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Pierce, Jonathan Edwards (1839–1915)

Biography Entry

Jonathan Edwards Pierce, rancher, son of Jonathan D. and Hannah (Head) Pierce, was born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, on December 6, 1839. In 1860 he moved to Indianola, Texas, where he was employed as a ranchhand until he enlisted in the Confederate Army. He served from 1861 to 1865. With his brother Abel Head (Shanghai) Pierce, he established Rancho Grande in Matagorda County and subsequently founded the town of Blessing. He married Nannie Deborah Lacey, daughter of William Demetris Lacey, on May 2, 1868; they had four children. After her death he was twice remarried and had two other children. He died on March 29, 1915, and was buried in Demings Bridge Cemetery near Hawley.

James Cox, Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry (2 vols., St. Louis: Woodward and Tiernan Printing, 1894, 1895; rpt., with an introduction by J. Frank Dobie, New York: Antiquarian, 1959). Galveston News, January 2, 1898. Matagorda County Tribune, August 23, 1945.


  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Pierce, Jonathan Edwards,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 20, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.