On Nov. 4, 1828, Aaron Pierce, his wife Harriet and their four children, reached Savanna after a three-day trip from Galena in a covered wagon and found temporary refuge in an abandoned Indian wigwam which stood near the location of the monument.
A few hours later two other families arrived by boat—George Davidson and his wife and son Vance; and William Blundell and his wife, who was a daughter of the Davidsons. The three families eventually constructed cabins and were the first settlers of Savanna.
The “Pioneer Monument” was dedicated during Savanna’s Centennial Celebration at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, 1928, east of where Randolph and Main St. meet.
“Can you imagine the courage which it took for the lone families to travel through unknown regions in order to reach a destination which they could build up as a place they could call their home, as a place they could cultivate and develop, as a place in which they and their prosperity might live and be happy,” Centennial Chairman Lawrence Miles said during the dedication ceremony.
The memorial marker was unveiled by Jason Pierce Law, the youngest son of Ives and Louise Rhodes Law, the youngest representative of the fifth generation of Pierces. He was escorted by his brothers, Richard Rhodes Law and Robert Henry Law, and also by the daughters of Alfred M. Pierce—Fern Marion Pierce and Phyllis Mary Pierce, also fifth generation Pierces.
The granite and bronze monument was donated by Frank Pierce Bowen on behalf of his mother, Sila Pierce Bowen, the daughter of Aaron Pierce.