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Aragorn Storm Miller

PIERSON, WILLIAM C. (1840–1922). William C. Pierson, schoolteacher, businessman, and state representative, was born in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, on February 11, 1840. He was the son of William Howell and Malinda (Sharp) Pierson. The Pierson family immigrated to Texas about 1847 and settled in Rusk County, where Pierson grew up and received the best education that could be provided in the area. An eager pupil, he later became a schoolteacher in Rusk County. Pierson married Julia Ann Reeves on September 2, 1860. They had at least two sons that were later listed on the 1870 census. In 1867 Pierson moved to Upshur County, where he engaged in the mercantile business. He became a partner in the firm of A. B. Denton & Co. in 1870, and in 1871 he bought out his partner and maintained the business on his own thereafter. He was active in local politics as well and won election in 1870 as House representative for Smith and Upshur counties to the Twelfth Texas Legislature. He was in office from February 8, 1870, to January 14, 1873, and served on the Education, Federal Relations, and Private Land Claims committees.

Pierson married Ida L. Pender on April 13, 1875. By the 1880s he was living in Winnsboro in Wood County, and the 1880 census listed him as a drygoods merchant with Ida, one son, and one daughter. In 1900 the census listed six other children (ages fifteen to four) in the household, located in Winnsboro, where Pierson was a Baptist and member of the Masons. He retired by 1910. He died at the age of eighty-one at the home of a daughter in Mineola, Texas, on January 30, 1922. He was survived by a total of nine children. One nephew, Judge William Pierson, served in the Supreme Court of Texas. Sources differ regarding W. C. Pierson’s political affiliation. The 1870 Texas Almanac listed his party as “Radical”; his obituary listed him as a Democrat and commented that Pierson was “…one of the few…who served in the Texas Legislature during the days of reconstruction….”


A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1892). Legislative Reference Library of Texas: W. C. Pierson (, accessed April 23,2014. Mineola Monitor, February 2, 1922.

Aragorn Storm Miller

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Aragorn Storm Miller, "PIERSON, WILLIAM C.," accessed August 24, 2019,

Uploaded on April 23, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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