Page 558-559, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


William M. Pierson, a Civil war veteran and Butler county pioneer, was born in Marion county, Ohio, in 1842, a son of Phileman P. and Rachel (Johnson) Pierson. William M. Pierson is the only survivor of a family of thirteen children. A sister of his, Mrs. Rosanna Merritt, lived to the advanced age of ninety-three years. She died at Meringo, Iowa. Mr. Pierson was educated in the public schools of Ohio and later attended Mount Hesper Seminary, a Quaker institution in Morrow county, Ohio.

He followed the peaceful pursuits of the average young man of the time until the Civil war broke out, and then in response to President Lincoln's call for volunteers, he enlisted in May, 1861, in Company E, Twenty-sixth regiment, Ohio infantry, at Columbus, Ohio. He was mustered out of service at Columbus, Ohio, in 1862, after having served thirteen months. He also had a brother, Charles, who died at Savannah, Miss., while serving in the Union army.

After returning from the army, Mr. Pierson taught school in Ohio and Iowa for three years, going to the latter State in 1863. During the time he was engaged in teaching, he was also interested in farming. In October, 1870, he came to Kansas and preempted a quarter section of land in Walnut township, on the west bank of the Walnut river in the fertile Walnut valley. His mother came here in 1871 and died, May 9, 1872. Since locating in Walnut township, Mr. Pierson has been engaged in general farming and stock raising with uniform success with the exception of the season of 1874, when the grasshoppers, the original Kansas harvest hands, harvested the crop. During that winter, he managed to get along fairly well by cutting wood on his place and hauling it to Wichita, where he sold it for $2 a load. It was a difficult way to get $2, but the only thing that could be done at that time. Mr. Pierson was also a successful wheat grower in the early days, one of his first crops being 180 bushels of wheat which he raised on six acres of ground.

Mr. Pierson was married in 1866 to Miss Ella Josephine Lewis. To this union were born four children, as follows: G. M., living on the home place; Mrs. Eva R. Gilbreck, San Francisco, Cal.; Mrs. Carrie


Smith, Custer, Okla.; Mrs. Mary E. Huff, Woodward, Okla. The mother of these children died in 1889, and on September 5, 1903, Mr. Pierson was married to Mrs. Emma Caldwell of Morrow county, Ohio. Her father, John Krout, was a native of Maryland, and an early settler of Morrow county, Ohio. He was a prominent educator and active in educational work up to 1914. For a number of years, he was a professor in the Chicago Northwestern Business College. His wife bore the maiden name of Mary Dennis, and was a native of Ohio. Mrs. Mary E. Pierson has one son by a former marriage, Harry Caldwell, a stenographer of Waterloo, Iowa.

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