Sharyls Cabin presents:

Pearson family
Delaware to Iowa
page 2 - Generation II


9. Richard Pearson SR
(John 1)
He  was born in New Castle Co., Delaware on March 17, 1800.  The genealogy Delaware Pearsons by George Burton Pearson states "Richard Pearson .... grew up at the homestead in Delaware." 

His daughter-in-law, Julia Hunt Pearson wrote in 1939:  "You wished me to write what your father had told me of his early life and that of his parents, so while I can see I'll begin. Richard Pearson SR lived with his parents in Pennsylvania and I think they were Quakers.  He came to Maryland when a young man and fell in love with the widow of a Methodist minister that his father wanted to marry.  This caused trouble and they [father & son] were estranged, so I know little more of that family, only when your father was a young man he went to visit an Uncle Wm. who had lots of slaves in Virginia."  

I believe that Richard actually grew up in Delaware, but there were close family ties to Pearson's of Pennsylvania and perhaps Maryland.  Bombay Hook Island was geographically near the borders of both states.  I believe that the Delaware Pearson family is in some way connected with the Crispin Pearson family of PA, but have yet to prove this connection.

He married Mary Ann Murch Lyon [
#4 Murch family] in DE, February 1823.  Mary Ann was born in Delaware May 1, 1796. She  was the daughter of Mathew Murch and Martha Cameron and was the widow of Richard Lyon, a Methodist preacher.  She had 3 children with Rev. Lyon; Edmund, Susan and Samuel.  Samuel died as an infant.

Julia Pearson continues: "He married Mary Ann Murch.   She had 2 children when she married him.  They lived on an island in Chesapeake Bay called Bombakook*, which was close to Maryland.  Their son George was born there.  A few years after they went North to Cleveland, OH and were conducting a Hotel in that city.  He must have been quite well-to-do, and quite a business man, as about that time he took a large contract to build a cordoroy road from Cleveland to Chicago.  It was along lake shore and over swampy wet land.  He agreed to finish on a certain date.  He then hired a set of foreigners who knew how, and was well started when the Cholera broke out in camp and nearly all his men died.  He could not finish as he could not get another crew.  He had to put all he had into the venture so now was with out funds or home.  He now had a family of five children, in their teens, and son George was 10.  This was in 1833. He collected a small sum of money and took his family to a small town which is still located on the Mississippi River in ILL.  He rented a house. In abt 1834 they removed across the Mississippi River into IA and settled in Guttenberg"  [*Bombay Hook island is in Delaware Bay]

Richard and Mary Ann also lived in Pennsylvania for a time. Their sons William H. & Richard M. were both born in Pennsylvania. Richard Pearson is enumerated in Lewistown, Brown twp. Mifflin County, Pennsylvania on the 1830 census. The biography of son William in the Olmsted co. History, 1882 tells more of the family travels: " ... father was a hotelkeeper, and also a civil engineer. He emigrated from Pennsylvania in 1833, locating in Columbus, Ohio, thence to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he took a contract on the Wabash canal, then building. He subsequently removed to Niles, Michigan, thence to Chicago, and from there to Cassville, (Grant co.)Wisconsin. After remaining there three years he went with his family to Clayton county, Iowa, where he engaged in farming."

Richard Pearson SR

They removed to Clayton Co. Iowa in 1837/1838 and Richard became a probate Judge.  The History of Clayton Co. Iowa, 1916:  "Although the country was young, death was not unknown and estate though small had to be dealt with.  Richard Pearson was the probate judge, from 1838 to 1842, when he was succeeded by Eliphalet Price."   The History of Cass Co. Iowa, 1884, in a bio. for his son Richard W.: "His father was a pioneer of Iowa, being among the first to enter land in all the great Hawkeye State, having settled in Clayton county in 1837, in which county he was a judge of the probate court for eight years....."   Richard retired his position before Iowa gained state-hood, but over the years that he served as probate judge he traveled  a large territory  extending into the southern part of Minnesota.

Great-grand-daughter Mary E. Pearson wrote of Richard SR, c1942: "The family first settled on a Government grant near Guttenberg, IA before Iowa was a state and before the boundaries of Clayton Co. had been laid out.  The family later moved to Hardin, IA"

A deed gives the description of property on the Turkey River in Millville, Clayton Co. Iowa being sold in 1856 by Richard Pearson and Mary Ann Pearson.  By 1866 they were living in either Clayton Co.IA  or neighboring Allamakee Co. IA in the village of Hardin, which was built in both counties.

Richard & Mary Ann appear in the census records throughout the years.  In 1840, 1850 & 1860 they are in Clayton Co.  Jefferson Township.  After Mary Ann's death, Richard removed to  Cass Co., Atlantic twp.  and  is living with his son Richard and family as a border on the 1880 census.   One very interesting thing about the 1880 census entry, is that Richard Sr.'s father's birthplace is listed as England, and mother's N.Y.  This is in direct conflict with all my other information and is a point that needs to be looked at.

Mary Ann Murch Lyon Pearson died February 26, 1880, at 85 years of age.

Richard Pearson SR died December 23,1882 in Atlantic, Cass  Co. IA, at 82 years of age.  He left a will naming his son Richard M. as sole executor.  He bequeathed a team to his son William H. and the remainder of his estate to be equally divided between his other sons Richard M. & George W.   His obituary in the Atlantic Telegraph was captioned with the words "Death of a Patriarch". They are  buried in the Grand Meadow cemetery, Clayton Co. IA. 

Tombstone of Richard Pearson SR
& Mary Ann Murch Lyon Pearson

Richard Pearson SR and Mary Ann Murch had 4 children:

10. George W. Pearson +
11. Jane Pearson +
12. William H. Pearson +
13. Richard M. Pearson +

Next page - gen III


This page was updated on 10/5/2003