1883 History of Butler County Pennsylvania
With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers
Waterman, Watkins, & Co., Chicago, 1883
Chapter 18.Butler Township
“It is probable that JOHN PIERCE and his wife, JANE (VENATE), came here in 1796. They emigrated originally from New Jersey, but came to Butler County from Turtle Creek. The place of their location was upon the farm near the center of the township, where a grandson, SAMUEL PIERCE, now resides. After building a cabin here, MR. PIERCE went back to the old home to procure necessary supplies; and his wife was left in the scarcely broken wilderness until his return. MR. PIERCE had been a soldier in the Revolutionary war and was a sturdy, resolute character, well adapted to the self imposed hardships of pioneer life. He lived to a good old age, enjoying the fruits of the industry of his earlier years. His death occurred in 1846. He was twice married. His children were THOMAS, DAVID, HANNAH, MARGARET and ELSIE, by his first wife, and SILAS, JOHN and JOSEPH by his second. THOMAS PIERCE moved to the farm where JAMES McCONNELL now lives, and afterward to one upon the east side of the Connoquesnessing. DAVID bought of STEPHEN LOWRIE a farm adjoining his father's. His eldest son, JOHN PIERCE, resided near Butler Borough; DAVID AND ELVIRA (MILHEISEN) are also residents of the township, and JANE (BARICKMAN) lives at Mt. Chestnut. JOHN PIERCE, son of the original settler of the same name, is a resident of the county. SILAS, the oldest of the second family of children, remained all his life upon the homestead farm where his father [p.180] settled. SAMUEL and HORACE, who at present live upon the farm, are his sons.
JAMES McKEE made his settlement upon what was known as the ROSS tract, in the northwest part of the township, in 1797, procuring 100 acres by his compliance with the settlement law, and afterward buying 100 more. He lived here until his death, in 1832, having as his companions during the first few years his rifle and Bible. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and was Sheriff of the county. He came to this county from the Ligonier Valley, in Westmoreland County, but was originally from the vicinity of Wagner's Gap, in the Sherman Valley. THOMAS McKEE, father of JAMES, came here a year or two later than his son and took up land adjoining his, in the WEAVER tract. His house, however, was on the ROSS tract, on land now owned by William STOOPS.
THOMAS McKEE was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His death occurred in 1812 or 1813. JAMES McKEE raised a family of seven children, of whom three are still living. His eldest son JOHN, now deceased, was once Sheriff.. ROBERT resided near the place of his father's settlement, and MARY ANN, in Butler Borough.”