PETER PEARCE Jr. was born on February 1, 1812 in St. Keverne, Cornwall County, England, and emigrated to Canada with his parents, (Peter Pearce Sr. and Jane Bond) in 1835, settling in the following year in the Township of Asphodel, where the Village of Norwood is now situated. He married Almira Edmunds on May 29, 1837, in Norwood. Born on May 20, 1815 in Brownsville, Jefferson County, NY, USA, she was the niece of Joseph A. Keeler, a staunch Loyalist, and the first miller of Asphdel Township. She died on October 9, 1872, in Norwood.
PETER PEARCE JR.
Peter Pearce Jr. & Almira Edmunds had eight children:
Jane Pearce 1838–1924 married James Vandervoort and settled on Orchard Farms at Wellman's Corners, Rawdon Township Cty Hastings
Joseph Burgess Pearce, Retail Merchant 1840–1923 married Lois Ann Dafoe 1841-1932 lived in Ousemore Place, Norwood but died in Marmora See family photos below
Elizabeth Warren PearceAug. 8, 1842 –Aug. 31, 1842
Lucinda (Lucy) Pearce 1846–1935, married Fred Fowler, Machinist for Grand trunk railway. Three children, Edith b. 1876, Jane born 1877 & Herbert b.1881
John Pearce Oct. 12, 1851– Apr. 20, 1852
Harriet Almira Pearce 1856–1922 Influenza
PETER PEARCE Jr. Founder of the Village of Norwood, Trustee of the Norwood church, High School Trustee, Temperance Worker, County Councillor, County Warden, Justice of the Peace and Magistrate, Havelock Postmaster credited with naming Havelock
The following was his eulogy given by Reverend Richard Clarke"
"His decidedly religious life commenced with his conversion to God in the year 1841. From that time to the day of his death, he was a faithful member of the Methodist Church. His Methodism commenced with his birth. For many years before the event, his parents were pious members of the Wesleyan Society in their native place. After their removal to this country, they remained faithful to the end and died at Peterborough in the faith, and hope of the Gospel. The conversion of our departed friend made no change in his creed or church. His views of such matters already formed were but enlarged and confirmed by clearer light and the happy experience of saving grace.
To the end of his life, he was accustomed to speak with delight and gratitude of his early Methodist training, the privilege of attending the Ministry of the able preachers, then laboring near his native place and his acquaintance with many of the distinguished Wesleyans of Cornwall, both Lay and Clerical. The religious impressions made upon his youthful mind by parental influence and the faithful preaching of the Truth, resulted in his Conversion when he had reached mature manhood and shaped his future character and life.
Having entered the inner circle of the Church, his intelligence and activity were soon recognized as suitable qualifications for the duties and responsibilities of official positions. He filled several offices with great efficiency. He was a Trustee of the Norwood Church from the beginning and a member of two other Trustee Boards. For nearly thirty years, he performed the responsible duties of Recording Steward with singular diligence and ability.
His well-known ability, zeal and fidelity were suitably acknowledged by the layman of the Peterborough District in electing him, their Representative to the first General Conference of the Methodist Church of Canada, held at Toronto in September of 1874. By careful reading, close observation and patient study, he acquired a very through knowledge of the doctrines and polity of the Methodist Church. He was intimately acquainted with every event of it's history and every change in it's discipline during the last forty years.
His extensive knowledge he had always at command, to be used in public or private as required. He was always ready to assist in promoting every interest of the Church. To his sagacity and forethought we are indebted for our valuable Church property in Norwood. The extensive improvements recently made in our Church and other buildings enlarged and erected, are to be attributed in a great degree to his wisdom and energy. He was remarkably faithful in attending all the means of grace, social and public. He loved the house and worship of God. He was the minister's faithful friend, agreeable companion, wise counselor and ready assistant.
He was a man of large hearted catholicity. While loyal to his own Church and faithful in maintaining all it's interests, he was always ready to assist others and delighted in their prosperity. For many years, before school house or church edifices were erected in Norwood, his house was open as the place for all denominations and for the hospitable entertainment of their ministers. His dwelling, radiant with the smiles of a noble woman who was fit to be his wife, was the Church for all worshipers and the Hotel for all travelers - free of charge.
He took a deep interest in the Educational Institutions of the country and rejoiced in their prosperity. From the beginning, he was an active member of the Norwood High School Board of Trustees. He was an earnest worker in the cause of Temperance. By the testimony of his consistent practice as a public man and by his able advocacy of strict temperance principles, he did much for it's promotion. What Dr. Talmaga says of his father, in preaching his funeral sermon, may be said of Mr. Pearce, "His lips had not been polluted nor his brain befogged by the fumes of the noxious weed, that has sapped the life of whole generations. He abhorred anything that could intoxicate, being among the first in the country to join in the crusade against alcoholic beverage. The swill of the brewery had not been poured around the roots of his thrifty almond."
He paid particular attention to municipal affairs and filled several public offices in the Township and County with great ability. For many years he was a member of the County Council of Peterborough and several times Warden. Hi knowledge of municipal institutions of the country was extensive and accurate. Indeed, he was acknowledged as an authority in such matters, even by able lawyers, by discharging the difficult and responsible duties of Magistrate with ability, fidelity and impartiality. He was born a lawyer and took the pains necessary to acquire a thorough knowledge of the law, relating to the office he magnified. His tact and success on the bench were remarkable. He was fearless and just, kind and considerate in the performance of Magisterial duty - "Not a terror to good works but to evil."
He was a man of great energy, determination and perseverance. He was endowed with superior talents and diligent in their cultivation. Uprightness, honesty, honor, independence and benevolence were conspicuous traits in his elevated character. He was a fluent and effective speaker, always at home on the platform, able to command the attention of any audience he addressed and seldom failed to carry his point. He was remarkably free from vice of selfishness. His busy life and rare abilities were employed in the welfare of others, more than for the attainment of personal objects. The fruits of his wisdom, energy and self denying labors for the public good, are seen and enjoyed in every part of the country. When he could do anything to promote the interests of religion, he spared no time and feared no difficulties. At a moments warning he was ready to take a long journey, incur expense and submit to inconvenience in the service of the Church. Such service gave him the purest enjoyment and greatly contributed to his happiness. His death was sudden, occasioned by an accident, while employed in repairing a building, part of the roof blown from its place by a gust of wind, fell on him with great violence and produced the fatal result. He lingered in a state of unconsciousness about three hours after the sad occurrence and the expired. The news of his untimely death cast a heavy gloom over the whole community. The event was properly regarded as a public calamity. Everyone seemed to mourn the loss of a personal friend. Sorrow was seen in every countenance and for weeks, many could think of nothing else. He was honored in his death, if possible, than in his life.
His funeral procession was the largest ever witnessed in this part of the country. It was attended by many public men, who well knew his worth - from different parts of the County and from beyond its limits. Rich and poor, persons of all creeds and classes, united in paying the last mournful tributes of respect to the man, who had long been the friend to all.
Complimentary resolutions were cordially passed by the Quarterly Official Meeting, District Meeting, County Council, Orange Lodge and other bodies to which he belonged, expressing in most appropriate terms, their high appreciation of his worth and testifying to the noble qualities of head and heart by which he was distinguished.
His loss is painfully felt in the Church and throughout the whole community. By his numerous friends, he can never by forgotten. No higher esteemed man ever lived and died in the County of Peterborough, more highly respected in life and more deeply lamented in death, than the manly, honorable, noble, gifted, pious and useful Peter Pearce."
Peterboro Examiner - May 20, 1875)
While assisting in raising the end of a stable from which the posts had fallen, when the frost left the ground, a sudden gust of wind caught the roof and carried it away and Mr. Pearce was struck by a corner of it and killed. Mr. Pearce was one of the oldest settlers of the Township of Asphodel and among the first to make the village of Norwood his home, a period of about 40 years. During that time he was a member of the County Council, except for 2 or 3 years from its first organization, representing Asphodel first and then Belmont Township. His remains were interred on Friday last, the Rev. Mr. Clark, W.M., officiating. The Orangemen of the district joined in the funeral ceremony. It was said to be the largest funeral ever hitherto seen in Norwood.
Dr. Samuel Payne Ford for the Peterborough Review from the Marryat Papers at Trent University Archives)
ALMIRA EDMUNDS PEARCE
"She immediately commenced that long reign of whole-souled, warm-hearted, generous hospitality which has made her name as a household word throughout all this section of the county. In the early days of our township history, when places of entertainment were few and far between, her house was often a resting place for the weary and benighted traveler and no one, however poor or unprepossessing, was sent cold or hungry away from her door. Especially to the Ministers of the Gospel of all denominations was her hospitality shown. Many of the pioneer preachers have gone to their reward, but a few still linger on and cherish the fondest remembrance of the welcome smile and the warm grasp of the hand that always met them as they crossed her threshold after their weary journey through the backwoods. She was not often seen abroad, and then almost always on some errand of love or mercy. She was always ready to enter and as reluctant to leave the abode of misery. It was frequently her office, and lovingly was it performed, to stay the fainting head, wipe from the dim eye the tear of anguish and from the cold forehead the dew of death. Thus died, and was buried, another of that little band of brave men and women who, amid great hardships and difficulties, succeeded in laying the foundation of our now prosperous settlements. It is only fitting that we should revere their memory."
Peter Pearce was appointed Postmaster of the new village of Havelock, which he named after Sir Henry Havelock, K.C.B., noted British military leader.
His wife Almira died in Havelock from acute
rheumatism. For several years she had been cared for by her daughter Jane. Mrs. Pearce was buried in Norwood Cemetery.
While living in Belmont, Mr. Pearce was a member of the Trustee Board of three neighbouring Methodist churches, one being Marmora, and secretary of all three. At the time of his death, he was President of the Bible Society of Norwood, Director of the Mechanics Institute, a director of both Township and County Agricultural Societies.
Children of Joseph Burgess Pearce and Lois Ann Dafoe
Joseph Burgess Pearce like his father, Peter Pearce Jr. andhis brothers, Thomas Peter and Josiah Williams Pearce also devoted his time and energy to the improvement of community. He was -
* President of Pearce Company Limited for 25 years
* Reeve of Norwood for 25 years
* Justice of the Peace from 1874 - 1923
* Postmaster at Norwood for 36 years
* School Trustee for years
* Director of East Peterborough Agricultural Society * President of Liberal-Conservative Association for years
Emma Jane Pearce 1863–1929, married W. Campbell & moved to Georgetown
Russell Sperry Pearce, Private Born 1881He died on December 27, 1915 in Belgium (At Advanced Dressing Station #4, Canadian Field Ambulance) Grave location: Kemmel Chateua Military Cemetery, Heuvelland, West Flanders, Belgium; Plot l, Row K Grave 74
(Joseph) Fred Pearce, Retail Merchant's clerk 1865–1952 married Edythe Hall, milliner
Mary Edith Pearce Aug. 29, 1870 Nov. 29, 1871
Charles P Pearce, Clerk 1876–Jan 23, 1947. Lived in B.C.
Nellie Pearce, 1879–
Russell Sperry Pearce is remembered on the Norwood Cenotaph and also on a tombstone in the Pearce Family Plot in the Norwood Cemetery. Served in the Boer War and the Great War
Thomas Harry Pearce 1868–1895 Medical student at Trinity College, Toronto. Died of Typhoid Fever and Intestinal Hemorrhage. MarriedtoMargaret Ann 'Madge' RENWICK who predeceased him.
Helen Pearce 1878-1935
Died in car accident - click here to read more
Blanche Evelyn Pearce, music teacher 1874–1929, Click here for obituary