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142 West 2nd Street


Nancy Romrell (1838 - 1909) and George Pierce (1829-1898).
Nancy Romrell (1838 - 1909) and George Pierce (1829-1898).

George Pierce 1868 board house at 142 W 2nd Street; drawing Gordon Q. Jones.
George Pierce 1868 board house at 142 W 2nd Street; drawing Gordon Q. Jones.

In 1868 George Pierce was almost 40 years old when he built this board house at 142 W 2nd Street for his family on the farm of his father-in-law, Francis Romrell.


Francis Romrell had taken up this farm in 1858 and since that time his wife had died; he was now 69 years old and needed assistance, so George his wife Jane Romrell joined him in farming on 2nd Street. George bought more land to enlarge their production. They were all immigrants; George was from England and the Romrells from the Isle of Jersey. The Romrells spoke both French and English. [1]


Their new board house was located next to the log cabin of Frances in the abandoned Bingham Fort close to the north branch of the ditch. The soil was excellent and water available. Both George and Jane had green thumbs- her flowers were beautiful and his apples, corn, pumpkins and sugar cane were outstanding. George converted the sugar cane into molasses. Their barn was huge and their home became a busy center for farming.


George understood the value of herbs; he made and sold medicinal salves for bruises and sores. He first met Jane Romrell in 1863 when he came to the Romrell home to doctor their horses who had cut their legs on barbwire. [2]


By 1877 George and Jane had about 7 living children, and George built a new brick house with six rooms located 100 feet east of their board house. By the 1880s the family lived next door at 140 W 2nd ST.


After George died in 1898, two of his sons, Fred and Porter, continued to run the farm and built new houses for themselves on 2nd Street.


In about 1900-1920 an unknown family member (probably Porter Pierce) enlarged the 1868 board house built by George Pierce by adding two wings on each side of the house.



During 1900-1920 two wings were added to each side of the board house at 142 W 2nd ST; drawing by Gordon Q. Jones.
During 1900-1920 two wings were added to each side of the board house at 142 W 2nd ST; drawing by Gordon Q. Jones.


The 1868 board house is center with two wings added about 1900; photo 2007.
The 1868 board house is center with two wings added about 1900; photo 2007.

Battista & Mary Bertinotti Mearo



Battista (1867-1938) & Mary Bertinotti Maero (1872-1933).
Battista (1867-1938) & Mary Bertinotti Maero (1872-1933).

In 1896 Battista and Mary Bertinotti Maero immigrated from Italy to Ogden, and Battista got work with the railroad. Mary was the daughter of Michael Bertinotti who lived at 150 W 2nd ST rear. By 1925 Battista and Mary Bertinotti Maero lived at 142 W 2nd Street in the enlarged house with two wings; at that time, they had nine living children.


A grandson named Jack Card lived with Battista and Mary in the 1920s. In the 1930s, as a youth, Jack was recognized in Five Points as the star player on the Ogden 15th Ward basketball team. He made Five Points proud when he played as a pitcher in minor league professional teams from 1938-1940. [3] In the 1950s Chief Deputy Jack Card was part of a team that cleaned up Ogden’s notorious 25th Street. [4]


Mary died in 1933 and Battista in 1938. Their daughter Lucy Maero Hawkins bought the property and continued to live there with her family.


In 1943, Lucy’s daughter Bulah Hawkins and her husband Don Abercrombie, built the little house to the rear of 142 W 2nd Street.


This house remained in the Maero family for about 70 years. Lucy Maero Hawkins Pledger lived here until 1991.



 

[1] - Jane Romeril Hammond Pierce, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Vol. 34, p. 56, Ogden DUP Museum, Ogden, Utah.

[2] - A biographical sketch of George Pierce.

[3] - Polk Ogden City Directory, 1925-26; interview Joan Maero Wright, 2006.

[4] - Lyle J Barnes, Ogden’s Notorious “Two-Bit Street”, 1870-1954, Utah State University.


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