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 • Buchanan
 • Berrien County
 • Michigan
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William Pears, Sr
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Birth: 1826, England
Death: Apr. 7, 1893
Berrien County
Michigan, USA

The surname is pronounced as "Peers".
The New York Passenger Lists,
1820-1957, states the following:
William came to America on board
a ship named the "Middlesex".
Port of departure: Liverpool, England.
Destination: New York.
Port of Arrival: New York.
Age 23 ["should" say age 29].
Arrival date: May 8, 1855.
Line 27.
Microfilm Serial: M237.
Microfilm Roll: M237_152.
List Number: 297.
William Pears [Sr.] was married
to Emma Whitehead,
on April 7, 1859,
Marriage registration place -
Jefferson County Indiana.
(per: "History Rescue Project,
Marriage Records 1851-1905",
compiled by the John Paul Chapter
D. A. R., and located in the
Jefferson Public Library, in
Madison, Jefferson County Indiana).
(Some marriage records incorrectly lists
William's surname as "Pearl" and "Peary").
Emma was born in Ohio in 1837.
Emma died on May 20 or 21, 1915.
Emma was the daughter of David
Whitehead (per her death certificate).
Note: In the 1870 census of Buchanan,
Berrien County Michigan, it lists a
Lizzie Whitehead, age 23, born in Ohio,
living with William and Emma Pears.
This is Emma's younger sister
Elizabeth ("Lizzie") Whitehead.
Note: There is a David Whitehead,
age 62, born in England, living in
Buchanan, MI in the 1870 census.
(Could this be Emm'a father)?
The 1880 census states that both of
Emma's parents were born in England.
Emma's death certificate lists
David Whitehead as her father.
William became the owner of the
Pears Mill, in Buchanan, Michigan.
"A Twentieth Century History
of Berrien County, Michigan", by
Orville W. Coolidge, 1906, states
the following on page 218:
William Pears, a native of England,
in partnership with Solomon Rough
and George H. Rough,
established a grist mill [in
Buchanan, MI] which did an
extensive business. Subsequently
Mr. Pears acquired the exclusive
ownership of the mill. He was
president of the village [of Buchanan],
and a man of native sagacity and
ability. Charles F. Pears, the present
president of the village [of Buchanan]
and president of the City National
Bank of Niles is a son of William Pears.
Note: The same book, on page 352 (in
an article on William's son Charles),
it states that William Pears was one
of the organizers of the old First
National Bank at Buchanan, and was
it's president for a number of years.
On page 220, it lists William Pears
as the president of the village of
Buchanan, Michigan in 1872 and 1877.
His son Charles F. Pears is listed as
the president of the village in 1905
and 1906.
The Pears flour and grist mill is
located in downtown Buchanan, Micihgan,
South of Front Street, between Oak
Street and Days Avenue.
It has been restored, operated,
and administered by the
Buchanan Presvervation Society,
and is open to the public during
certain hours. It is listed on the
"Register of Michigan State Historic
Sites". See their web site at:
In "The Bankers Almanac And Register"
1881, by Isaac Smith Homans, it
states that William Pears was the
President of the "Farmer's and
Manufacturers Bank", in Buchanan, MI.
Also, in the "Berrien County Directory
and History", by Edward B. Cowles,
1871, page 255, it lists William as a
director of the "First National Bank
of Buchanan".
It also states:
Buchanan Village Directory.
Village Officers,
Trustee - William Pears.
Board of Education,
Trustee, William Pears.
Another history book states that
William was the President of the
Village of Buchanan, MI from 1873
to 1876, and again in 1878, and
that he was a trustee in 1865,
1870, and 1871.
Also, that he was a trustee of the
district school, in 1870 to 1879,
with the expection of one year.
William Pears is listed as one
of the directors of the
"Buchanan Park Association",
(which includes "Floral Hall"),
in Buchanan, Michigan.
The 1860 census lists William
as a "Miller" in Buchanan, MI.
The 1870 census lists William as
a "Floor Mill Owner" in Buchanan, MI.
The 1880 census lists William
as a "Miller", in Buchanan, MI.
Don R. Pears, the grandson of William
Pears, served in the
Michigan Legislature State House of
Representatives, and was also "Speaker
of The House of Representatives".
William Pears paid Liberty U. Dragoo,
of Buchanan, Michigan, to serve as
his "Substitute" in the Civil War.
Liberty served in the "1st Michigan
Light Artillery, Battery E.
(per Liberty U. Dragoo's Civil War
"Military and Pension Records" from the
National Archives, in Washington, D.C.)
(Some records "incorrectly" state that
Liberty was a substitute for William Barr).
See the memorial for Liberty U. Dragoo,
of MI, on this find-a-grave web site.

The three children of William Pears Sr.
and his wife Emma Whitehead are:
1. Ida M. Pears.
b. Feb. 5, 1860, in Buchanan, Michigan.
Ida was an accomplished classical pianist.
m. July 5 [or Feb. 5], 1887, to
Dr. Theodore Frederick Henry Spreng,
in Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan.
He is the son of
Rev. George Frederick "Fritz" Spreng
and his wife Christina Bentz.
(Note: Berrien County Michigan marriage
records have listed: Iola [Ida] Pears,
married T. F. H. Spring [Spreng], on
Feb. 5, 1887, certificate # 23).
Theodore went to Northwestern Collage
in Naperville, ILL (West of Chicago),
and then he received his medical
education in Chicago, Illinois.
Theodore practiced medicine in Buchanan,
Michigan from about Dec. 1883 to 1889.
The "Berrien County Physicians
Register, 1883-1985", lists:
Theodore F. H. Spreng.
Register date- Dec. 5, 1883.
Location of practice-not specified.
School of medicine- Homeopathic.
Page - 66.
Fraternally he was a member of the
Buchanan Masonic Lodge A. F. and A. M.
# 550. They moved to Sioux City,
Woodward County Iowa in 1889.
d. Ida died on July 10, 1933,
in Sioux City, Iowa.
She is listed as a "female, age 73".
Buried: Ida is buried in the
Graceland Park Cemetery,
Sioux City, Woodbury County Iowa
(in the Ridgelawn addition, Lot 48,
Grave # 2).
Note: No headstone could be found.
(Theodore F. H. Spreng died on
March 27, 1938, in Los Angeles, CA.).
Child: (1). Theodore Pears Spreng,
born June 24, 1892, in Sioux City
Iowa. He served in the U.S. Army.
m. Mary Elizabeth Cassidy, on
Oct. 23, 1920, in Galveston,
Galveston County Texas. He was a
hotel proprietor. They had
a son named Theodore Edward Spreng,
who married Vesta Irene Teaque.
d. Theodore Pears Spreng died June 1961,
in San Francisco, California.
Buried: Restland Memorial Park,
in Dallas, Texas.
Ida's husband was a very prominent
Doctor and surgeon.
See a large article on her husband
Dr. Theodore F. H. Spreng, in:
"Biographies and Portraits of the
Progressive Men of Iowa", 1899,
by Ex-Lietenant Governor Benjamin F.
Gue and Benjamin Franklin Shambough,
Vol. 2, page 572 (on "Google").
Also, see her husband in:
"Iowa, It's History And Traditions",
Vol. III, 1804-1926 (on "Google").
2. William ("Willie") Pears Jr.
b. Jan. 22, 1863, in Buchanan, Michigan.
d. April 14, 1865, in Buchanan, MIchigan.
Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan, MI.
3. Charles Frederick Pears.
b. Nov. 5, 1867, in Buchanan, Michigan.
m. Lura Grace Roe, on Jan. 17, 1893,
in Buchanan, Berrien County Michigan
(per Berrien Co. Dibean Marriage Index).
Lura is the daughter of E. J. Roe and
his wife Susan (Witter) Roe.
President of the village of Buchanan, MI.
President of the City National Bank,
of Niles, Berrien County Michigan.
d. March 1, 1950, Buchanan, Michigan.
Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan, MI.
See large article on Charles F. Pears,
in "A Twentieth Century History of
Berrien County, Michigan", by Orville
W. Coolidge, on page 352.
The three children of Charles F. Pears
and his wife Lura (Roe) Pears are:
(1). Richard William ("Dick") Pears Sr.
b. May 5, 1895, in Buchanan, Michigan.
Graduated from Purdue University.
He was an airline pilot.
m. # 1. Marguerite J. Tafel,
on March 20, 1936.
They had 3 children.
m. # 2. Linnie Smith.
d. Dec. 25, 1986, in Fairfax, Virginia.
Buried: "Cremains" in Oak Ridge Cemetery,
near wife Marguerite.
(2). Donald ("Don") Roe Pears.
b. Sept. 18, 1899 in Buchanan, Michigan.
m. Gladys Seidlitz, on Feb. 18, 1931.
d. July 17, 1992, in Niles, Michigan.
Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Don R. Pears became a prominent man.
See his memorial on this web site.
(3). Gale Lura Pears.
b. March 25, 1906.

Also see information on William Pears
in the following:
1."The History of Berrien and Van Buren
Counties, Michigan", by D. W. Ensign
and Co., 1880, pages 178, 180, 181,
182, and 232.
2. "A Twentieth Century History of
Berrien County, Michigan", by Orville
W. Cooledge, 1906, pages 217, 218,
and 352.
Berrien County Michigan death records
show that William Pears died in
Buchanan "township".
Obituaries for William Pears [Sr.] were
published in the following newspapers:
1. Niles Daily Star, in Niles, MI on
April 8,1893, page 3.
2. Niles Daily Sun, Niles, MI on
April 8,1893, page 3.
3. Niles Weekly Mirror, Niles, MI on
April 12, 1893, page 5.
4. Niles Republican II, Niles, MI on
April 13, 1893, page 3.
5. Buchanan Record, Buchanan, MI on
April 13, 1893, page 3.
The obituary for Emma (Whitehead) Pears,
was published in the "Niles Daily Sun",
in Niles, MI on May 22, 1915, page 1.
These obituaries may be obtained from
the Niles District Library, in Niles, MI.
There is a will (probate record),
for a William Pears
on file in Berrien County Michigan,
file # 3289, which may be obtained
from the Berrien County Historical
Association (OR, the Berrien County
Vital Records Department).
Note: Nine members of this
Pears family are all buried
in Section 15, Lot # 2,
near the Soldiers Monument.
They are: William Pears Sr.,
his wife Emma (Whitehead) Pears,
son William "Willie" Pears Jr.,
son Charles Frederick Pears,
Charles's wife Lura (Roe) Pears,
grandson Richard William Pears,
Richard's wife Margurete (Tafel) Pears,
grandson Donald ("Don") Roe Pears,
Don's wife Gladys (Seidlite) Pears.
Family links: 
  Emma Whitehead Pears (1837 - 1915)
  Ida M Pears Spreng (1860 - 1933)*
  William Pears (1863 - 1865)*
  Charles Frederick Pears (1867 - 1950)*
*Calculated relationship
Oak Ridge Cemetery
Berrien County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Section 15, Lot 2.
Created by: Nancy Heib
Record added: Oct 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59662390
William Pears, Sr
Added by: SeaBee Diver
William Pears, Sr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Nancy Heib
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


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