Francis Albert Pierce & Lydia Amanda Sabin

(Settlers and Migrants, Pierce branch)

[Historic museum. ‘Old’ Jacksonville, Chicasaw County, IA. The only original structure is the white school house at left. The other two buildings, one a general merchandise store from the same period, were brought in for preservation in this park. The Francis A. Pierce farm was 2-1/2 miles to our left rear. My grandfather Glen Kenyon Pierce attended school here.]

* Francis Albert “John” PIERCE was born on 26 Apr 1845 in Batavia, Kane, IL; died on 23 May 1894 in Jacksonville Twp, Chickasaw, IA; buried in North Cemetery, Lawler, Chickasaw, IA.

He married Lydia Amanda SABIN on 19 Mar 1878 in Jacksonville, Chickasaw, IA. They had the following children: Francis Albert “Frank” PIERCE (b. 22 Dec 1878), Gertrude Ida “Gertie” PIERCE (b. 22 May 1882), Myrtle Eva “Myrtie” PIERCE (b. 22 May 1882), ♥ Glen Kenyon PIERCE (b. 4 Jun 1887).

In June 1870, at age 25 and while still living at home and working on his father’s farm, Francis is listed as owning $1,200 worth of real-estate.{D3}

Francis (age 32) married  Lydia Amanda Sabin (age 21), 19 Mar 1878, about 6 years after arriving in Chickasaw County,IA.{D4}

The Francis A. Pierce family birth dates listed herein were taken from their family Bible.
[During the 1970s-1990s, the Pierce family Bible was in possession of William G. Pierce, Francis Pierce’s grandson, who was inturn my uncle Bill. Upon m y ‘uncle Bill’s’ death, the large leather bound Bible was given to me, Larry, and in 2006 as I prepared to retire and move to Texas, I gave the Bible to my daughter Jane to look after and pass on to her posperity.

[Photo ca. 1920. Francis Albert and Lydia Amanda (Sabin) Pierce farm home. Picture taken from the windmill, maybe a decade after Lydia Amanda Pierce-Quaife sold the farm and moved. The house had been built in sections, growing with the Pierce family.]

1.  On 12 Nov 1874Francis received Warrantee Deed on 160 acres land from A.G. Case.{D6} He bought the land about 3.5 years before marrying Lydia.
2.  From Obituary. “John (nickname) Pierce was born on the 26th day of April 1845, at Batavia, Ill., where his early life was spent. He came to Iowa about 17 years ago (about 1870, age 25 yr.) and settled in Jacksonville Twp., Chickasaw county where he built a good home and surrounded himself with many of the comforts of life. Sixteen years ago he was united in marriage with Lydia A. Sabin, who with four children, the fruit of their union, survive him.  He came to this country from Illinois and started to build a farm out of a piece of wild prairie in Jacksonville Twp., and how well he succeeded can best be told by viewing his late home. It is a model for anyone and is a fitting example of the good sense and ability of the departed… He was by nature somewhat reticent…He was a member of the Baptist church in Jacksonville township and was a consistent and faithful Christian man….” {D1}
3.  Francis (John) Albert Pierce farm is located at NW 1/4 of Sect. 36, Twp 96, Range 18, Chickasaw County, Iowa. The 160 acres of prairie was purchased from Mr. A. G. Case with the Warrantee Deed dated 12 Nov. 1874. {D2}
4.  The property is about 2.5 miles south of old Jacksonville, on the west side of the road.{D5} In the 1980-90s Jacksonville is known as “5 Corners” and Adolph Munson Park.
The original small town is gone, but there has been interest in reviving the location with 19th century buildings, i.e.; a turn of the century General Store filled with antiques, a log cabin and the school house attended by Glen K. Pierce and the other F.A. Pierce children.{D7}
5.  A photograph of Francis’s house (taken from the windmill) taken in the early 20th century, before its demolition, shows it to have been a white, rectangular, 2 story wood frame building built on a field stone foundation. A large lean to style addition had been built, probably as a kitchen when the family grew. A long fully enclosed shed was later attached to the addition. {D7}

Francis died at home, at 2:00 A.M., Wed., 23 May 1894 after a long bout with Consumption, he was 48 years 11 months of age.

North Cemetery, Lawler, IA., Located on Benz Street, about 1 mile north of Lawler, IA.  A 6 foot + tall monument stands in the family plot providing Francis’ vital dates. Amanda is also buried next to the marker, although her name and vital dates were not inscribed on the stone after her death. Francis and Amanda’s remains are buried beneath small headstones immediately to the north side of the monument.{D7} [Drawings from photographs, by Larry Pierce, 1987, after visit to FA Pierce previous farm homestead and old Jacksonville, IA.]

1. Obituary cut from unknown newspaper during late May 1884.
2. Abstract of Title to the above described real-estate (prairie farm). Also a Memoranda as to Affidavit by Lydia Amanda (Sabin-Pierce) Quaife.
3. 1870 Federal Census, Blackberry Township,  Kane County, IL. Francis is listed in Jonathon Pierce’s household.
4. Copy of Certificate of Marriage,  Chickasaw County, IA.
5. 1892 Platt Map ofJacksonvilleTownship,Chickasaw County, IA.
6.  Affidavit by Lydia Amanda Quaife (Pierce) with copy of Abstract of Title for sale of family farm. District Court of Chickasaw county, IA, Probate Calendar No.7, Page 224.
7. Eyewitness account by great-grandson, Larry F. Pierce, 1994.

Lydia Amanda SABIN was born on 28 Sep 1857 in Fort Covington, Franklin, NY; died on 15 May 1931 in Des Moines, Polk, Iowa; buried on 17 May 1931 in Lawler, Chickasaw, IA.

She married Francis Albert “John” PIERCE on 19 Mar 1878 in Jacksonville, Chickasaw, IA.

She also married C. A. QUAIFE on 5 Jul 1908 in Chickasaw, IA.

Lydia was born at Ft. Covington, NY, on the boarder near Canada, 28 Sep 1857. When she was a little girl she came west with her parents to locate at Jacksonville, Chickasaw Co., IA. She grew to womanhood and lived her entire live, except for the last weeks, in this area.

A photograph taken of Amanda ca 1912 when she was about 55 years old shows a happy, peaceful woman. She has high cheek bones and rather thin lips that look like they’re use to smiling. Her hair, which was about 20% gray is seen combed back, possibly into a bun or curl on the back of her head. She has an oval shaped face that is attractive, friendly and alert. Her eyebrows appear full and dark. She was wearing a white blouse with a choker necklace made of what appears to be 3 bands of small pearls. Comparing her size to that of a youngster sitting on her lap it appears that Amanda was probably about 5′ 8″ tall give or take an inch.{D3}
[Photo above, Lydia Amanda (Sabin) Pierce-Quaife with a grand-daughter.]

1. Lydia was married to Francis A. Pierce (John) on 19 Mar 1877, they lived about a 2-1/2 south of Jacksonville and carved a farm out of the native prairie. After Francis death, on 23 May 1894, Lydia remained on the farm, single, while raising her children to adulthood.

[Photo: Francis Albert and Amanda (Sabin) Pierce farm property near old Jacksonville, IA. The Pierce farm buildings were in the same location as the ones show here 18 Sep 1987. Jacksonville, AKA, ‘Five Corners’ no longer exists, the closest town is Lawler, IA. Larry]

 2. When her children were grown and on their own, Amanda remarried. On 5 July 1908, she married C. A. Quaife and went with him to his farm south of Ionia, IA. Later they moved into Ionia where they remained until after the death of Mr. Quaife on 25 May 1930.  This union produced no children.

The Francis A. Pierce farm was sold in March 1911 to the neighboring, J. W. Galligan and C.C. Galligan family for $18,000 The Abstract of Title was filed 3 April 1914.{D2}

“Early in life, Lydiaunited with the Baptist church at Jacksonville and remained a member of that communion until her removal to the vicinity of Iona when she transferred her membership to the Congregational church of which she was a member at the time of her decease. She was not only a member of the church, she was constant and faithful in all its activities. Nearly all her life a teacher in the Sunday school and active in all its departments. She taught the women’s bible class in Iona for fifteen years.”{D1}

“She was ready and willing to do her part in every good work, church, red cross and whenever duty called her.”{D1}

“Following the death of her husband (Quaife) now about a year ago and even before, she began to break under the strain of care and anxiety. Failing to regain her usual health, inorder that she might have the best available care and medical attention she was brought to St. Joseph’s hospital in Sept. After a time she was taken to a sanitarium at Des Moines so that she might have the care and services of a specialist…For some time Mrs. Quaife has felt she had about reached the end of her journey…She was ready and willing to go…”{D1}

Lydia was buried next to her first husband, Francis A. Pierce in North Cemetery, Lawler, Chickasaw Co., IA. Francis’ large marker is set on the family plot. When Lydia died, 37 years after Francis, she was buried in the plot, but her name was not inscribed on the marker. Beside the marker are two small headstone with no inscription, one belongs to Amanda, the other to Francis.{D1}

1. Obituary for “Mrs. Quaife”, the article has come down the family line undated and without source; however, probably was cut from either the Lawler, Ionia or Des Moines newspaper with in a week after Lydia’s death.
2. Affidavit by Lydia Amanda Quaife (Pierce) with copy of Abstract of Title for sale of family farm.
District Court of Chickasaw county, IA, Probate Calendar No.7, Page 224.
3. Eyewitness account by great grandson, Larry F. Pierce, 1994.


Filed under My family in history, __2. Settlers and Migrants

3 responses to “Francis Albert Pierce & Lydia Amanda Sabin

  1. Jenny Bell

    Hi, I was excited to find your page. I am related to Charles Alfred Quaife, Lydia’s second husband. Charles is my great-grandfather. I did not know that he married after his first wife, Alice Day died so after much searching for information on, for Lydia’s death, I finally found your site after “googling” Lydia Pierce Quaife. The only documents I have found are census records for Charles and Lydia for 1910-1930. Do you have any documents such as their marriage certificate or I think your article referenced Lydia’s death obituary? I would very much like these for our records if you are willing to share. Hoping to hear from you. Jenny.

  2. Ann Ware

    Hi! I have been searching for information about my great grandmother’s family for many years now, and on stumbling upon your site, I think Lydia Amanda Sabin was my great grandmother’s sister. I am so excited!! I have a picture of my great grandmother, Mable “Mattie” Sabin Evans with 3 of her sisters. Each woman is named on the picture (in my grandfather’s handwriting) and one of the names on the picture is Amanda Pierce Quaif. The other two sisters are Mary VanAuken and Emma Clapham. On the side of the picture it says they are daughters of “Jess and Lyda Sabin”, but on my great grandmother’s obituary, the parents are listed as Justin and Lydia Sabin, from Chickasaw County, Iowa. In the picture, my great grandmother is holding a guitar. It is a beautiful picture, and its clarity is marvelous. If you do not have it, I would love to share a copy of it with you. The Amanda in my picture looks just like the one of her that you have posted on this site. My great grandmother married Scott C. Evans in Chickasaw County, Iowa. Scott took out the first homestead in Phillips County, Colorado, and after he dug a well on the property, he went back to Iowa to get his bride, Mattie. I knew Mattie, and she was a wonderful, caring, and talented person. She was a musician and a poet, and entertained the settlers here in Colorado on many a Sunday afternoon. It looks as though in the picture the sisters may have sung together. I am wondering if you know anything about their parents, Justin and Lydia Sabin–such as where they were born, nationality, etc. Also I am wondering if you know of my great grandfather’s family, (the Evans family) or know of anyone who might know them. He and my great grandmother were both school teachers, and helped to open the first school in Phillips County Colorado. Thank you so much for your site! Very Sincerely, Ann

    • Hello Ann
      I’d say you have enough information with the photographs and names to say Amanda Q.P. was Mable’s sister.
      It also sounds like Justin and Jess are one and the same, where Jess is a nickname for the more formal, Justin.
      I will look in my files and get what info I have out to you via the Hotmail address that I received with your reply. I’ll also send the better digital picture of Amanda. What goes into the WordPress blog is reduced in quality/size by WordPress pagination parameters. I’ll enclose my e-mail address for further private correspondence.

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