New York, USA
|Death: ||Oct. 16, 1938|
Benís cremated remains were never taken after his death and are still available at the Oregon State Hospital to be claimed by anyone who is related. More information about unclaimed cremains at OSH is available at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/amh/osh/pages/cremains.aspx A book by David Maisel and a short documentary film by Ondi Timoner & Robert James, both entitled "Library of Dust" also provide more information.
Ben was born in New York about 1852. Later in his life he went by Benjamin, but as a child he was called Benajah. His mother, Catherine, was born in New Jersey about 1816. His father, Silvanus Pierce, was born in New York about 1810 and was a veteran of the US Civil War. Benís siblings (all born in New York) included: Lucy (born about 1848), Albert (about 1850), and Franklin (about 1855),
During the New York census of 1855 Ben was 3 years old and living with his parents and siblings in Corning, Steuben County, New York. His father was a teamster. At the time of the census of 1860 Ben was 8 years old and living with his parents and siblings in Howell, Livingston County, Michigan where his father was a farmer. In the late 1870s Ben married Ida Mae Niles who was born in Michigan in January 1859. They had at least two children (both born in Michigan): Edward D. (born in 1876) and Adora (in 1880).
In the census of 1880 Ben was listed in Howell, Michigan with Ida and children Edward and Adora. Next door to them were Benís parents Silvanus and Catherine Pierce and Benís brother Franklin. Ben and Ida divorced and about 1896 she married William Harrison Ashley, a farmer. In 1900 Ida and William lived in Arlington, VanBuren County, Michigan. In 1908 son Edward married Bertha Trowbridge in Michigan. They had at least two children: Horace J. (born about 1910) and Russell A. (about 1907).
At the time of the 1900 census Ben was single, living in Portland, Oregon in a large boarding house. He was working in a sawmill. In the census of 1920 Ben was listed as ďmarriedĒ but he was not living with a wife. He was a roomer in The Dalles, Wasco, Oregon where he was a janitor.
By 12/19/1930 Ben had been admitted to the Oregon State Hospital, a residential facility in Salem, Oregon for the treatment of people with mental illness. He was reportedly senile. After being a patient at the institution for almost 8 years he died there on 10/16/1938. The cause of death was arteriosclerosis.
He was listed as a widow. His ex-wife Ida had died in Michigan on 9/25/1936. Son Edward died in 1956. Grandson Horace died in June 1969. Grandson Russell died 5/24/1976. It appears they had no children.
Silvanus Pierce (1810 - 1892)
Catharine Pierce (1816 - 1897)
Edward Pierce (1874 - 1956)*
Oregon State Hospital
Maintained by: Phyllis (Porter) Zegers
Originally Created by: Reggie Sutton
Record added: Mar 27, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87452879