J.P. Pierce home ‘A Palatial Palacios Residence’

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Taken during a 2007 restoration.

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   John Phillips Pierce, son of Jonathan Edwards “J.E.” Pierce and Nannie Lacy Pierce, was born November 5, 1868 at El Rancho Grande which was near present-day Blessing. 
   John’s three siblings were Pearl Pierce, who married Dr. Allen J. Smith, Abel Brown, who married Adelaide Hall and Grace Harriet, who married William Walter “Pudge” Heffelfinger. 
   On November 1, 1892, John married Mary Louise Keller, daughter of Nolan and Susan Louise Reid Keller. 
   At the time of their marriage, his father, J.E., gave them 10,000 acres of land and 5,000 head of cattle as their wedding gift. 
   By January, 1898, the couple had built a home on their property where their six children, John Edward (1893-1976), Grace Harriet (1894-1981), Richard Lacy (1897-1943), Abel Head (1899-1983), Allen John (1901-1935) and William Walter (1903-1973) were born. 
   John Phillips invented a ditching machine which was no doubt useful to him on his ranch. 
   “J.P. Pierce has invented and constructed the most complete ditching machine out. 
   “The ditcher cuts a ditch eighteen inches deep and four feet wide, taking the dirt out in solid blocks by an automatic dumper and removing it several feet from the ditch, thereby preventing its being washed back into the ditch.”
— Weekly Visitor, June 9, 1899 
   Among the many talents of John Phillips Pierce, were boat design and construction. 
   Most of his boat building was apparently practiced after the erection of his first house, which incorporates many nautical features.     

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