Isaac Riley Pierce Sr.
Isaac Riley Pierce, a veteran Elder of the Church was born July 13, 1844, in Nauvoo, Illinois, the son of Joseph White Pierce and Amanda Mary Heath Pierce. He came to Utah in 1853 with his parents, crossing the plains with an ox team. His mother heard the Prophet deliver his last public address, and also attended his funeral. And she said in her last days that the death of the Prophet caused her more grief than anything else she had experienced in her whole life.
After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1853, the family settled in the 10th Ward in Salt Lake City, 5th South and 9th East. While yet young he hauled timber from the mountains and also learned the trade of mason. In 1866 he went back to the Missouri River in Captain Abner Lowry's train to bring the poor saints to the valley. He also participated in the Blackhawk War of 1867. He took his team and wagon and spent seven months in this campaign, protecting the settlers from the Indians.
February 1, 1868 he married Mary Jane McRae in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. And in 1882 he took Eleanor Thomas to wife. By these wives he became the father of eight children. He suffered many persecutions in living the order of polygamy, being one of a number incarcerated in the state Penitentiary for unlawful cohabitation.
He and his father owned the ranch at the foot of Little Mountain on the old Emigration Trail in Emigration Canyon, where they were engaged in farming and stock raising during the summer. They spent the winters in the city home. After Father pierce retired from hard work, Isaac took over the ranch and lived there during the summer for several years.
After disposing of the ranch, he invested the money received from same in a 12 acre farm in Forest Dale; which is now one of the choice resident districts in Salt Lake City. Beside attending to his farm he spent a great deal of time working at the mason trade, helping to build the Assembly Hall, 10th Ward Church, Bishop Spiers Store, and many residences in the 10th and 1st wards.
In April 1888 he sold his Salt Lake Property, and moved with his family to Salem, Utah, purchasing the Charles Evans farm, and also the Hennings farm in Salem, where he engaged in farming and stock raising.
He was a great lover of nature and sports, which was evidenced by the fact that he planted a plot into an amusement grove on his own property, where he also erected a basketball court, swings, and bars for physical exercise; sponsoring basketball teams for both boys and girls. For several years this was a gathering place for the young lovers of sports.
He was always an ardent supporter of the Indian War Veterans Organization and an active participant in all their sports, sham battles, etc.
He was a faithful Latter Day Saint, having two sons in the mission field at the same time. He always enjoyed good health until being stricken with cancer in August 1911, from which he suffered until December 20, 1911 when death released him from his suffering.