Harrison Pearce

December 17, 1818 - May 28, 1889


Harrison and his family of nine travelled in the James C. Snow Company departing on 7/5/1852, and arriving on 10/9/1852. The Company consisted of 250 individuals and about 55 wagons when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs).

Obituary of Harrison Pearce - Deseret Evening News
June 4, 1889, page 2:

"PEARCE - St. George, Utah, on May 29th 1880 [sic], Harrison Pearce; born Dec. 17th, 1818, in Jackson County, Georgia. He has been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints upwards of 43 years, and died, as he had lived, with a knowledge of its divinity. He leaves behind him a numerous posterity."


These are excerpts from "A Brief Sketch of Harrison Pearce and Ann Meridith" that is three pages typed and single spaced. It was written by Ralph Reese (or Rees) who quoted a number of family records and individuals as sources. You will note this in the quotes, though he did not clearly tell who said what. It was likely written in the 1930's. Ralph was the son of Francis Ann Young and Rees Hyrum Reese and the randson of William Willis Young and Harriet Ann Pearce (my ancestors). My comments are in parentheses ( ). I received my copy of this sketch in 1977 from a fellow Pearce researcher who lived in Salt Lake and now lives in Utah County.

The family moved in the winter of 1835 and 1836 across Alabama and settled in Itawamba County, Mississippi where Harrison Pearce married Henrietta Cromeans in July 1836.

(A historical note to help: The LDS prophet Joseph Smith was killed by a mob in June 1844. This led to the LDS members eventually being driven from Nauvoo in the middle of the winter, actually about the time the Pearce family began their journey there."

On 1 February 1846 Harrison Pearce, his wife Henrietta, and their children started for Nauvoo. Several others are named who traveled with them. "After encountering a great deal of snow, rain and mud and suffering especially our wives and children we all arrived safely in Nauvoo on March 28, 1846. We stayed there one week. From there we crossed over the Mississippi (River), following the trail of President Brigham Young's Company who had left Nauvoo in February. Through the summer worked at various jobs for provisions, clothing, etc."

"On September 15th we went to Pittsburg on the Des Moines River, rented a house for the winter. (This is the place I have not yet been able to locate.) At this time we were all sick with chills and fever. (Very likely malaria as that was a common problem for the Saints in Nauvoo because of the swampy area and mosquitos.) The neighbors were very kind...In April we moved up on the Fox River where Brother John Price had rented a farm. I was able to teach school most of the time."

Harrison Pearce and his family arrived in Salt Lake City in September 1852.

"My father was called by President Brigham Young to take his family and a company of Southerners and go to Dixie, this was in 1856. (Harrison Pearce did go, but was not the leader of the entire group. Dixie was the name given to the greater St. George area.) His mission was to raise cotton, sugar cane, indigo, and madder. My brother John D. L. remained in Payson." ( I think this was written by son James Pearce.)

"He was Captain of the first Company to travel from Old Harmony over 'Peter's Leap' where the wagons were let down by chains or ropes, no trace of a road except as the men went ahead and made it possible for the teams to follow. It took two weeks to travel the sixty miles. (This was much longer than usual, even for that time period by team and wagon.) They located in a valley and called their new home Washington."

Joseph Harrison Pearce, the first child of Harrison Pearce and Ann Meredith was born in Washington 13 August 1857.

"In 1877 Harrison Pearce was called to go to the Colorado River and run a ferry, which is now known as Pearce's Ferry. In recent years a bridge has been built there called Pearce's Bridge." (As I recall Harrison's son John David Layfette Pearce also went there and may have remained there for some time.


This page last updated on April 19, 2012 .