Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Mary, daughter of George W. and Rhoda Jane Enlow Bursey, was born on August 3, 1847, in Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas.

Along with her mother and stepfather, William T. King, she moved to California. The journey started April 7, 1859, and ended in the spring of 1860 with the travelers’ arrival at Warner Hot Springs in California.

Her maternal grandfather, Henry Enlow, died during the journey and was buried on the Texas plains. The leader of the wagon train, her uncle John Meadows, was later killed by Indians in 1882 on his ranch near Payson, Arizona Territory.

Her first marriage that ended in divorce was to Wiley Salyers in 1862 in San Luis Obispo, California.

On July 9, 1865, Mary married William Charles Pierce in Tulare County, California. The couple had ten children, all born in California: Mary Ruth “Molly” Pierce, born January 13, 1867; Clara Anna Pierce, born February 26, 1869; George Bursey Pierce, born May 12, 1871; Henry Edward Pierce, born April 5, 1872; James Thomas Pierce, born March 6, 1875; William Comdore Pierce, born February 6, 1877; Charles Walter Pierce, born September 26, 1878; Stella Margaret Pierce, born June 30, 1880; Abba Jane Pierce, born April 14, 1882; and Emma Maude “Ode” Pierce, born May 20, 1884. Her descendents say that Mary claimed she always felt the best when she was pregnant.

The family moved from Tulare County to Walnut Grove, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, in the mid 1880s. Their eleventh child, Franklin Ludwell Pierce was born in Walnut Grove in February 1886 but died the following year.

Mary died on September 28, 1928, at the Steve Jackson Ranch in Walnut Grove and was buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery. Her daughter, Clara Ann Pierce Carter, and granddaughter, Clay Dean Carter Potter, are also commemorated in the Rose Garden.

Donor: great grandson, P.C. and Pat Potter
May 2006

Additional documentation and photographs may be available in the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.