William James Pierce
“Madisonian,” Madison, GA, Friday, May 13, 1910
W. J. PEIRCE IS DEAD
He Passed Away Saturday Night, At Rochester, Minn.
News reached the city early Sunday morning that W. J. Peirce was dead at Rochester,
Minn. He had been suffering from a stomach trouble for a number of years, and went to St.
Mary’s Hospital, in above named city, about a week before his death. He was operated on
Tuesday and died at 9:45 the following Saturday night.
He was accompanied by his brother, Hon. Ed. B. Peirce, vice president of the Chicago
and Rock Island railroad, and his wife, traveling in Mr. Peirce’s private car. The part of Mr. and
Mrs. Peirce and his secretary left Rochester Sunday morning and reached Madison Monday
night, where the car was parked.
The remains were taken to the home of Mr. H. H. Fitzpatrick Tuesday morning, where
the funeral services were conducted by Rev. J. H. Mashburn. The funeral services were brief and
simple at 5:30. After the song, “Asleep in Jesus,” by Mrs. Stokes, Miss Barnett and Dr. Harriss,
the minister read the burial service and offered a beautiful prayer. The singing of “Gathering
Home” closed the services, and internment was in New Cemetery. There were many fresh and
fragrant floral offerings, tokens of esteem from surviving friends. The pallbearers were Capt.
Godfrey, Albert E. Douglas, A. H. Winter, Neil Vason, W. A. Shouse, and W. T. Bacon.
The deceased was born and raised in Oxford, Miss and was nearly forty years old. He
came to Madison about twelve ago as a book keeper for S. A. Turnell and lived in this county
until about two years ago. On April 19, 1899 he was married to Miss Mary Richter, who died
about four years ago. He never survived the shock of this great bereavement, and his subsequent
life was a sad and melancholy one, though to others he always presented the bright side of his
No young man who ever lived in Madison was more generally esteemed or enjoyed the
confidence of the people more thoroughly than Mr. Peirce. His heart was pure and his lips were
clean. Never during our intimate association with him do we recall an expression from that
could not have been made with propriety in the presence of most modest women. He led a
correct life, regarding the laws of the land, and the laws of God he revered and served. He was a
kind, gentle, modest man. He died as he lived, quietly and calmly.
He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Dibble, of Van Buren, Ark., and his brother, Ed. B.
Peirce of Chicago, and an uncle, Ed. D. Peirce of Hattiesburg, Miss., who was present at the
There was at first some misunderstanding as to funeral arrangements, and Mrs. Alice
Richter and Mr. R. D. Richter left Sunday afternoon for Van Buren, being intercepted by
telegram at Nashville, and arriving in Madison Tuesday afternoon at 5:10.
His remains rest besides those of his wife, and though the harvest is past and the summer
is ended with their earthy careers, their loving spirits have been re-united in the harvest home of
the spirit world.
May the spring rains fall gently upon the new made grave of my faithful friend and the
summer flowers bloom sweetly over his last earthly resting place.
I certify this to be a true and accurate transcription of the obituary of William James Peirce as
published in the Madison, GA Madisonian on the date referenced – John R. Clarke, Thomasville,
GA, 19 Jun 2002.