Bio Sketch: Elizabeth H. (Forrer) Peirce (1827-1874), wife of J. H. Peirce

Elizabeth Hannah Forrer, sometimes called “Lib,” was born February 28, 1827, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Samuel Forrer (1793-1874) and Sarah Howard (1807-1887).[1] The only child of Samuel and Sarah known to have two given names, Elizabeth Hannah Forrer seems to have been named after her two grandmothers, Elizabeth (Neidig) Forrer and Hannah (Hastings) Howard.[2]

On June 9, 1846, in Dayton, Elizabeth Hannah Forrer married Jeremiah Hunt Peirce (1818-1889), son of Joseph Peirce and Henrietta Eliza Elliot.[3]

For several years, the J. H. Peirce family resided on Ludlow Street between First and Water (Monument). In the mid-1850s, the family moved to their new home in Harrison Township, Five Oaks. [For more on Five Oaks, see this 12/11/2011 blog post.] Elizabeth lived there until her death.[4]

Jeremiah and Elizabeth had eight children, all of whom were born in Dayton, Ohio:

  1. Samuel Forrer Peirce was born Apr. 24, 1847, and died Jan. 27, 1855.[5]
  2. Henrietta Elliot Peirce was born Nov. 21, 1848, and died Apr. 21, 1919; she married H. Eugene Parrott.[6]
  3. Edward Davies Peirce was born Sept. 19, 1850, and died June 14, 1868.[7]
  4. Sarah Howard Peirce was born Apr. 28, 1853, and died Apr. 9, 1930.[8]
  5. Mary Forrer Peirce, usually called “Mellie,” was born Jan. 1, 1855, and died July 23, 1892.[9]
  6. Elizabeth Forrer Peirce, often called “Bess,” was born Sept. 5, 1857, and died Nov. 19, 1930.[10]
  7. John Elliot Peirce, usually called “Elliot,” was born Apr. 17, 1861, and died June 6, 1940.[11]
  8. Howard Forrer Peirce was born May 4, 1865, and died Apr. 19, 1899.[12]
Elizabeth H. (Forrer) Peirce (maybe)

The woman crouching behind Howard Forrer Peirce in this undated (ca. 1868-1870) photo is believed to be his mother Elizabeth H. (Forrer) Peirce. (Dayton Metro Library, Local History Collection, Oversize Photo # 1924)

Elizabeth was “intellectual and highly cultivated,” with great “strength of character.”[13] She, like her husband, was a member of the Montgomery County Horticultural Society, and she was “more successful than most in the cultivation of flowers.” She kept the parlor at Five Oaks decorated with plants and flowers, even in winter.[14]

On the evening of January 14, 1874, the family attended a concert, and upon returning from it, Elizabeth was quite cheerful and appeared to be in good health. The following morning, she awoke with “intense and agonizing” head pain, like “the brain on fire.” She spent much of the day on January 15 in torturous anguish, until she eventually lost consciousness. Shortly after 1 a.m. on January 16, 1874, Elizabeth died at home at Five Oaks in Dayton, Ohio; she was 46 years old.[15] She was buried on January 19, 1874, in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.[16]

Peirce family plot in Woodland Cemetery, Section 77

Peirce family plot in Woodland Cemetery, Section 77 (Photo by the author, 29 Oct. 2011)

*****

This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in April 2012 for the Forrer-Peirce-Wood Collection (MS-018) finding aid at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, Ohio, 45402; phone (937) 496-8654.

Additional information about the sketch’s subject can be found in that collection. For more information about the manuscript collection’s contents, please see the original PDF finding aid available in the Local History Room of the Dayton Metro Library, the OhioLINK EAD Repository entry, or the WorldCat record.

Please contact the Dayton Metro Library or this blog’s author for more information about how to access the original finding aid or the manuscript collection.


[1] Forrer Genealogical Data, Forrer-Peirce-Wood Collection (hereafter cited as FPW), 7:12, Dayton Metro Library (Dayton, Ohio); Hannah Howard to Horton Howard, 25 Feb. 1827 and 4 Mar. 1827, FPW, 34:21; Frank Bruen, Christian Forrer, the Clockmaker, and his Descendants (Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 1939), 106; Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum Interment Database, accessed 20 Dec. 2011, http://www.woodlandcemetery.org. See also FPW, Series I: Samuel Forrer Family.

Although Frank Bruen states that Elizabeth was born in Dayton, Ohio, other evidence suggests that Elizabeth was born in Cincinnati. The Woodland Interment Database indicates Elizabeth’s place of birth as Cincinnati. An even more reliable source in the form of a letter from Sarah’s mother to her father indicates Cincinnati as the birthplace as well: Hannah Howard wrote in a letter commenced at Cincinnati on 25 Feb. 1827 and continued on 4 Mar. 1827, describing that Sarah was “taken poorly” and a few days later was delivered of “a fine daughter” (FPW 34:21).

[2] Forrer Genealogical Data, FPW, 7:12.

[3] Forrer Genealogical Data, FPW, 7:12; Bruen, Christian Forrer, 105-106; John F. Edgar, Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity, 1796-1840 (Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House, 1896), 116. See also FPW, Series II, Subseries 1: Jeremiah Hunt Peirce; FPW, Series III, Subseries 3: Joseph Peirce Family; and FPW, Series III, Subseries 4: Elliot Family.

[4] Dayton City Directories; Lisa P. Rickey, “Five Oaks,” Glancing Backwards (blog), 22 Dec. 2011, https://lisarickey.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/five-oaks/.

[5] Bruen, Christian Forrer, 106; Edgar, Pioneer Life in Dayton, 116.

[6] Bruen, Christian Forrer, 106-122; Edgar, Pioneer Life in Dayton, 116. See also FPW, Series II, Subseries 10: Henrietta Elliot (Peirce) Parrott & Family.

[7] Bruen, Christian Forrer, 122. See also FPW, Series II, Subseries 4: Edward Davies Peirce.

[8] Bruen, Christian Forrer, 122-123. See also FPW, Series II, Subseries 5: Sarah Howard Peirce.

[9] Bruen, Christian Forrer, 123. See also FPW, Series II, Subseries 6: Mary “Mellie” Forrer Peirce.

[10] Bruen, Christian Forrer, 123-124. See also FPW, Series II, Subseries 7: Elizabeth “Bess” Forrer Peirce.

[11] Bruen, Christian Forrer, 124-126; Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum Interment Database, accessed 20 Dec. 2011, http://www.woodlandcemetery.org. See also FPW, Series II, Subseries 9: John Elliot Peirce, Sr., & Family.

[12] Bruen, Christian Forrer, 126-129. See also FPW, Series II, Subseries 8: Howard Forrer Peirce.

[13] “Mrs. Elizabeth [H.] Peirce,” undated, Dayton Daily Journal, in Elizabeth H. (Forrer) Peirce: Obituaries, FPW, 11:3.

[14] “Proceedings of the Montgomery County Horticultural Society, Saturday, February 7th, 1874,” undated, Dayton Daily Journal, in Elizabeth H. (Forrer) Peirce: Obituaries, FPW, 11:3.

[15] J. H. Peirce to Dr. Thomas, 20 Jan. 1874, FPW, 8:12; “Death of Mrs. J. H. Peirce,” Dayton Daily Journal, undated, in Elizabeth H. (Forrer) Peirce: Obituaries, FPW, 11:3.

[16] Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum Interment Database, accessed 20 Dec. 2011, http://www.woodlandcemetery.org. Elizabeth is buried in Section 77, Lot 24.

12 responses to “Bio Sketch: Elizabeth H. (Forrer) Peirce (1827-1874), wife of J. H. Peirce

  1. Pingback: Bio Sketch: H. Eugene Parrott (1839-1933) & Henrietta (Peirce) Parrott (1848-1919) (& family), early residents of Oakwood, Ohio | Glancing Backwards

  2. Pingback: Bio Sketch: John Elliot Peirce, Sr. (1861-1940), Dayton businessman | Glancing Backwards

  3. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Elizabeth Forrer Peirce (1857-1930), nurse in Dayton, Ohio | Glancing Backwards

  4. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Mary Forrer ‘Mellie’ Peirce (1855-1892), music-lover and middle child | Glancing Backwards

  5. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Sarah Howard Peirce (1853-1930), founded first kindergaten in Dayton, Ohio | Glancing Backwards

  6. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Jeremiah H. Peirce (1818-1889), Dayton lumber dealer and founder of Five Oaks | Glancing Backwards

  7. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Samuel Forrer (1793-1874), Miami-Erie Canal engineer | Glancing Backwards

  8. Pingback: A few snippets of Harvey D. Little’s poetry | Glancing Backwards

  9. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Joseph Peirce (1786-1821), pioneer, merchant, & banker in Dayton, Ohio | Glancing Backwards

  10. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Sarah H. (Howard) Forrer (1807-1887), wife of Samuel Forrer | Glancing Backwards

  11. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Mary (Forrer) Peirce (1838-1929), artist in Dayton, Ohio | Glancing Backwards

  12. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Howard Forrer Peirce (1865-1899), prominent musician in Dayton, Ohio | Glancing Backwards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s