Pearl Pierce Smith


Family of

Allen J. and Pearl Lacy Pierce Smith




Mrs. Allen J. Smith

Mrs. Allen J. Smith, sister of Mr. Abel Pierce of Blessing, passed away this morning at 8:45 at the Turner Hospital in Houston, after a short illness. Mrs. Smith, daughter of the late John [Jonathan] Pierce has resided in Matagorda County at her beautiful country home, "Live Oak Farm," since returning to Texas from Philadelphia several years ago.

Early in life, Mrs. Smith decided on the study of medicine and entered school in Galveston. While there she met Dr. Allen J. Smith, whom she later married, going with him to Philadelphia where they made their home for many years.

Mrs. Smith was well known and well loved in Matagorda County by all who knew her and her passing has come as a shock to her many friends.

Funeral arrangements had not been announced.

The Daily Tribune, April 13, 1939

Funeral Services For Mrs. Pearl Pierce Smith To Be Sunday

The funeral services for Mrs. Pearl Pierce Smith, 66 years, 3 months, 18 days, who died at the Turner Hospital in Houston Friday, will be held at the Live Oak Farm Sunday morning at 9:30, Reverend Paul Engle of the Episcopal Church of Bay City will conduct the services. Taylor Bros. of Bay City are in charge of funeral arrangements.

Mrs. Smith's remains will be sent to York, Pennsylvania for burial.

Active pallbearers will be Messrs. Parkman Sayward, W. F. Tetts, A. B. Pierce Jr., Lee M. Pierce, Bickerton Winston, H. L. Erickson, A. O. Yeager, A. W. Smith, F. H. Craine, J. L. Pybus and Dr. Sam R. Sholars.

Mrs. Smith, a native of this county, was born in the county and made her home at the beautiful Live Oak Farm for several years. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John [Jonathan Edwards] Pierce. She is survived by two brothers, A. B. [Sr.] and J[ohn] P[hillips] and one sister, Mrs. [Grace] Heffelfinger

Daily Tribune, April 15, 1939

Funeral Services Held For Mrs. Allen J. Smith

Funeral services were held Sunday morning, April 16, at the Live Oak Farm for Mrs. Allen J. Smith who died April 14, in the Turner Hospital, Houston.

Mrs. Smith was the descendant of one of the early settlers of Texas, a grand-daughter of William D. Lacy, who was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. her mother was Nannie Lacy and he father, Jonathan Edwards Pierce, who came to Texas from Rhode Island in the early part of 1850. She was born Dec. 26th, 1872, and was their second child.

Two brothers, John P[hillips] Pierce of Palacios, and Abel B[rown] Pierce [Sr.], of Blessing, one sister, Grace Pierce Heffelfinger, of Minneapolis, Minn. and a half brother, Johnathan Edward Pierce of Houston, besides a number of nieces and nephews survive. She was the widow of Dr. Allen J. Smith, who was head of the School of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania at the time of his death.

For a number of years, she had made her home at Live Oak Farm near Blessing and had made of it one of the show places in the county.

Following the services at her home, conducted by Rev. Pau; Engle, the remains were shipped to York, Penn., for burial, accompanied by Mrs. Clive Runnells, of Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Heffelfinger, of Minneapolis, and A. B Pierce of Blessing.

Palacios Beacon, April 20, 1939

Former Dean Dies Near Philadelphia
Dr. Allen J. Smith Was Professor in Medial College in Galveston

Dr. Allen J. Smith, member of the original faculty of the medical branch of the University of Texas and one of the foremost pathologists and teachers in the country, died at his home near Philadelphia last night, according to a telegram received by Dr. Edward Randall.

Many graduates and former students of the medical school will remember Dr. Smith as a professor of pathology from 1891 to 1904. During the last 10 years of his connection with the university, Dr. Smith was dean of the institution.

Dr. Smith was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and after leaving here in 1904, he returned to his alma mater as professor of pathology.

Dr. Smith perhaps had more to do with the establishment of scientific medicine in Texas than any other man in the state.

During the world war, Dr. Smith was a major in the medical corps of the army, and was at the head of the pathological laboratory for the district embracing all of Arkansas.

Dr. Smith's second wife, who survives him, is the daughter of the late John [Jonathan] E. Pierce of Blessing Matagorda County.--Galveston News.

Mr. Abel Pierce, Mrs. Smith's brother, received the news of Dr. Smith's death yesterday morning and left Blessing on the yesterday afternoon train for Philadelphia.

Matagorda County Tribune, August 27, 1926

Dr. Smith was first married to Harriet Willing Brooks (September 22, 1862 - October 27, 1896) and they had one son, Gibson Smith (July 26, 1889 - January 31, 1970).

He married Pearl Lacy Pierce c 1899. They were living on South 39th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1910. In 1920, they were living in Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania on Belrose Lane.



Live Oak Farm - Blessing, Texas

Home of Pearl Pierce Smith & Grace Pierce and William Walter Heffelfinger


Pearl Pierce Smith

Grace Pierce Heffelfinger

William Walter "Pudge" Heffelfinger





Woman Farms "To Show Brothers It Will Pay"

Matagorda Area Land "Too Poor to Grow Peas" Made to Pay by Woman

By H. C. Edge, Post Farm Editor

Bay City, Aug. 15--Land she was told is too poor to sprout black-eyed peas, and on a farm once given up as hopeless is being made to produce lucrative crops and feed fine live stock by a woman who wants "to show two brothers that farming can be made to pay."

On the west bank of Trespalacios creek, in Matagorda county, near here, is 200 acres operated by Mrs. Allen J. Smith since the death of her nephew in February of last year, and it has been transformed in that short length of time to one of the most attractive rural plantations in this section of the state.

This farm was inherited by her brother from his father, the late J. E. Pierce, and Mrs. Smith bought it from her brother when he gave it up as a bad deal.

What is now "Live Oak Farm" was partly cleared about 25 years ago by her father, who planted an orchard of pecan trees and the income from the pecans and a herd of dairy cows was about all that had come from this farm until Mrs. Smith started out 17 months ago to demonstrate to Abel and John Pierce, her brothers, "who had to be shown," that farming requires business methods as well as hard work.

One of her first moves was to utilize bad weather days when land could not be worked to put property in repair and cut wood from the trees that had been damaged by storms or that were dying from a disease that attacked the pin oaks.

The value of the wood apparently had been overlooked by her brother, Mrs. Smith declares, so she managed to keep seven men off the relief rolls all last winter, save large quantities of wood that soon would have been worthless and give land additional clearage to improve pasture conditions.

"I sold 147 cords of wood and gave away 11 cords, besides storing enough for the needs of the farm," Mrs. Smith said.

As much of the farm is wooded land, Mrs. Smith began a system of improving pasture conditions by clearing out all stumps, thinning out the trees to leave sufficient growth for future use and yet permit increased production of grasses. About five acres of this thinned wooded land was disked and planted to Italian rye grass. Five additional acres of woods was cleared to add to the cultivated area of the farm, all fences have been built up and the posts along the highways give a coat of gas-resisting white paint.

The first of last December Mrs. Smith purchased 30 calves and fed them for the market at a profit, in spite of her inexperience in feeding of live stock, wet weather and muddy feeding pens. Besides the profit from marketing the calves she claims an additional profit from the use of manure in the fields in increased production of crops.

All of the proceeds from the sale of these calves is being invested in the purchase of registered Hereford cattle with which she expects to stock her farm as quickly as the income will permit. Twelve registered heifers and a bull have been engaged for fall delivery.

One brood sow purchased last year already has produced 19 pigs in two litters. Of the first litter of seven, Mrs. Smith saved one female, but gave away all the rest except those butchered for the winter meat supply. The last litter of 12 is being fattened for market this winter.

[The next portion of the article was partially torn off and missing portions are indicated with ....]

...when Mrs. Smith first took possession of this farm she razed two...cabins to build a farm house...improvements, interior and,,,been made since then...of the leading the Centennial [Farm Home Improve]ment contest in [large portion missing]

...why she is succeeding in making it a paying proposition.She lists some of the accomplishments as follows:

Plowing, planting and cultivating all fields.
Planting and keeping the garden in a rotation of vegetables.
Cutting, baling and housing 25 tons of prairie hay.
Cultivating the pecan orchard, grafting 12 trees, gathering 1000 pound of pecans and selling 225 pounds.
Cutting and selling 147 cords of wood and a supply for the farm and needy neighbors.
Clearing about half the farm underbrush, grubbing stumps and improving the wooded pasture area.
Repairing and painting fences.
Mowing grass to improve pasture.
Feeding 30 calves for market.
Raking all leaves in home enclosure and using them to stop erosion in drainage ditch.
Moving and remodeling chicken houses.
Planting 136 shrubs and trees.
Remodeling kitchen and dining room of house.
Building servant house and smokehouse.
Shelling road from highway to the home.

Mrs. Smith says that the garden has produced all the vegetables needed on the farm, as well as for a brother's family and she has canned much for use in winter.

"All of which is just part of the business of farming in a businesslike way," Mrs. Smith avers.

Houston Post, August 16, 1936



At left: Gathering at Live Oak Farm

Above: December 24, 2004 snow at Live Oak Farm