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Capt. Benjamin F. Pierce. (1814-?)
Born in Jefferson Co., N.Y., reside in AuSable, then Lower Saginaw (now Bay City).

1883 biography. - Added Oct., 2009.

Historical of Bay County, Michigan, 1883


Capt. Benjamin F. Pierce was born in 1814, in Jefferson Co., N. Y. He came to Lower Saginaw (now Bay City) in 1839, and in 1846 built the in the place. It stood on the bank of the river, near where the present bridge crosses at the foot of Third Street to Midland Street, West Bay City, and engaged in general trade. In 1858 he removed to West Bay City, and has since then been a resident of what was then in the township of Bangor and is now the Second Ward of West Bay City. Previous to locating on the West Side, he was for a time at Au Sable, where he kept a general store, trading with the Indians and fishermen. While at Au Sable he also built quite a number of the boats used by the fishermen. Capt. Pierce has been more or less of a fisherman and sailor during his life. He brought on the schooner “Julia Smith,” from Saginaw, and the first two stationary steam engines that ever came into this section of the country. One was put in a mill which stood where C. E. Lewis's now is, and the other was taken to Saginaw City. He is now engaged in farming and looking after his real estate interests.

There were five brothers of the Pierce family who were among the early settlers on this river. Benjamin F., above mentioned; Charles, who also lives in West Bay City, Cyrene, at Au Sable; Joshua, in Detroit, and Daniel M., in Bay City. Benjamin F. Pierce married to Miss Jeannette R. Weaver, of Erie Co., N. Y., in 1853, and they have had five children, three of whom are living, viz.: -- Curtis E., a promising young lawyer; Nettie, now the wife of John S. Taylor, Jr.; and Kaddie, who lives at home with her father and mother. The only office

Mr. Pierce office ever held was that of the first clerk of the township of Hampton, then in Saginaw County, at that time the only organized township between here and Alpena.

Capt. Pierce was also extensively interested at Au Sable at an early day, in fact was a pioneer of that place, having erected some of the first buildings there. He has sold his buildings from time to time, but still retains real estate interests in the village. As elsewhere stated in this work, Capt. Pierce brought the tug “Lathrop” here, the first tug that was ever brought here. The captain is one of the very few remaining early pioneers of this region. An excellent view of Capt. Pierce's residence, together with a portrait of himself, appears in this work.

1900 Obituary. Added May, 2010.

Saginaw Evening News, February 7, 1900.


Benjamin F. Pierce Died Yesterday at His Home in West Bay City.

BAY CITY, Feb. 7 – (Special.) – Benjamin F. Pierce, a pioneer resident of Bay county, died yesterday afternoon at 3:30 o’clock at this home in West Bay City. Mr. Pierce had been ill for over a year and his relatives were prepared for the end. He leaves two children, Curtis E. Pierce and Mrs. Stephen P. Flynn. The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon from Covent Presbyterian church.

Residents of Bay County in 1847.

By Judge Albert Miller, 1891.

Capt. Benjamin F. Pierce, a native of Jefferson county, New York, where he was born in 1814 came to Lower Saginaw in 1839, and built the second warehouse that was erected in the county, and purchased and brought to the river in 1853 the tub Lathrop, which was the first craft used exclusively for towing vessels, that ever floated on these waters. Captain Pierce was actively engaged in the mercantile, freighting, fishing and other enterprises that started the growth of the town at the north end of the river. In 1858 he removed to the west side, where his enterprise was a material factor in starting what is now the flourishing city of West Bay City, where he still resides with his amiable wife, enjoying the fruits of their early labor.

Additional Notes.

    1850 - Census, County of Michilinmackinac, Mich.

  • Pierce, Benjamin F. - age 37, seaman, b. N.Y.
  • Pierce, Charles - age 19, fisherman, b. Canada
  • Pierce, Cyrenius - age 19, fisherman, b. N.Y.
  • Pierce, Joshua - age 13, b. N.Y.
  • Pierce, Nathan - age 64, farmer, b. N.Y.

    1857 – The History of Northern Michigan, 1912:

  • When Iosco Co., was organized in 1856, their first elections of officers was held in 1857, with Benjamin F. Pierce being appointed county trustee.
  • Au Sable history states, “Benjamin F. Pierce, of Bangor, Bay County, at that time had a trading post or storehouse which formed the landmark, from which in March, 1849, Eldridge and Emerson set off and divided lots fronting on the river to resident fishermen and others, who wished to purchase.

    1880 – Census, West Bay City, Mich.

  • Pierce, Benjamin F. - b. 1815, NY
  • Pierce, Jennette R. - wife
  • Children: Curtis, Caddie, Nettie.

    1883 – Directory, West Bay City, Mich.:

  • Pierce, Benajmin F. - real estate, res w s King 1 s of J, L&S RR, 2d ward.
Related Pages/Notes

Capt. Benjamin F. Pierce

Related Pages:
Pierce, Capt. Wm. E.
People Referenced
Flynn, Stephen P.
Lewis, C.F.
Pierce, Benj. F. (subject)
Pierce, Charles (bro.)
Pierce, Curtis E. (son)
Pierce, Cyrene (bro.)
Pierce, Daniel M. (bro.)
Pierce, Joshua (bro)
Pierce, Kaddie (dau.)
Pierce, Nathan
Pierce, Nettie (dau.)
Taylor, John S. Jr.
Weaver, Jeannette R. (wife)
Subjects Referenced
Alpena, MI
AuSable, MI
Bangor Twp., Bay, MI
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Erie Co., NY
Hampton twp. Saginaw Co.
Jefferson Co., NY
Lower Saginaw, MI
Mackinaw, MI
Michilinmackinac, MI
Presbyterian church
Saginaw, MI
Saginaw County, MI
Wenona, MI
West Bay City, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.