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The Alabama AlGenWeb Archives

Articles from 1976 Journal-Register Newspaper

Pearce water mill

The Journal-Record - Bicentennial Edition
Thursday, July 1, 1976
Section C, Page 4

THE JIM PEARCE FAMILY OPERATED THE FIRST WATER MILL LOCATED IN MARION COUNTY

Jim PEARCE was the son of John M. W. PEARCE who settled first in Georgia,
his ancestors coming from the French colonies of the Carolinas, then came
on to settle at the area today known as Pearce's Mills in 1846. He was a
farmer and also operated the first water mill in that section and the first
in the county of Marion, and left behind him a valorous military record as
a Veteran of the Mexican War and won the title of Captain through gallantry
in the Confederate army in the War between the States.

Captain Jim PEARCE was born in Georgia in 1843 and came to Pearce's Mills
with his father at the age of three. As he grew older, he brought much
activity to the place which bore his father's name, including merchandising
and other industry such as grist, flour and saw mills and was an extensive
farmer. He served many years as Postmaster of Pearce's Mill and owned
thirty thousand acres of land in that area and Marion County at the time of
his death in 1915. He was one of the earliest Masons of Marion County. He
was married to Delia Elizabeth CLARK who was born in what is known today as
Hamilton, in 1846, and they had three children, Clovis, who died at the age
of ten, Augustus, who was a merchant of Carbon Hill until his death at the
age of forty; and Marvin, who died later in Winfield, Alabama. The PEARCES
are said to have owned the first slaves in this section back in the
plantation days and up to the time that slaves were freed.

Marvin PEARCE was born at Pearce's Mills in 1879, had his early schooling
in Marion County and attended both the University of Alabama and Alabama
Polytechnic Institute, starring in football in both schools, his team
winning the hotly contested S.I.A.A. in 1897 in football. After his
college, he was associated with his father in the many businesses until his
father's death in 1915.

Marvin was married to Minnie LILLICH, daughter of Lewis and Fannie GIBSON
ROBINSON LILLICH of Carbon Hill, and they lived for a time at the PEARCE
farms in the hamlet of Texas, between Winfield and Carbon Hill, and later
moved to Winfield. Mr. PEARCE was vice-president of the Marion County
Banking Company, continued farming interests, and established a umber of
businesses in Winfield, including the ice company and the famed P. P.
Chevrolet Company. He served on the Winfield City Council, and was a member
of the State Highway Commission of Alabama for three years. He was also
active in civic clubs of Winfield.

Mr. Marvin had the first car in the county of Marion, a Cadillac in 1910,
and citizens all over Marion County have unanimously agreed his was the
first.

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin PEARCE had two sons, Jim and Clark who also won great
fame in the athletic fields, having been stars in their college years at
Alabama and A. P. I.

Mrs. Marvin PEARCE continued to live in Winfield, since her husband's death
and continued his business interests with the help of her sons who made
frequent visits from their homes in Birmingham and Mississippi. Mrs. PEARCE
had been active in many clubs also and continued active in the Booklovers
Club, however she modestly said that "We were not among the early pioneers
of Winfield as we came here much later, but the PEARCES are pioneers of
Marion County."

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