- Born 28 May 1857 Cardiff, Glamorganshire, , Wales
- Died 17 Jan 1933 Hyrum, Cache, Utah
- Parents: Robert Pearce and Sarah Brown
- Spouse: Mary Alice Davenport (md. 1 Dec 1881 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah)
- Children: Mary Agnes Pearce; Thomas Joseph Pearce, Jr.; Clarissa Pearce; William Edwin Pearce; Edward Pearce; James Albert Pearce; Sarah Elizabeth Pearce; Warren Pearce; Marcus Pearce; Eudora Pearce
History of my father Thomas Joseph Pearce Sr.
by his son Thomas Joseph Pearce Jr.
"Thomas Joseph Pearce Sr., son of Robert Pearce and Sarah Brown, was born May 28, 1857 at Cardiff, Wales, He came to America with his parents in 1863 and settled in the southern part of the Cache Valley same year. He made his home in Paradise, Utah, where he lived the rest of his life.
"His parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Wales and set sail on a sailing ship for America. After six weeks on the ocean they landed in New York. They took the train to Florence, Nebraska which was the end of the railroad.
"From there they traveled to the Salt Lake Valley by ox team. After crossing the plains, they entered the Valley on September 10th, 1863. There they made their home. There were four children in the family, three brothers, Robert, Thomas Joseph, and Charles, and one sister Elizabeth. Elizabeth married Edwin Pope their Teamster on the plains.
"He was a member of the first Fife and Drum band that was organized in that part of the valley. He lived a good life. His education was limited, he had to work hard with his parents as pioneers. At the age of sixteen he was extra strong, he could cut grain (wheat) along with the older men. The cradle was all they had to cut the grain with when they first settled there. They used it by hand. The farmers would help one another to harvest their grain. They would meet at one field and cut the grain, then go on to the next field.
"Father had to help make a living in this new community. He would work cutting grain with the rest of the men. The next harvester was a mowing machine, pulled by horses, that had a dropper, or ridge to catch the grain and drop it in piles. The grain was then hand bound, the same as they did with the cradle, and tied with some of the grain stalks. The next was the self binder. I remember the first one that father had.
"Thomas Joseph Pearce Sr. married Mary Alice Davenport December 1, 1881. They were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, they rode to Salt Lake City in a wagon pulled by horses.
"There were ten children born to them, six boys, and four s. One of the boys died in infancy. They were Mary Agnes, Thomas Joseph Jr., Clarissa, William Edwin, Edward, James Albert, Sarah Elizabeth, Warren, Marcus who died in infancy at the age of eighteen days, and Eudora.
Father was very active in the Church. I Joseph, his oldest son recollect that he was secretary for the Sunday School. I remember standing by his knee by the table on the stand in the rock church in Paradise, Utah. He was secretary of the Seventies Quorum. He was also secretary of the High Priests Quorum.
"He served as police in Paradise for a term, was ton or custodian for the Cemetery for quite a while. The custodian Mr. Charles Hall died from the flu, and Thomas Sr. took his place and served for a number of years.
"He owned a small farm and had to struggle to raise his family. In his latter years his health was very poor. He had ulcers of the stomach.
"He spent his life in Paradise, Utah. He did not travel much, made a couple of trips to Idaho Falls, Idaho with Mother to visit their children that had located there.
"He spent a good life, always stood for things that was right."
* * * * *
MARY ALICE DAVENPORT
THOMAS JOSEPH PEARCE
THOMAS JOSEPH PEARCE
Mary Alive Davenport b. 4 April 1861, Draper, S.L., Utah; d. 13 Nov. 1937, Hyrum, Cache, Utah; bu. 15 Nov. 1937, Paradise, Cache, Utah; dau. of Edward Wilcox and Clarissa Danforth (Crapo) Davenport; md. 1 Dec. 1881, Salt Lake City, S.L., Utah, Thomas Joseph Pearce b. 28 May 1857, Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales; d. 18 Jan. 1933, Hyrum, Cache, Utah; bu. 20 Jan. 1933, Paradise, Cache, Utah; son of Robert and Sarah (Brown) Pearce. Ten children.
(The following is taken from a history written by Thomas Joseph and Sarah Elizabeth, children of the above.)
"The first little daughter of Edward and Clarissa Davenport was given the name, Mary Alice, after both her grandmothers. She was idolized by her older brothers. She was tall and dark like her father and had his sweet, gentle disposition. She was loved by all who knew her. She went through all the hardships of the early pioneers. Most of their work had to be done by hand, inside the house and outside on the farm. They didn't have the things to work with that we have today.
"When the threshers came, there was lots of extra work to do. The grain had to be threshed by horse power supplied by six teams of horses going in a circle. It took the work of about fourteen men to handle the machine and the grain and get the threshing done. Mother had a lot of hard work to prepare meals for them. Sometimes she was able to hire some help.
"Father would plant a good garden and Mother and the children would take care of it. There was a large orchard on our place, so we always had plenty of fruit. Mother would peel the apples and dry them in the sun, by the sackful.
"She made all our clothes when we were young. She made knee pants for the boys and long dresses for the s until we got older. We were very proud of them.
"When Mother was seventeen years old, her brothers bought a sawmill in White Pine Canyon east of Paradise, and Mother helped cook for the men until she was married.
"On December the first, 1881, Mother and Father were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. They traveled in a lumber wagon, with a wagon box and a spring seat on it, the eighty miles to Salt Lake City. After their marriage, they settled in Paradise, where they lived the rest of their lives. They are also buried there.
"Their first home was a two-roomed house. It was made of white pine logs, sawed on four sides, with lumber siding on the outside and lath and plaster on the inside. Later they built a larger home.
"There were lots of Indians passing through Paradise in the early days, begging for food. Many times they would come to the Pearce home. Mother made good loaves of bread and many of them went to feed the Indians.
"In the spring of 1906, Mother and Father met with a bad when their horses became frightened and ran away, and they were thrown from the wagon. The wheel ran over Father's hand and crippled it. Mother's wrist was broken and after it healed, it was always stiff.
"Among Mother's many accomplishments were soap making and her handiwork. She made beautiful knitted lace and loved to quilt. She used to quilt for the Relief Society and was paid one dollar for every spool of thread that she used on a quilt. Mother was kind and gentle and loved her family very much.
"Thomas Joseph Pearce Sr. was born in Wales. His parents had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints some years before. When he was six years old, they came to America. They left Liverpool, England, in a sailing vessel and were on the ocean for six weeks before arriving in New York. From there they rode on a train to Florence, Nebraska, where the railroad ended. They finished the journey to Salt Lake City, Utah, in a covered wagon drawn by oxen. They came in the William B. Preston Company and Edwin Pope was the driver of their wagon. They settled in Paradise, Utah, a small settlement in the southern end of Cache Valley. Here, the Indians were a menace and Joseph took his turn watching for them.
"When he was sixteen he cut grain with a cradle and kept up with the older men. After the grain was cut, it was laid in rows and then bound into bundles by hand, using grain stalks to hold them. The families helped each other with their field work, going from one farm to another.
"He helped build the first church house, which was made of lime rock and also helped with the log school house. He hauled rock to help build the Logan Temple and also helped get out the timber to the sawmill and hauled the finished lumber to the temple site. He was interested in any new project that would help the community.
"He loved to farm and raised sugar beets for the sugar factory at Logan. He also worked some for his brother-in-law, Frank Davenport in his sawmill. In his early years he was active in the church and he worked hard to provide for his family."
--from Hall, Dorothy D., compiler. Davenport Ancestry in America and Descendants of John Pope Davenport and Edward Wilcox Davenport: 1640-1962. Springville, Utah: Art City Publishing Company, 1962, pp. 364-67.