Abel ‘Shanghai’ Pierce a Texas pioneer cattleman

Abel Head Pierce’s life-sized statue atop his tombstone at Hawley Cemetery.

   Abel Head “Shanghai” Pierce was born in Little Compton, Rhode Island, on June 29, 1834. 
      He was Johnathan and Hannah Pierce’s third son and their sixth child. 
   He left Rhode Island when he was sixteen, spent several years working in Virginia, and eventually arrived in Indianola, Texas, in December of 1853. 
   Shanghai Pierce, Shanghai being his widely used and well-known nickname, went to work for W.B Grimes as a cowboy. 
   He served in the Confederate Army, and after the war set out on his own. 
   He trailed cattle from the Gulf Coast first to New Orleans, then to the Kansas railheads: Wichita, Ellsworth and Dodge City. 
   He saw the end of the open range, so he used his earnings to purchase land. 
   He also saw the advantage of Bos Indicus blood in the Gulf Coast cattle, so laid the groundwork for the importation of cattle from India which finally arrived in America in 1906. 
   He also built the first pumping plant on the Colorado River in 1900. 

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