline Lynnette born 2-22-1954 and Jeffery Daniel born 6-19-1955, and were expecting their third child when they packed up that fall and traveled to Oregon where Peggy's brother Jack was working. The Land of Milk and Honey!  Cecil obtained work as a welders helper on the ships in Portland, and they lived in an apartment in St. Helens.  In December, the 8th day, the sun was shining brightly when Peggy gave birth to their third child around noon.  When she left the hospital that evening with their new baby daughter, Susan Annette, it was snowing big white flakes. The hospital bill was 98 dollars and it had to be paid before they left.  Joke was that they left Oregon without ever paying the doctor bill for the birth so I was to be on alert for repossession.  Cecil worked out the winter in Oregon, and they then returned to the farm in the spring of 1957 in time for planting.   On  December 13, 1958 a second son was born and was named Henry David.  Cecil then bought a farm in the Narka, Kansas area.  They called it the county line farm as it was right on the Republic/Washington Co. lines.  Here he and Peggy raised livestock, had an orchard, and acres of crops.  Many times he would go to Haddam and work partime in the elevator, and still continued to shear sheep while Peggy was left alone with the farm work and childern to tend. She loved the country life having grown up a farm girl herself.  While on the farm in Narka, Cecil and Peggy had two more children, Angelia Gail, born August 24, 1960 and Clifford Martin, born November 28, 1962.
Jeffery Daniel

Susan and Henry Pierce
Cecil and Peggy had a farm auction, sold the farm and moved to Byron, Nebraska in 1965 where Cecil leased a tavern and ran it for a couple of year.  Often during this time Peggy would work the tavern during the day and Cecil would shear sheep or work various other jobs.  A month after their move to Byron, Andrea Rose was born on February 15, 1965.  Cecil bought an empty building on main street in Byron and moved the tavern to that building. He received a liquor license and built a big dance floor and beer garden and had dances about once a month.  Still while living in Byron, Cecil and Peggy received their last two children, Matthew Lon born 6-15-1966 and Beth Marie born April 26, 1968.

Angelia and Clifford
In 1971 Cecil and Peggy bought a motel in Mankato, Kansas and they moved the family that fall to the apartment attached to the motel.  Their oldest daughter Charline, married Wayne "Dink" Snyder that year on July 21 in Hebron, Nebraska. He was the son of Kenneth and Maxine HOLMES Snyder of Superior Nebraska. This business venture turned out to be a bad investment and after a long court battle, they bought a large home in Mankato and Cecil went to work at the Dubuque Packing plant until he opened up the first private club in Jewell County, Kansas.  He did very well here, and after three years, sold the club, had an auction where they sold most of their belongings and moved to Missouri. By this time only the three younger children remained at home.

Andrea, Matthew, Beth
Jeff had started his own mechanic business in Mankato after he graduated high school in 1974, and Susan married  Jack Alcorn on May 24, 1974 one week after her high school graduation. Henry graduated high school in 1976 and went to Beloit Vo Tech before he married Kimberly Elkins, May 25, 1980.  Angelia graduated high school in 1978 and married Roger Reiter on May 28. Clifford moved to Gordon, Nebraska where he worked putting up irrigation sprinklers.

Cecil didn't like it in Missouri and was not happy about anything while they were there. Their youngest son Matt didn't like Missouri either and moved back to Mankato where he lived with his older brother Jeff until he was out of high school and able to support himself.    Cecil did a little shearing and worked a couple of places, but just was never satisfied.  Peggy however, loved it there and she was able to work at her crafts and have her animals and the peace and quiet of the country.  Cecil put the property on the market and it sold right away.  He and Peggy returned to the Narka, Kansas area and they opened a restaurant/grocery store that they ran for several years.  They left Missouri with only their youngest child remaining.  Andrea chose to stay in Missouri and finish her last year of high school and then married Doug Wilson of Aurora.  Cecil and Peggy operated the store and for a time the gas station.  He served on the city council and even took his turn at being mayor.

Upon reaching the age of retirement, Cecil closed the store, and worked part time in the nursing home in Belleville, Kansas.  He helped out at the elevator in town during the harvest, and mowed the city grass, and did other odd jobs until he just couldn't do anything anymore. He raised dogs for awhile then phased that out. Peggy however, continued on with dog raising and she quilts and bakes and Cecil keeps her busy taking care of him.  He still drives around town to see what's happening and checks up on the boys that are still able to work to make sure they do it right.

They are the grand parents of thirty and great grandparents of twenty- one and the numbers are still growing.