Abel Head "Shanghai" Pierce (1834-1900), Texas rancher and cattleman, earned his nickname because his tall slender frame resembled a Shanghai rooster. Following service for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Pierce married Fannie Lacey in 1865.
Fannie and an infant son died in 1870, prompting Pierce to sell his cattle and move to Kansas. He soon returned to Texas and with his brother Jonathan formed the Rancho Grande in Wharton County, Texas, and later the Pierce-Sullivan Pasture and Cattle Company. In 1875 Pierce expanded his land holdings and began researching cattle in search of a disease-resistant breed. A failed investment in 1900 cost Pierce $1.25 million as a result of the devastating Galveston hurricane of the same year, and he died on December 26, 1900, of a cerebral hemmorage. After his death the Pierce estate began importing disease-resistant Brahman cattle, establishing a stock base still relied upon by ranchers today. The Pierce family continued to manage his ranching enterprises, including his nephew Abel Pierce Borden, daughter Marnie Pierce Whithers, and wife Hattie Jones Pierce.
From the description of Abel Head "Shanghai" Pierce papers, 1870-1905. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 56952532