Jarvis Pierce Jr., 1800-1880
Probate File, Harrisburg, Saline County, Illinois

Disbursement of estate to Jarvis Pierce's heirs

The esate was legally finalized in 1887
Jarvis died intestate on 4 July 1880 in Harrisburg, Saline County, Illinois. James Shaver was appointed administrator of the estate. Jarvis had three wives and descendants from all three plus his widow, Unity.

Two of his children were still alive: Mary E. Pierce, wife of Zephaniah Phillips, was his daughter with his second wife, Elewisa Hubbard; Dora (Madora) Pierce, wife of Fred Burgner, was his daughter with his third wife, Unity Dewall.

All of his children from his first wife, Permelia Wilkerson, had died, but their children or grandchildren were alive.

Eliza Pierce, born about 1822, had married John Allen and they had at least seven children: Josephine Allen had married James J. Tate. They both died before Jarvis but their two children were heirs: Emma Tate and John O. Tate. Thomas J. Allen, still alive, and married to Caroline Sarah P. Allen, still alive and married to Robert P. Orr. Drusilla C. Allen, assumed still alive, and married to Homer Thomas. George E. Allen, still alive and married to Hattie. Charles H. Allen, still alive and married to Lotta. Emma Mabel Allen, still alive and married to Thomas Gowenlock.

James Pierce, who died before his father, had a daughter, Eliza C. Pierce, who had also died but who had married Pleasant Newton Pope and had four children: William Edgar Pope, Ernest Herbert Pope, Clarence Eugene Pope and Kate Pope.

His youngest child was Permelia Pierce. Permelia had married Amos Shain in 1854 and had died in 1859 while giving birth to their son Robert A. Shain. Robert died a few months after his mother, and Amos died in 1876.

So James Shaver had his hands full. In addition to contacting all the possible heirs, he had debts to pay. Unity was living in the house but eventually moved out. Jarvis owned two lots in Harrisburg and presumably the house was on one of these. In contacting the heirs various residences were confirmed. Mary Pierce Phillips was living in Wheeling, West Virginia. Dora was living in Harrisburg, as were several others. Thomas J. Allen and George E. Allen were living in Missouri. Mr. Shaver had confused Drusilla with her sister Emma, listing her as Drusilla Gowenlock when she was married to Homer Thomas. Emma was married to Thomas Gowenlock and was living in Colorado Springs when she finally received her share of the estate. Drusilla and her husband had both died in 1874. The two Tate children were listed as great great grandchildren even though they were just great grandchildren. Unity received money from the estate separately.

So the settlement of the estate took several years and worked out so that all of Jarvisís children received about $173.37 with the grandchildren and great grandchildren receiving a portion of the inheritance depending on how many heirs each of Jarvisís children had.

In all of the paperwork there is no mention of where Jarvis was buried, not even a bill from an undertaker or cemetery, and his place of burial has not been found.

Related Links:
Jarvis Pierce Jr., biographical sketch
Children of Jarvis Pierce Jr.
Jarvis Pierce Jr., 4-generation descent report

NOTE: Not everything is digitized, online or even microfilmed. To access the probate papers my daughter and I traveled to Harrisburg and spent a full morning at the courthouse. Inside the probate file was the file for Jarvis and Elewisaís divorce Ė an extra bonus, as we had just learned the day before that Elewisa had not died, as I thought, but Jarvis had divorced her.

The Probate file for Jarvis Pierce was in Box 19 #1 at the Saline County Courthouse and most of the information above was found in these papers, including the date of Jarvisís death per a statement from Unity.
Information for Jarvisís wives, children, and other descendants can be found in the 4-generation Descent Report for Jarvis Pierce.

Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created 2002
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