Iowa Falls Sentinel
Tuesday, June 6, 1905
info from Cheryl Hanson; Sept, 2003
"I have never read anything quite like this one. I typed it,
as it was in the paper, including misspellings and all."
Uncle Benny Pierce
Death of an Esteemed Citizen and a Venerable Patriarch
The sudden death last week of Uncle Benny Pierce, as he was well known by all, closed a life the record of which was an open book, and on its pages were recorded the deeds of an honorable and successful life. A career the memory of which leaves a pleasant thought with all who knew this grand old man.
Benjamin Pierce was born in New Jersey on September 14, 1810, and died at his home on north Main Street in this city on Tuesday, May 30, his age being 94 yrs, 8 months and 16 days. On January 18, 1835, he was married to Lydia Everenham, in Oscar County, New Jersey. After a married life of sixty-five years, the wife passed away in 1900. In 1856 the family moved to Indiana and in 1866 to Illinois. In the fall of 1869 Mr. Pierce came to Hardin County and located on a farm near Iowa Falls. Since that time this county has been his home, and eleven years ago he moved to town and resided at the home on Main street up to the time of his death.
Mr. Pierce was the father of eleven children, seven of whom survive him. The children in order of their birth are as follows: Emaline, now Mrs. B. Reynolds, of this city; Alfred, who lives near Popejoy; Jesse, of Chicago; William B., of this county; David J., deceased; Gustavus A., of this city; Reuben R., of Oregon; Laura A., deceased; John R., of Colorado; and Lydia J., deceased. At the time of Mr. Pierce's death he had fifty-two grandchildren, fifty-three great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
The final summons came to Uncle Benny and he was ready to go. While he had been in quite feeble physical health for several years, he was as well as usual on Monday and as was his custom, was down town twice, greeting his friends and associates in his usual cheerful manner. Retiring at night in his usual health, he was taken suddenly ill in the early hours of the morning and ere the setting of another sun, his sole had been ushered into another world, upon the threshold of which he had hoped to greet the dear ones that had preceded him.
His death was as one who lieth down to pleasant dreams, and when stricken he knew the end was near, and asked those who watched over him not to feel badly as he would soon be much better. His mind was clear up to the last moment and the faith of a long life was still his when he came to answer the summons to the Unknown Shore. Peacefully he passed away and quietly his soul drifted forth on that long voyage that endeth in the harbor of Eternity.
The funeral was held Friday at the Methodist church and was largely attended. The service was conducted by Rev. H. O. Pratt, pastor of the church, and Rev. G. B. Shoemaker, a former pastor, now of Eldora. Interment took place in Union cemetery on Saturday forenoon. The burial was postponed one day on account of Reuben, of Oregon, who could not reach home in time for interment of Friday afternoon.
A life like Uncle Benny's is a sacred heritage to kindred, neighbors and friends, for it leaves its imprint on the lives of others. His life was one lived in a true Christian spirit. A lifelong member of the Methodist church, he found in that faith a guidance and a comfort that helped him to so live that he earned the love of his fellowmen and a blessed promise of a rich inheritance in the Hereafter.
In all the walks of life, Uncle Benny was as true as steel. In all things and under all conditions no one ever found him wanting. Quiet and unassuming, yet his character reflected itself thruout his career of many years, and its influence was only for good. His word was his bond, and whether in business, at home, in the church or social life, Uncle Benny was ever the same, and there was a substantial confidence in him that won the universal respect and esteem of all with whom he came in contact.
In these latter days when the strife for place and fame often shuts out the finer attributes that go to make up character, one is impressed with the elements that entered into the life just closed. Honors in this life come to many and fame may favor others, but there is something sublime in the life that is closed with the universal esteem of all. What grander close can come to any life than to realize that it has been so lived that there is no blot or blame and that his living has been a blessing and a benediction.
Such was Uncle Benny's life, and while floral tributes attested the love and esteem in which he was held in this community, grandest, and more moved still are the good words of eulogy pronounced by his fellowmen with whom he had lived for nearly a half century. Long life was his and he so lived that when he was called to the Christ in whom life and teachings he placed implicit trust, death was robbed of its sting and he gladly welcomed the summons to a grander and a larger life. Uncle Benny will be missed but his memory will remain.