Historical Details

Pierce, Rollin Z.

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 12/17/2020


by Dona Eddy

Rollin Z. and Mary Frances (Burns) Pierce and family came to Keeline, Wyo. by train in 1910 from Cleveland, Ohio.  They were the parents of seven children, two of which were born in Wyoming.  They took a homestead near Keeline.

Children are as follows: Mrs. Ben (Margaret) Martin, deceased. She attended Jireh College and taught school before she was married. They had two children which both died in infancy. She died at child­ birth in 1923 with their second child.

Robert attended Jireh College and was a graduate of the University of· Wyoming. He passed away in 1926.

Mrs. Marion (Helen) Towne, 1907, of Laramie attended Jireh for two years and finished at Laramie High School.   They are the parents of two children, Melvin Jr., and Lois.

James was the last child, born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1909.  He died in 1921 six months after the family had moved to Laramie, from a ruptured appendix.

Mrs. Thomas (Mary) Tucke, Vista, Calif. born in 1912. No children.

Mrs. Eleanor Arp, Aug. 4, 1914, Oildale, Calif. started school after moving to Laramie. They were the parents of three children, Dorothy, Robert, and William.

Mr. Pierce had been a street car con­ductor and had worked in the steel mills. After reading a pamphlet which advertised free land they would give you if you built on it and proved up on it with plenty of room to raise your children, it sounded good to him. So with his wife and five children they came to Wyoming only to find it contained lots of hard work and a bare existence.

Dandelion greens and pap was their diet for a time. Pap was made with whole milk thickened with flour and sweetened with sugar and cinnamon.

A barn was dug into the side of the hill for the horses. Their one cow had been given to them by Mrs. Pierce's mother.

They raised a garden, canned the vege­ tables and stored potatoes and pumpkins in a cellar.

The children attended Chimney Rock school and the oldest three, Margaret, Robert, and Harriet attended Jireh College for their high school.

When Helen and James were ready for high school they couldn't afford to board them out, so they moved to Laramie.

Mrs. Pierce and the children would find a quiet day and go to the field and pile tumbleweeds and thistle and burn them so the field could be plowed and seeded.

Mr. Pierce bought a tractor. It took him some time to get it started. One time when he pulled the flywheel it kicked and broke his arm. Not many crops were put in that year, as he had to go back to his horses.

Mr. Pierce was one that couldn't make machinery work very well.   He bought a car from John Collins. He went to Keeline once and came back as far as Weavers and it stop­ped on him. He pulled it home with the horses and let it sit.

He raised wheat and rye; when it had been harvested he put sideboards on two wagons and filled them with thrashed grain. He went in the lead with a load for the elevator with Helen and James following with the second wagon.

James and Helen had pigs in 4-H. James' was a Red Hampshire, a bacon hog and Helen's was a pork hog. Hers had a white spot in the
wrong place.  Many parents had bought pure­ bred weaner pigs for their child and many disagreed with the judges winners.

Mrs. Pierce had arthritis quite bad and they wanted more schooling for their children so they left and went to Laramie in 1920.

This homestead is part of the Larry Eddy Ranch today.

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