Genealogy of Pierce and allied families

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  • ID: I5660
  • Name: William Kasson Pierce
  • Given Name: William Kasson
  • Surname: Pierce
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 11 MAY 1851 in Syracuse,Onondaga,New York,United States of America 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Death: 5 APR 1915 in Washington,District of Columbia,United States of America 8
  • Burial: 7 APR 1915 Syracuse,Onondaga,New York,United States of America 9
  • Note:
    BIOGRAPHY: William attended Cornell University 1869-1872, taking Science courses. He was a member of Kappa Alpha, Harmonia Club, Music Club, Dagger and Serpent Club, The Round Table (a whist club consisting of four men: W. K. Pierce, W.G. Hawley (William Gere Hawley), W.A. Butler (William Allen Butler, who married W.K.'s sister and was the Butler in Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company) and C.H. Ramsey) and played guitar in the orchestra. He did not graduate.

    BIOGRAPHY: He traveled overseas in 1872, and is described on his passport as: 5'3" tall, small face, fair complexion, medium nose, blue eyes and brown hair.

    BIOGRAPHY: "MR. WM. K. PIERCE, Vice President, Treasurer and General Manager of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company, is a living representative of that class of young men of the present generation, whose indomitable thrift, energy, excessive enterprize and general information, combined with a remarkable degree of good solid judgment, has placed his company far in the lead of enterprises of a similar nature in this country.
    He was born and has always resided in Syracuse, attended the public schools and afterwards a private school, where he was prepared for College, entering Cornell in the class of 1873, and pursuing his studies in the scientific course. On the completion of his studies, his father suggested a European trip, which he quickly embraced, remaining there nearly two years, studying the languages French and German, and at intervals embracing
    opportunities to travel and study the people and see the wonders of the Old World, all of which tended to broaden and expand his ideas and prepare him more thoroughly for a perfect business education. On his return from Europe, he decided to take Law as a profession, registering and commencing study in one of the Law Offices in Syracuse. He studied but a short time, when he decided to give up Law and devote his exertions to business enterprizes and entered the crockery house of S. P. Pierce and Sons, where he remained two or three years, acquiring a general business knowledge. In 1876, he formed a partnership with his father and brother-in-law under the name of Pierce, Butler & Pierce doing a general wholesale business in gas, water and steam supplies, steam and sanitary engineering. By faithful and unremitting attention to business, he was able with the assistance of his partners, to largely increase the business and in 1886, owing to the retirement of Mr. Butler, he organized the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company, with a capital stock of $200,000 and a year or two later, having purchased the large foundry and machine shops at Genoa, N. Y., there organized the Catchpole Manufacturing Company, with a capital stock of $100,000. Owing to the great success of these Companies, through careful management in their business enterprizes and in order to simplify the business, he brought about a consolidation of the two companies in 1890 under the name of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company, with a capital
    stock of $600,000, the Company doing business of over one million dollars annually, having built up this large and prosperous Company since 1876, the first year they doing but $50,000 worth of business.
    In 1882, he was one of the first to organize an Electric Light Company in Syracuse, this firm obtaining a franchise and introducing the first electric lights upon the streets and in the commercial houses. Afterwards this franchise and electric light business was consolidated with the present Thompson-Houston Electric Light Company, of Syracuse, this Company having assumed very large proportions from the simple beginning which was introduced here through Mr. Pierce and his associates.
    In 1888, enthused with the idea of still further advancing the city's prosperity, he organized the Syracuse Heat & Power Company, with a capital stock of $200,000, this being accomplished almost entirely through his own efforts, this company furnishing heat and power to the residents and business places in this city, he being the President of this organization and, having obtained valuable franchise from the city to conduct this heat through mains placed in the different streets furnishing both heat and power to the residences and business places, the citizens finding this a great convenience and admitting its increasing popularity.
    Recognizing at once the many advantages to be derived from a consolidation of a number of large competitors in the same branch of business whereby a large expense could be saved, Mr. Pierce in conjunction with other large competitive manufacturers, recently formed the American Boiler Company, they commencing business February 1, 1893, Mr. Pierce selling out his entire interest in their particular branch of the Florida Steam and Hot Water business to the American Boiler Company, the company being organized with a capital of $1,500,000 with Wm. K. Pierce of Syracuse as President; Geo. E. Downe of Chicago Vice-President; A. P. Richardson of Chicago Secretary and C. V. Kellogg of Syracuse Treasurer, with the main office at Chicago and branches in all of the largest cities of the United States. This company will do a business of nearly $2,000,000 annually and its organization is almost wholly due to the enterprize and business manipulation through the efforts of Mr. Pierce.
    Mr. Pierce has always been a conscientious worker and while greatly interested in politics, has never found time to devote any of his personal attention to its intricacies.
    In 1880, he was appointed Captain on the Staff of Brigadier General Hawley, and afterward in 1882 he was promoted to Major on the Staff of General Bruce.
    No young man in Syracuse has done more to promote its prosperity that Mr. Wm. K. Pierce. He has always kept up with and often far in advance of the times and with keen foresight had readily taken advantage of and embraced all modern ideas for the advancement and progress of whatever he became deeply interested in.
    Wm. K. Pierce was married on June 16, 1880, to Miss Eleanor B. Rust, daughter of Stiles M. Rust of Syracuse. They have three children, two boys and a girl.
    Source - "Sutherland" biographies, dated 1893, bio and picture.

    BIOGRAPHY: "William K. Pierce
    William K. Pierce, president and general manager of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company of Syracuse, is a living representative of that class of young men of the present generation whose indomitable thrift, energy, excessive enterprise and general information combined with an unusual degree of good solid judgment, has placed his company far in the lead of enterprises of a similar nature in this country. He is the
    youngest son of the late Sylvester P. Pierce and Cornelia Marsh, his wife, and was born in Syracuse on the 11th of May, 1851. His paternal great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were natives of Plainfield, Conn., and his great-great-grandmother was the first white child born in that town. His grandfather, Dr. Spalding Pierce, settled in Sauquoit, Oneida County, N. Y., in 1796, and practiced medicine there until his death in 1824. His father, Sylvester P. Pierce, was born in Sauquoit on September 19, 1814, and at an early age became interested in an active commercial life. In 1839 he came to Syracuse, entering at once upon an extensive business career. In 1849 he laid the foundation for the present Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company, of which he was president until his death, November 5, 1893, a position he also held in the Catchpole Manufacturing Company of Geneva, N. Y.
    William K. Pierce attended the public schools and afterwards a private school, where he was prepared for college, entering Cornell in the class of 1873 and pursuing his studies in the scientific course. In the completion of such studies his father suggested a European trip, which he quickly embraced, remaining there nearly two years, studying the French and German languages, and at intervals accepting opportunities to travel and study the people and see the wonders of the old world, all of which tended to broaden and expand his ideas and prepare him more thoroughly for a perfect business education. On his return from Europe he undertook the law as a profession, registering and commencing study in one of the law offices in Syracuse. He studied but a short time, however, before deciding to give up law and devote his exertions to business enterprises, and entered the crockery house of S. P. Pierce & Sons, where he remained two or three years, acquiring a general business knowledge. In 1876 he formed a partnership with his father and brother-in-law, under the name of Pierce, Butler & Pierce, doing a general wholesale business in gas, water and steam supplies, steam and sanitary engineering. By faithful and unremitting attention to business, he was able, with the assistance of his partners, largely to increase the business, and in 1886, owing to the retirement of Mr. Butler, he organized the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company with a capital stock of $200,000; and a year or two later, having purchased the large foundry and machine shop at Geneva, N. Y., there organized the Catchpole Manufacturing Company, with a capital stock of $100,000. Owing to the great success of these companies through careful management and in order to simplify the business, he brought about a consolidation of the two companies in 1890, under the name of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company, with a capital stock of $600,000, the company then doing a business of $1,000,000 annually, having built up this large and prosperous company since 1876, the first year having done but $50,000 worth of business.
    In 1882 he was one of the first who organized an electric light company in Syracuse, this firm obtaining a franchise and introducing the first electric lights upon the streets and in commercial houses. Afterwards their franchise and electric light business was consolidated with the present Thomson-Houston Electric Light Company of Syracuse, this company having now assumed very large proportions from the simple beginning introduced here through Mr. Pierce and his associates.
    In 1888, enthused with still further advancing the city's prosperity, he organized the Syracuse Heat and Power Company, with a capital stock of $200,000, this being accomplished almost entirely through his personal efforts. Mr. Pierce is the president of the company. The company franchises heat and power to residences and business establishments, having obtained a valuable franchise from the city to conduct heat through mains placed in the different streets. This has proven a great convenience and meets with increasing popularity.
    Recognizing the many advantages to be derived from the consolidation of a number of large competitors in the same branch of business whereby a very large expense could be saved, Mr. Pierce in conjunction with other large competitive manufacturers, formed the American Boiler Company, they commencing business February 1, 1893, Mr. Pierce selling out his entire interest in their particular branch of the 'Florida' steam and hot water business to the American Boiler Company, which was organized with a capital of $1,500,000, with William K. Pierce as president, with the main office in Chicago and branches in all of the largest cities of the United States. This company will do a business of nearly $1,000,000 annually, and its organization is largely due to the enterprise and efforts of Mr. Pierce.
    Mr. Pierce has always been a conscientious worker and while greatly interested in politics has never found time to devote any personal attention to its intricacies. In 1880 he was appointed captain on the staff of Brigadier-General Hawley, and in 1882 was promoted to major on the staff of General Bruce.
    No young man has done more to develop Syracuse than William K. Pierce. He has always kept up with, and often been far in advance of the times, and with keen foresight has readily taken advantage of and embraced modern ideas for the advancement of whatever he became deeply interested in. He was married on June 19, 1880 to Miss Eleanor B. Rust, daughter of Stiles M. Rust of Syracuse. They have three children, two boys and a girl."
    Source - "Onondaga's Centennial" by Dwight H. Bruce, Vol. II, 1896, pages 17-19.

    BIOGRAPHY: "William Kasson Pierce 9887
    Syracuse, N. Y.
    Merchant and. manufacturer. Born, Syracuse, N. Y., May 11, 1851. Educated at Cornell University and. abroad. Formerly Captain on staff of Gen. J. D. Hawley, 10th Brigade, N. G. N. Y., and Major on staff of Gen. D. H. Bruce, 7th Brigade. Member of Century Club and Syracuse Club. Son of Sylvester P. Pierce and. Cornelia Marsh; grandson of Elisha Marsh,3d, and Lovina Wiard; great-grandson of Elisha Marsh, 2d, and
    (wife not given); great-great-grandson of Elisha Marsh, 1st, and Deborah Lorin Lathrop; great(3)-grandson of Ebenezer Marsh and Mary Parsons; great(4)-grandson of Daniel Marsh and Hannah Lewis; great(5)-grandson of John Marsh and Anne Webster.
    Source - "Empire State Sisters of the American Republic Roll of Members", dated 1899.
    He and his wife attended the wedding of his nephew, Harry Cook Pierce, to Harriet Bennett Spencer in 1903.

    BIOGRAPHY: "Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Pierce, Mrs. William Allen Butler, Mrs. Harry C. Pierce and Miss Ella Denison left to-day for Beaver Falls in the Adirondacks."
    Source - "The Syracuse Journal", 11 May 1903, Syracuse, NY.
    Note - Beaver Falls is on the Beaver River in Lewis Co., NY, and is a popular summer destination for the well-to-do of Syracuse.

    BIOGRAPHY: "Cornell Men in Office.
    ... W. K. Pierce, '73, was a Republican elector from New York State. His home is in Syracuse..."
    Source - Cornell University "Alumni News", 30 Nov 1904, page 146, Cornell, NY.

    BIOGRAPHY: He and his wife traveled overseas in 1905. On the application he is said to be a manufacturer.

    BIOGRAPHY: "Rare Things From Abroad
    Pierce Residence in James Street Beautifully adorned With Oriental Art Works.
    The Outlay Is Gorgeous
    It is like a trip through the most famous art shops of the Orient to go into Mr. and Mrs. William K. Pierce's beautiful James street home now, for all of their wonderful furniture and bric-a-brac, which they gathered through China and Japan, has gotten safely through Suez and the customs and is installed in their residence and so everything was safely unpacked and arranged in various rooms.
    "Just the smell of sandal wood and punks -- the whiff of the Orient -- that remained with our stuff has given me the fever to go again, for there is something in far off Cathay like the voice of a siren that calls one back," remarked Mrs. Pierce.
    "It was the most delightful time I have ever spent, going from one spot to another, picking up a bit of carved ivory here and a bronze there, a Buddist God in Kioto, a carved table in Nikko, a piece of embroidered linen in Canton and a mandarin coat in Macao. It was undescribly fascinating, for not only was there the pleasure of choosing and selecting out of those wonderful stores the things one particularly fancied, but the quaint little salesmen and saleswomen, especially those of Japan, interested me intensely. They were so amusing, so unaffectedly and politely insincere of insincerely polite -- I never made up my mind which -- that it was awful interesting, really refreshing for a change."
    And if one can judge from the stuff -- that's the technical word for one's collections of bric-a-brac, etc., in the Orient -- that the Pierce's brought over with them, they surely had good luck in their salesmen, for never has a more valuable and interesting collection of old and rare, of modern and artistic articles, ever come through the customs and landed in Syracuse, of, at least, that's what the custom officers say, and they surely ought to know. Mrs. Pierce has carefully arranged the various articles from Japan and China with the eye of a connoisseur, for the Japanese stuff is not scattered among the Chinese pieces, nor are the examples of the old art indiscriminately place among modern works.
    "It has taken much time to arrange things and I haven't begun to get them where they entirely please me," said Mrs. Pierce; "It takes as much time to place articles satisfactorily as it did to buy them, I believe," she added.
    In the reception hall are some exquisite pieces of furniture of carved black wood and teak in the most graceful designs of cherry blossom and bamboo carvings. There are tables and taborets, shelves, cabinets and stands of all sorts and the big bronze "gong" on a red and gold lacquer stand placed on a table of teak is an effective adornment in the hall.
    In the library is a cabinet full of curious and interesting little devices of Chinese and Japanese art. There are mandarin beads of rosaries, carved trinkets from ivory and wood, depicting various occupations of the little brown man; there are snuff bottles, sandalwood boxes, tiny metal trays and dozens of curious little objects that are as a Chinese puzzle to the uninitiated. A handsome carved and lacquered taboret holds a cigarette tray, which is also of Japanese make. There are embroidered screens and a firescreen of dull golds and sepius that is a charming bit of color. A splendid Budda -- for no collection out of Cathay is complete without your "blomin' Idol made of mud; what they call the great god Budd" -- has a little shrine all to himself surrounded with genuine Joss sticks and lotus candlesticks and I wot not the little fellow with his shining gold face as immovable as the Sphinx is as satisfied with his present address in 811 James street, Syracuse, U. S. A., as ever he was in the Bentendori, Yokohama. A lacquer box tied with a heavy silk cord and tassels is much prized by Mrs. Pierce on account of its curious use and because it is a "komshaw" -- and one soon learns to expect the "komshaw" in the Orient -- it's a present of some sort which the merchant always gives to one no matter what one buys, if it's only a pound of tea. This lacquer box was given to Mrs. Pierce by Kamamura of Kioto and in his quaint English he told her of the box, which, by the way, contains two time daggers with exquisite handles and lacquer cases.
    "'It is always the custom in our country,' said Kamamura to me." Mrs. Pierce remarked, "for the parents to present to the bride with her trousseau one of these little dagger boxes, and then if at any time she ceased to love her husband or he was cruel to her, she could kill herself, for in our country a wife would rather die than leave her husband."
    "He apologized for the idea of married folks ever having any little differences and bowed most abjectly as he related the sorrowful facts, but Kamamura had never heard of Oklahoma and Dakota, and I never enlightened him," laughed Mrs. Pierce. "I let him believe that his apologies were perfectly in order."
    The furniture most prized by Mrs. Pierce are the old examples of Chinese art -- carved teak wood -- that is used in the upper hall and upon the stair landing of her home -- and surely more exquisite pieces would be hard to find anywhere. A large piece of embroidery in a peacock design, framed in embroidered silk, is a handsome wall hanging on one side of the hall and rare old Japanese prints in Oriental frames are hung here and there, while on a low teak stand to the landing a Daimio lacquered tea set from Kioto is one of her most treasured articles.
    "You must see my fruit knives," said Mrs. Pierce. "I got the idea of collecting them from Mrs. Pershing. You see they were originally used as small knives stuck in the top of a case of Daimio sords. I had the steel knife part gilded and I thin they are beauties," Mrs. Pierce enthusiastically added. And surely no one would ever dream the original use that those dainty, fold-bronze handled little knives were originally put to after one sees them on the Pierce sideboard.
    "Manchu coats and Mandarin garments were my particular hobby while Mr. Pierce collected swords." said Mrs. Pierce.
    And one wouldn't think Mr. Pierce had done anything else during his time -- even taken the time to have been a Presidential elector -- after seeing the room fulll of swords! I never attempted to count them, but roughly estimating would judge that they would supply the Rough Riders and the New York Seventh double handed and there might be a few left to adorn the Pierce pere den.
    "It just seemed that they saw Mr. Pierce coming," laughed the woman of the Mandarin coats, "for he was confronted by swords in every corner of Japan and China. News travels fast there and the glad word that a swordsman that was neither a Samurai not a Daibnin was in the land seemed to precede Mr. Pierce from the moment we landed and peered into the first shop until we bade farewell to old Nippon."
    "But they were a source of much fun and a many expedition, and through his search for antique arms we learned many quaint and curious legends of the country," said Mrs. Pierce.
    "Some day I hope to go again, but in the meantime I am going to take great pleasure in what we picked up on our visit, for every single thing, big or small, recalls delightful memories," add the gracious woman."
    Source - "Evening Telegram", 1905, Syracuse, NY.

    BIOGRAPHY: "An accounting by William K. Pierce as administrator of the estate of his father, Sylvester P. Pierce, was filed in Surrogate's court, Syracuse, yesterday, showing receipts of $677,528.40. From this amount the disbursements were $232,937.81 and $438,763.39 was paid to the children in equal shares. They are W. K. Pierce, Charles Pierce, Marsh Pierce and Mrs. Emma P. Butler. Mr. Pierce died in November 1893."
    Source - "The Auburn Citizen", 18 Dec 1907, Auburn, NY.

    BIOGRAPHY: "PIERCE, William Kasson, manufacturer and financier, was born at Syracuse, N. Y., May 11, 1851, son of Sylvester P. and Cornelia (Marsh) Pierce. His ancestors early settled in Connecticut, whence his grandfather, Dr. Spaulding Pierce, removed to Sauquoit, Oneida Co., N. Y., in 1796. His father (q. v.), a native of Sauquoit, settled at Syracuse in 1839, and there founded the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Co., in 1876, of which he was president until his death. William K. Pierce was educated in the schools of Syracuse, and was graduated in the scientific department of Cornell University in 1873. After two years spent in travel abroad, he began the study of law at Syracuse, but later changed his intentions and entered the crockery business with the firm of S. P. Pierce & Sons. With his father and his brother-in-law, William A. Butler, he founded the firm of Pierce, Butler & Pierce, Manufacturers and jobbers in steam, gas and water supplies, and steam and sanitary engineers. At the end of ten years the business, had so vastly increased that the company was organized as the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Co., with a capital stock of $200,000. About 1888 he purchased a large foundry and machine shop at Geneva, N. Y.., and organized the Catchpole Manufacturing Co., with a capital of $600,000, which was conducted with equal success until 1890, when the two companies were consolidated under the name of Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Co., with a capital of $600,000. Since this date the company has done an annual business of $1,000,000 and over. In addition to inaugurating and carrying forward this vast enterprise, Mr. Pierce has been an active and important factor in the electric light business of Syracuse and vicinity. In 1882 his firm obtained a franchise for lighting the streets of the city, which, with their entire plant, was subsequently consolidated with the present Thomas-Houston Electric Light Co. of Syracuse. In 1888, as a result of his own conception and almost solely by his own efforts, he organized the Syracuse Heat and Power Co., capitalized at $200,000, obtaining valuable franchises from the city to lay wires and conduits through the streets. He was president of this company about ten years. In February, 1893, he incorporated the American Boiler Co., which was formed by the consolidation of five of his most important competitors, with a capital of $1,500,000. Three years later, on behalf of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Co., he purchased the entire capital stock of this corporation, and united all the various business and manufacturing interests in his large factories at Syracuse. He has been president of this concern since its foundation, and conducts its far-reaching activities through his great enterprise and untiring activity, Mr. Pierce has earned recognition among the foremost captains of industry at the present day. No man has done more than he to develop Syracuse, and none has been more alert to cooperate or inaugurate movements looking toward an extension of its activities or an increase in its importance. In 1880 he was appointed captain on the staff of Brig.-Gen. J. D. Hawley, and in 1882 was promoted major on the staff of Gen. Dwight H. Bruce, 7th brigade N. G. N. Y. He is a member of several of the leading clubs of Syracuse and. quite prominent in social as in business affairs. He was married June 16, 1880, to Eleanor B., daughter of Stiles N. Rust, of Syracuse. They have two sons and one daughter, William R., Harold S., and Rosamond Pierce."
    Source - "The National Cyclopedia of American Biography", Vol. XII, 320 Fifth Ave., New York City, June 7, 1909.
    Note - Includes picture and signature of W. K. Pierce.

    BIOGRAPHY: See mention of him in the article about the suit to settle Sylvester P. Pierce's estate.

    MARRIAGE: PIERCE -- RUST -- At the residence of the brideus parents, on the evening of June
    16th, by the Rev. Henry R. Lockwood, William Kasson Pierce and Ellen Burt Rust.
    Source - "Syracuse Courier", 19 Jun 1880, Syracuse, NY.

    MARRIAGE: In the 1900 census, William and Eleanor had been married 20 years and had had five children, three of them still living.

    RESIDENCE: He was living with his parents at 118 Salina St. in Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY, in 1880. In 1890 he and his family lived next to his parents at 626 James St., Syracuse.
    He was living with his brothers at 226 Onondaga Blvd., Syracuse, on 4 Jun 1900, and with his wife and family on 14 Jun 1900 at 811 James St., Syracuse, which home he owned without a mortgatge. He was still at the same address in 1905, 1908 and 1910.

    OCCUPATION: In 1880 he was a crockery merchant. In 1890 he and his brother Charles owned S. P. Pierce Sons & Company, selling crockery and glassware at 119 and 121 S. Clinton St., Syracuse, NY. The company's ad in the city directory said 'Established 1839, importers and jobbers of crockery, glass, plated ware, kerosene goods, etc., etc.'
    Also in 1890, He was vice-president and treasurer of Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company at 118 to 124 S. Clinton St., Syracuse, and of Catchpole Manufacturing Company in Geneva, NY. He was also vice-president of Syracuse Heat and Power Company.
    In 1900, 1908 and 1910 he was engaged in boiler and hardware manufacturing with his company, Pierce Butler & Pierce Mfg. The Syracuse city directory for 1908 lists him as president and general manager of the company, which had offices at 234-238 James St., Syracuse.

    OCCUPATION: "Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern.
    Albany, Nov. 7. -- The Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern Railroad company was incorporated to-day with a capital of $3,500,000, to operate a street surface electric line between Syracuse and Rochester, a distance of 100 miles. The road will connect those cities and other places in Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne, Ontario, and Monroe Counties. The directors are Ferdinand W. Roebling of Trenton, N. J.; Clarence W. Seamans of New York City, Charles A. Lux of Clyde, William Nottingham, Hendrick S. Holden, Albert K. Hiscock, Willis A. Holden, Lyman C. Smith, William K. Pierce, Clifford D. Beebe, Albert E. Nettleton and Frank C. Soule of Syracuse."
    Source - "New York Times", 8 Nov 1891, New York City, NY.

    OCCUPATION: "Losses by Fire.
    Syracuse, N. Y., March 29.-- Between 6 and 7 o'clock this evening fire gutted the third and fourth stories of S. P. Pierce's building, occupied by S P. Pierce, sons & Co. as a crockery store. The loss on the building is $1,000; on the stock, $10,000; on the furniture and fixtures, $1,500; covered by insurance."
    Source - "New York Times", 30 Mar 1893, New York City, NY.

    OCCUPATION: "Annual Election.
    The annual election of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company was held yesterday afternoon at the company's offices on South Clinton street. Five directors were elected for the ensuing year ad follows: W. K. Pierce, Marsh C. Pierce, C. Clinton Jenkins, Charles H. Pierce and Charles Kellogg. The officers of the company for 1895 are W. K. Pierce, president; Marsh C. Pierce, vice-president; C. Clinton Jenkins, treasurer, and Alva C. Compton, secretary."
    Source - "The Syracuse Courier", 28 Jan 1895.

    OCCUPATION: "Losses by Fire.
    Syracuse, N. Y., Jan. 12.-- Jacob Ackerman, wholesale shoe manufacturer on Clinton Street, in this city, suffered a loss of $24,000 by fire today. The building, owned by the Yates estate, was ruined. It was valued at $25,000. The adjoining building, occupied by S. P. Pierce & son, wholesale crockery merchants, was damaged about $9,000 and the stock it contained about the same amount. Adjoining stores were damaged by water."
    Source - "New York Times", 13 Jan 1897, New York City, NY.

    OCCUPATION: Articles about annual elections for the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company:
    -----
    "Annual Election. -- The annual election of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company was held yesterday at the company's offices on South Clinton street. Five directors were elected for the ensuing year asn follows: W. K. Pierce, March C. Pierce, C. Clinton Jenkins, Charles H. Pierce and Charles Kellogg. The officers of the company are W. K. Pierce, president; Marsh C. Pierce, vice-president; C. Clinton Jenkins, treasurer, and Alva C. Crampton, secretary."
    Source - "The Syracuse Courier" 28 Jan 1895, Syracuse, NY.
    -----
    "Annual Election of Officers. -- The Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company held its annual meeting yesterday at the city office in James street. The election of officers resulted as follows: President, William K. Pierce; vice president, Marsh C. Pierce; treasurer, Thomas Wheatley; secretary, Phillip M. Beecher; directors, W. K. Pierce, Marsh C. Pierce, Charles H. Pierce, William M. Butler and Thomas Wheatley."
    Source - "The Evening Telegram", 25 Feb 1902, Syracuse, NY.

    OCCUPATION: "Syracuse Capitalists File a Certificate of Incorporation. -- The Onondaga Natural Gas company has filed a certificate of incorporation in the county clerk's office. The object of the corporation is given as prospecting and boring for gas and oil. The capital stock is placed at $75,000. The corporation is to exist for fifth years, with a principal business office in this city. The directors of the company fir the first year, are as follows: William K. Pierce, Wilbur S. Peck, Horace White, Ernest J. White and Marsh C. Pierce."
    Source - "The Syracuse Courier", 16 Jan 1897, Syracuse, NY.

    OCCUPATION: Coremakers Discharged.
    The Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company has laid off a number of coremakers, the reason assigned by the men being a disagreement as to the amount of wages they should receive, W. J. Pierce, when asked about the matter, said that some of the men were laid off last Friday night and that they were now trying to give a wrong reason. He declined to give the cause.
    Source - "The Evening Herald ," Syracuse, NY, Monday, 4 Dec 1899, page 6, column 2

    OCCUPATION: "Annual Election of Officers.
    The Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company held the annual meeting yesterday at the city office in James street. The election of officers resulted as follows: President, William K. Pierce; vice president, Marsh C. Pierce; treasurer, Thomas Wheatley; secretary, Phillip M. Beecher; directors, W. K. Pierce, Marsh C. Pierce, Charles H. Pierce, William M. Butler and Thomas Wheatley."
    "The Evening Telegram", 25 Feb 1902, Syracuse, NY.

    OCCUPATION: "Workmen Escape Injury When Oil Tank Blows Up
    Pierce, Butler & Pierce Buildings shaken -- Twelve Windows Smashed By Accident.
    The core oil tank at the Eastwood plant of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company, which was buried six feet under ground outside the radiator factory, exploded at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, doing considerable damage to property and injuring one of the workmen.
    The tank was twenty six feet long and six feet wide. In it oil used in various parts of the foundry was stored, the oil being pumped to the different departments by air.
    The tank was blown in three directions, one piece narrowly missing a man in the machine shop. Another piece went through the roof of the core room. Buildings in the vicinity were shaken, and the windows and walls of the radiator factory connected with the plant were badly damaged. Twelve windows were demolished.
    Harry C. Pierce, superintendent of the section of the factory affected by the explosion, stated last night that it was not known what caused the tank to explode, but it was supposed to be the high air pressure."
    Source - "Post-Standard", 1912, Syracuse, NY.

    OCCUPATION: "Big Syracuse Company Bankrupt. Norwich, N. Y., Jan. 12. -- The Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company, a $5,000,000 hardware corporation, one of the oldest in the State, was today placed in the hands of a Federal receiver. Creditors filed a petition asking to have the company adjudged bankrupt and alleging its inability to pay its debts. Assets of the company were placed at $3,292,242 and liabilities at $1, 202,332. The business was bounded in 1839 by Sylvester E. Pierce, father of William K. Pierce, who recently withdrew as president of the concern."
    Source - "Skaneatles Free Press", 13 Jan 1914, Skaneatles, NY.

    OCCUPATION: "ASKS FOR AUDIT OF PIERCE ASSETS
    Receiver Loasly Tells Court Results Will Enhance Possible Sale of Property.
    Permission is asked by Receiver Arthur W. Loasley in a petition presented in United States Court for an audit of the assets and liabilities of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company and of the Kellogg-Mackey Company, the subsidiary concern which went into bankruptcy, causing the crisis in the affairs of the big local corporation.
    The audit which is asked will ascertain the gross and net earnings of both companies for the past three years previous to the financial difficulties. Mr. Loasley believes that if prospective purchasers could be satisfied as to the earning capacity of the business it would enhance the price which would be obtained. No objection has been
    made by the creditors to paying the auditors out of the assets.
    That the Kellogg-Mackay Company owes the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company over $1,000,000 instead of the $807,000 originally stated, is shown by Mr. Loasley's petition. The Syracuse Corporation owns more than 65 percent of the stock of its Chicago sales agent. If the local corporation is sold while in operation it is the receiver's opinion that its interest in the Western concern should be disposed of with the other assets.
    In order to carry on the business with the highest degree of success, Mr. Loasley asks Judge Ray to give him permission to purchase whatever supplies and raw material are needed at once. The supply of pig iron needs replenishing immediately. Prompt delivery is impossible and advantage cannot be taken of the market unless contracts can be entered into at once for the future delivery of material.
    Mr. Loasley also is desirous of securing employer's liability insurance to protect the corporation from loss by reason of accidents likely to take place at any time in a concern of such magnitude. The risk in the machine shop and foundry has been considered as bad by liability insurance companies on account of frequent mishaps.
    It has been the practice to extend credit from 30 to 90 days and for years these extensions have been permitted. Therefore the receiver prays the court for permission to carry out the same procedure in the conduct of the business."
    Source - "Syracuse Journal", 5 Feb 1914, Syracuse, NY.

    OCCUPATION: For all of the found newspaper articles about the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Company, see William's father's occupation notes, those of Sylvester P. Pierce.

    DEATH: WM. K. PIERCE ENDS LIFE BY SHOOTING IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
    Commits Suicide in Apartment of Relatives Whom He Was Visiting.
    William Kasson Pierce, former head of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Corporation, and a life long resident and prominent citizen of Syracuse, shot and instantly killed himself at the home of Major Charles P. Lynch, his brother-in-law, in P St., Washington, this morning. Mr. Pierce had. been in poor health arid was mentally depressed ever since the failure of his firm two years ago, and the tragic end, although feared from his mental condition by his family, was a terrible shock to the members and wide circle of friends here to-day.
    Mr. Pierce lived for some time in the apartment house at 209 DeWitt st. after leaving his home in James St.. About two months ago, shortly after the marriage of their daughter Rosamond, Mr. and. Mrs. Pierce gave up the apartment and after a visit to Mr. and. Mrs. Paul Smith in the Adirondacks, went for a protracted visit to the home of Mrs. Pierce's sister, Mrs. Charles P. Lynch at Washington. Mr. Pierce had been back and forth several times since as the business of the closing of the affairs of the old company demanded.
    On his last trip it was noticed that although in poor health for over a year Mr. Pierce had failed to a great degree and seemed very much depressed. On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Pierce was attacked. with an acute fit of melancholia and Dr. H. L. Eisner, who has been spending two months at Washington, was summoned. In spite of everything that could be done, Mr. Pierce grew rapidly worse. This morning before the family arose Mr. Pierce left his bed and went to the bathroom, where he shot himself. Death was instantaneous.
    Word was received here by his son, William Rust Pierce, of his sudden death, but it was several hours before the details were received and the fact that death was self-inflicted was verified.
    LEADER IN CHARITY
    Until the failure of Pierce, Butler & Pierce two years ago, Mr. Pierce was counted one of Syracuse's most wealthy men. And he stood for all that was best in the city. Although never entering politics, he held many appointive positions, and was president of the Park Commission. Mr. Pierce was a man of liberal mind and pocket and his name always led to the charities of the city. His home was one of the handsomest and most hospitable in the city, and with Mrs. Pierce, who shared his genero's and kindly spirit, he entertained largely.
    Mr. Pierce always took a keen interest in local and world affairs and was a well-posted man. He traveled extensively and his home was filled with many curios and works of art gathered from all over the globe. When the business trouble came upon him, Mr. Pierce retired from active life, the shock seeming to take the heart out of him, and he was a broken man from that day. His loss was keenly felt and he held the sympathy and
    respect of his hosts of friends.
    Mr. Pierce had spent much time in Washington with Mrs. Pierce at the home of Mrs. Lynch, also with the Misses Mary and Edith Rust, also sisters of Mrs. Pierce, since his trouble.
    Not in years has the city been so shocked. as the news of the tragic death of Mr. Pierce brought to-day. On every lip was heard words of deep regret and sympathy for his family. Mr. Pierce was known to many who had no personal acquaintance and these expressed. deep regret. To the many he knew well and counted. his friends the blow was great and their grief was openly expressed.
    HIS HOME LIFE.
    Mr. Pierce is survived besides his wife, Mrs. Eleanor Rust Pierce, by two sons and one daughter, William Rust Pierce, Harold Spencer Pierce and Mrs. Rosamond Pierce Hawley, and a sister, Mrs. William Allen Butler. One other daughter, Dorothy, died when a small child about 25 years ago.
    William K. Pierce married Miss Henrietta Kernan and Harold Pierce Miss Hannah Kernan, sisters. The daughter was married last fall to Gere Hawley. Major Lynch, at whose home Mr. Pierce died, married Mrs. Pierce's youngest sister, Miss Rosamond Rust.
    Mr. Pierce spent his boyhood at the home of his father, the late S. P. Pierce, in S. Salina st., where the Pierce home stood. for years until it save way to the large blocks between , Jefferson and Onondaga sts. Mr. Pierce had two brothers, Marsh and Charles Pierce, both of whom died many years ago.
    The Rust homestead was on Fayette Park and the Pierce and Rust families have been prominent socially in the city and village of Syracuse for two or three generations.
    Coroner Nevitt of the District of Columbia certified that the shooting took place during a fit of despondency.
    The body of Mr. Pierce will be brought to this city on Wednesday by Undertaker W. A. Fancher, but arrangements for the funeral have not been made.
    LIFE LONG RESIDENT.
    A life long resident of Syracuse, William K. Pierce was the son of Sylvester P. and Cornelia (Marsh) Pierce, who were of English lineage. His education was gained in the public school and later he attended. a private school in preparation for his collage course.
    He matriculated at Cornell as a member of the class of 1873 and pursued a scientific course. On the completion of his studies he accepted his father's offer of a European trip and spent many years abroad. Following his return he became a student in a law office in this city but after a short time abandoned that profession and turned his attention to business enterprises, entering the house of S. P. Pierce & 8ons where he remained for two or three years. This enterprise had been established by his father in 1839.
    William K. Pierce became a partner in 1867 and they were also joined by a brother-in-law under the name of Pierce, Butler and Pierce. In 1886 owing to the retirement of Mr. Butler, the Pierce, Butler and Pierce Manufacturing Company was formed with a capital of $200,000. A year or so later, Catchpole Manufacturing Company of Geneva, N.Y. was formed by Mr. Pierce, the capital being $100,000. The concerns were united. in 1890 under the Pierce, Butler Pierce Manufacturing Company name with a capitalization of $600,000. The company was then doing a business of over $1,000,000 annually, having built up this large and prosperous business since 1876.
    ORGANIZES POWER CO.
    In 1888, enthused with an idea, he organized the Syracuse Heat and Power Company, with a capital stock of $200,000. The company furnished heat and power to the residents and business places of the city. They then obtained a valuable franchise from the city to conduct this heat through mains placed in the streets. Recognizing the advantages to be derived from a consolidation of a number of large competitors in the same branch of business, Mr. Pierce, with a number of colleagues, formed the American Boiler Company in 1893. Mr. Pierce was made president of the company with the main office in Chicago and. branch offices in all of the principal cities of the United States.
    WEDS SYRACUSE GIRL.
    Mr. Pierce was married on June 16, 1880, to Miss Eleanor B. Rust of this city. He was popular in the social life of the city, being a member of the Century Club, Cornell Club, Citizens Club and the Onondaga Golf and Country Club. He was also connected with many Masonic organizations. Soon after his marriage he was appointed on the staff of Brigadier General Hawley and in 1882 he was promoted to Major on the staff of General Bruce. In 1904, Mr. Pierce was a presidential elector for the administration of Roosevelt and Fairbanks.
    Source - Syracuse newspaper obit with picture, 5 Apr 1915, Syracuse, NY.

    DEATH: WILLIAM K. PIERCE SHOOTS HIMSELF WHILE VISITING IN WASHINGTON
    Sends Bullet Into His Brain During Fit of Melancholia.
    WIFE FINDS HIS BODY
    Former head of Pierce, Butler & Pierce Company Had Been Mental Wreck Since Failure of Firm, Followed by Personal Bankruptcy.
    William K. Pierce, former head of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company, committed suicide by shooting himself through the left temple at 9:30 o'clock this forenoon at the home of relatives in Washington, D.C.
    He had suffered a severe attack of melancholia yesterday afternoon which had grown worse. He rose from his bed at 9:30 o'clock and went to the bathroom in the home of Maj. Charles Lynch, where he was visiting with Mrs. Pierce, and shot himself.
    A Nervous Wreck.
    Mr. Pierce had been a nervous wreck during the past year and a half, since the Pierce, Butler & Pierce company went into the hands of the receiver, and he himself became a bankrupt.
    Accompanied by Mrs. Pierce, he had been visiting at the Lynch home for the past month.
    Following the business troubles, he suffered a nervous breakdown from which he had failed to recover. For some time he had been under the care of Dr. W. C. DuBois of this city.
    On the night of January 16th, the last time that he was treated by Dr. DuBois, he appeared to be in a serious condition, according to a statement made to-day by the physician.
    In a letter to the physician last Friday, Mr. Pierce stated that he was feeling no better and asked that Dr. DuBois prepare a prescription for him. This the physician did, but it did not arrive until after Mr. Pierce had ended his life.
    The death closely follows the demise of Thomas Wheatley, former vice president and treasurer of the firm, on Marsh 27th, and is believed to have had a serious effect on Mr. Pierce's condition.
    When the treatment given him in this city failed to improve his condition, Mr. Pierce and his wife went to Washington about a month ago. They were the guests of Mrs. Pierce's sister, the wife of Maj. Charles Lynch, in the Avondale apartments.
    Dr. Elsner Is Called
    Dr. Henry L. Elsner, of this city, who is in Washington, was called by Mr. Pierce last week. Mr. Pierce complained of severe pains in the back of his head. He was highly nervous. The physician examined him and reported that there was nothing he could do for him. He tried to encourage Mr. Pierce, but his efforts were unavailing.
    He was sent to his room and retired early in the evening. After a night of broken sleep he awoke and left his room shortly before 9:30 o'clock this morning. A few moments later the house was aroused by the sound of a pistol shot.
    Mrs. Pierce ran to the bathroom, where she found him lying on the floor. He had breathed his last. The coroner was notified and issued a certificate of death by suicide.
    Dr. Elsner called William R. Pierce, a son, in this city on the telephone and informed him of his father's death.
    Mr. Pierce had always enjoyed the best of health until the failure of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company a year ago last January. His only illness had been an attack of rheumatism which confined him for a year, when he was 16 years old.
    When the Pierce, Butler & Pierce company was reorganized by a creditors committee last summer, Mr. Pierce was eliminated from the firm. This preyed upon his mind ad was closely followed by his personal bankruptcy.
    Doctors Couldn't Help Him.
    The fact that he had been driven out of the business which he had been the main factor in building up, was a severe blow to him and plunged him into a depression from which the best of physicians was unable to lift him.
    In building up the business he had seen nothing before him but success and he had high hopes for the success of the enterprises which he had founded. The heavy blow which fate had dealt to him could not be overcome and he brooded over his disappointments.
    So serious became his mental illness that he was unable to sleep nights, it was said by his son to-day. The efforts of friends to cheer him up were unavailing, until he finally planed to end it all.
    He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Eleanor Rust Pierce; two sons, William Rust and Harold S. Pierce, both of this city; one daughter, Mrs. Gere Hawley, and three grandchildren, the children of William Rust Pierce.
    Born May 25th, 1851.
    William K. Pierce was born May 25th, 1851, in Syracuse and never left the city except for short business trips or vacations. He was the son of Sylvester P. and Cornelia (Marsh) Pierce.
    He attended the public schools of the city and later attended a preparatory school to prepare himself for a college course. He entered Cornell as a member of the class of 1873 and followed a scientific course.
    After completing his studies at Cornell he was sent abroad by his father and spent years in study in the foreign countries. He studied languages and customs of the people of the old world to broaden his mind for a successful business career.
    On his return from Europe, he became a student in one of the Syracuse law offices. After a short time, however, he changed his mind and decided that he did not want to enter the legal profession. Mr. Pierce turned his attention to business enterprises and entered the house of S.P. Pierce & Sons, where he remained for two years, acquiring a general business knowledge. The business had been established by his father in 1839.
    Partner With His Father.
    Mr. Pierce became a partner of his father in 1876, and they were also joined by a brother-in-law under the name of Pierce, Butler & Pierce, doing a general wholesale business in gas, water and steam supplies, steam and sanitary engineering.
    By faithful and unremitting attention to the business, William K. Pierce, with the assistance of his partners, was able to largely increase the business and in 1886, owing to the retirement of Mr. Butler, he organized the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company. The company started with a capital stock of $200,000. A year later an enterprise at Geneva was purchased and Mr. Pierce organized the Catchpole Manufacturing company with a capital of $100,000.
    Owing to the success of these companies, through careful management in their business enterprises and in order to simplify the business he brought about the consolidation of the two companies in 1890, under the name of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company, with a capital stock of $600,000. The company was then doing a business of over a million dollars a year.
    In 1882 Mr. Pierce was one of the first to organize an electric light company in Syracuse. His firm obtained the first franchise and introduced the first electric light on the streets and in commercial houses. Afterwards the electric light company was consolidated with the Thompson-Houston Electric Light company of Syracuse.
    Enthused with the idea of still further advancing the city's prosperity, Mr. Pierce organized the Syracuse Heat and Power company in 1888. Directly through his personal efforts a capital stock of $200,000 was raised to finance the company. He was the president of the organization.
    Merges Five Companies.
    Realizing the many advantages to be derived from the consolidation of a number of large competitors in the same branch of business, whereby a large expense could be saved, Mr. Pierce, in conjunction with other large competitive manufacturers, formed the American Boiler company in 1893. This company was the consolidation of five large companies manufacturing boilers and its capitol stock was one and a half million.
    Mr. Pierce was president and the main office of the company was in Chicago. At the end of three years Mr. Pierce, for the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing company, bought the entire stock and interest of the other stock holders of the American Boiler company and united these mammoth interests with his own company at their factories in Syracuse.
    Mr. Pierce was always a conscientious worker, and although greatly interested in politics, never found time to devote any of his personal time to intricacies until 1904 when he was prevailed upon to accept the office of presidential elector for the administration of Roosevelt and Fairbanks.
    On June 16th, 1880, Mr. Pierce was married to Miss Eleanor B. Rust, a daughter of Stiles M. Rust of this city.
    Prominent In Social Life.
    In social life, Mr. Pierce was prominently identified. He was a member of the Citizens club, the Century club, the Cornell club and the Onondaga Golf and Country Club. Until a few years ago he was an ardent outdoor sportsman, being particularly fond of fishing and golf.
    He was connected prominently with the Masonic bodies and was not without military and political experiences. In 1890 he was appointed a captain to the staff of Brigadier General Hawley and in 1882 was promoted to major on the staff of General Bruce.
    Although the demands of his business had left him little time for politics, he was a staunch Republican. He had always taken the deepest interest in the welfare of Syracuse. He was instrumental in many movements which were advanced for the progress and growth of the city."
    Source - "Syracuse Herald", dated 5 Apr 1915, Syracuse, NY.
    Note includes 4" x 5" picture.

    DEATH: "MR. PIERCE WILL BE BURIED HERE; ENDS OWN LIFE
    Syracuse Manufacturer Found Dead in Washington.
    ACT DUE TO MELANCHOLIA
    Deeply Depressed for Some Time, Says Dr. H. L. Elsner v Body to Be Sent from Capital To-day.
    SPECIAL TO THE POST-STANDARD.
    WASHINGTON, D. C., April 5. William Kasson Pierce, 64, president of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company, Syracuse, N. Y., until its failure in January, 1914, ended his life here to-day by shooting himself.
    Mr. Pierce killed himself in an apartment in the Avondale, No. 1734 P street, N. W., occupied by Mrs. Charles Lynch, wife of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Lynch, Medical Corps, U. S A, where Mr. and Mrs. Pierce had been guests about a month. Mrs. Pierce and Mrs. Lynch, who are sisters, found the man in a bathroom few seconds. after the shot had been fired.
    Dr. H. L. Elsner of Syracuse, Mr. Pierce's family physician, now in Washington, arrived at the Avondale apartment just after death had occurred. Dr. Elsner said that acute melancholia, induced by business worries, was the cause of the Syracuse man's act. The physicians told Coroner Nevitt that Mr. Pierce had been much depressed and had been complaining of severe headaches
    The body is now at Gawler's undertaking rooms, but will be sent to Syracuse for burial to-morrow evening.
    Colonel Lynch is now on duty in Manila, P. I., and Mrs. Lynch and Mrs. Pierce were the only members of the family in the apartment when the shot was heard. They hurried into the bathroom and found the body of Mr. Pierce on the floor A revolver was beside him. Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy, who lives in the building, was summoned, but upon his arrival he said that death had been instantaneous. Coroner Nevitt granted the necessary
    certificate after hearing Dr. Elsner's statement regarding Mr. Pierce's physical condition.
    SUFFERED BREAKDOWN AFTER PIERCE COMPANY FAILURE
    Mr. Pierce suffered a breakdown in health following the failure of the Pierce company and his own financial difficulties, which occurred in January, 1914. He left the city for a time in an effort to recuperate, hut had since appeared in Bankruptcy Court on several occasions, a willing witness in inquiries concerning his personal finances and past transactions of the company.
    Broken in spirit, Mr. Pierce suffered from mental depression due to the collapse of plans which he had made for the future of the Pierce company. While suffering from no organic ailment he Is said to have been a victim of extreme nervousness at times, and of late had been unable to sleep.
    Mr. Pierce insisted that the failure of the Pierce company was due to the acquisition of the Kellogg-Mackay Company of Chicago, its Western selling agency, and to depression in general business conditions.
    Crisis Unexpected.
    'The crisis came like a bolt of lightning from a clear sky,' he told Charles L. Stone, special master in bankruptcy proceedings, at the same time declaring the Chicago deal would have been a good business move if times had been right. In the same proceeding Mr. Pierce said that at a modest estimate he was worth $1,250,000 in 1913.
    March 9 Mr. Pierce came home from Paul Smith's in the Adirondacks, and testified at a hearing before Special Master Stone. On this occasion a compromise was arranged for Mr. Pierce, Individually to settle with his creditors at 10 cents on the dollar. According to the bankruptcy schedule his debts, including $140,000 contingent liabilities on account of indorsing notes, were $776,656.25. His assets were figured at $60,665.11.
    Three clays later Mr. Pierce left for Washington, Mrs. Pierce having preceded him. Advices since received by relatives in Syracuse were to the effect that Mr. Pierce continued to show evidences of melancholia and complained of pains at the back of his head.
    Mr. Pierce was closely associated with the industrial development of Syracuse and the social life of the city. He was born here, May 25, 1851, the son of Sylvester P. and Cornelia Marsh Pierce. The management of the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company was under his supervision from 1893 until bankruptcy occurred in 1914. The company was developed from the firm of S. P. Pierce & Sons, makers of crockery, lamps, etc., S. P. Pierce having been the father of William K. Pierce.
    The latter was graduated at Cornell University in 1873 and later spent years in Europe. Upon his return he studied law for a short time and then entered the employ of S. P. Pierce and Sons, where he acquired a general business education. He became a partner of his father in 1876, and in 1886 the Pierce, Butler & Pierce Manufacturing Company was organized.
    In the course of a bankruptcy Court examination a few weeks, ago, Mr. Pierce told how the industry had been developed from a small beginning until the business each year amounted to approximately $2,250,000.
    In 1882 Mr. Pierce was one of the persons to organize an electric lighting company in Syracuse, his firm obtaining a franchise and introducing the first electric lights upon the streets and in business places here. Later he was president of the Syracuse Heat and Power Company.
    Mr. Pierce was a Republican presidential elector in 1904, had served as vestryman of St. Paul's Episcopal Church many years, was formerly a director of the National Bank of Syracuse, the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, the Onondaga Golf and Country Club and the Beaver River Club. He had also been president of the Century Club and was prominently identified with other organizations, including Masonic bodies, the Citizens
    Club, the Cornell Club and the state militia. He was also a member of the Park Commission.
    June 16, 1880, Mr. Pierce married Miss Eleanor B. Rust, who, with three children, William R. Pierce. Harold S. Pierce and Mrs. Gere Hawley, survive.
    Easter Market Postponed.
    The Easter market of St. Paul's Parochial Society has been postponed from to-morrow until next Saturday on account of the death of Mr. Pierce, who was a member of the vestry of St. Paul's Church."
    Source - "Syracuse Post-Standard", 5 Apr 1915, Syracuse, NY.
    Note - Includes picture.

    DEATH: "W. K. Pierce A Suicide.
    Syracuse Manufacturer Had Lost Fortune in Few Years.
    Washington, April 5. -- William K. Pierce, formerly a millionaire radiator manufacturer of the firm of Pierce, Butler & Pierce at Syracuse. N. Y., committed suicide here today by shooting himself through the head."
    Source - "New York Times", 6 Apr 1915, New York City, NY.

    DEATH: "WILLIAM K. PIERCE
    The news of the sudden death of William K. Pierce at Washington is a real shock to the Syracuse public.
    Though he had only reached the meridian of life, Mr. Pierce had for many years been prominently identified with the commercial activities of this city, as the head of one of its leading industrial corporations. The misfortune that overtook the house of Pierce, Butler & Pierce is now a familiar story to newspaper readers of our community, and as sad and tragic as it is familiar. Mr. Pierce had inherited along with his large pecuniary interest
    in the concern a deep family pride in its commercial strength and honorable reputation, and the disaster from which it suffered was undoubtedly to him a personal sorrow of almost unendurable poignancy. In spite of it all, he faced the world anew with the tranquil exterior; but he was not quite the same man again, and the strain on his mind and body must have been terrible in its wearing force.
    The death of Mr. Pierce in such circumstances and after a period of trial met with manly fortitude during many weary months, is inexpressibly pitiful. If he was responsible for errors in judgment, the atonement came quickly. He had many friends in this city, and they, while recalling him with mournful pleasure as he was in the days of his honorable prominence and active benevolence, will be thrilled with acute Sympathy for the wife and family who shared his afflictions, and who have now sustained a crowning loss."
    Source - Syracuse newspaper article, undated, Syracuse, NY.

    DEATH: "Will Apportion Pierce Estate.
    The estate of Sylvester P. Pierce, who died twenty-two years ago, and those of his sons will be apportioned following a suit demanding the sale and partition of real estate worth &76,000. One-third of the estate belonged to William K. Pierce, whose estate was taken in bankruptcy proceedings. Mrs. Gladys Kenyon Smith is the plaintiff in the friendly partition suit."
    Source - "Syracuse Post Standard", 13 Dec 1915, Syracuse, NY.
    10 11 12 13
  • Change Date: 1 FEB 2009 at 12:41:36



    Father: Sylvester Phineas Pierce b: 19 SEP 1814 in Sauquoit,Oneida,New York,United States of America
    Mother: Cornelia Maria Marsh b: 25 MAR 1819 in Onondaga Hill,Onondaga,New York,United States of America

    Marriage 1 Eleanor B. Rust b: 18 AUG 1860 in Syracuse,Onondaga,New York,United States of America
    • Married: 10 JUN 1880 in Syracuse,Onondaga,New York,United States of America 14 15
    • Note:
      "Pierce.-- Mr. Will K. Pierce, who was wedded last Wednesday to Miss Ellen Rust, daughter of ex-City Treasurer, Stiles M. Rust, celebrated his last day of single blessedness with a few select spirits at the Century Club. A bachelor's supper was the title of the entertainment."
      Source - "The Sunday Courier", Sunday, 13 Jun 1880, Syracuse, NY.

      "Golden Wedding Of Mr. And Mrs. W. K. Pierce Celebrated Tonight
      By Viola Rodgers.
      The most brilliant social function of the week will be the reception given this evening by Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Pierce at their beautiful home at 811 James street. The event will be commemorative of their wedding which occurred twenty-five years ago in this city at the old Rust mansion, which is now occupied by the Jenner school.
      Tonight the reception will be celebrated with the simplicity and grace of the event which it commemorates. No "shower bouquets" and "wedding bowers," but instead a beautiful bouquet of bride's roses tied as of yesteryear with a simple bow of white ribbon, will be carried by Mrs. Pierce, and they will receive their guests in the living room, which will be decorated simply but gracefully with ferns and pink and white peonies. Mrs. Stile Rust, the mother of Mrs. Pierce, will receive with her, as she did at her daughter's wedding reception a quarter of a century ago.
      The tables here the supper will be served will be decked out in white roses and the table service will be of silver.
      Hundreds of friends have sent beautiful friendship gifts in silver to Mr. and Mrs. Pierce and they will be on view in one of the upper apartments. There are wonderful silver novelties from the great silversmiths of Paris and of London, trays, fruit dishes, candlesticks, spoons from our own renowned shops, and among the exquisite presents is a complete writing desk equipment all in silver.
      Mrs. Pierce will be gowned in a superb imported creation of white embroidered tulle over a silver spangled net, which has for its foundation white taffeta and an overdress of white chiffon.
      The embroidery is in a beautiful floral design done in silk floss and the effect of the silver spangles beneath is superb, besides giving a "silver wedding" suggestion to the toilette.
      The decollete bodice is made with a bertha of the embroidered net over sliver spangles. the short sleeves are met by long white gloves.
      In her hair the handsome hostess will wear a decoration made of white spangled net and roses of silver cloth.
      Little Rosamond Pierce will also assist in receiving and she will be gowned in a dainty white mull trimmed with insertions of embroidery and valenciennen lace. Upon each shoulder ate butterfly bows of Dresden ribbon in a pink rose design, and a chic sash of the same will be worn with this fetching frock.
      The spacious verandas will be enclosed in palms and will be lighted with Japanese lanterns and Oriental lamps.
      The lawn back of the residence will be used as a promenade, and Oriental rugs and cozy corners will be arranged about the grounds among the trees, from which strings of gaily colored lanterns will be hung.
      A very clever poem, full of "local color" has been sent by an old time Syracuse friend of the Pierces, C. R. Sherlock of New York, which will be read tonight by one of the guests.
      Mrs. Pierce is at present entertaining a house party which includes Mr. and Mrs. Irwin H. Dunlop of Washington, Mrs. Frances H. Steele of Auburn, Mrs. Philip N. Westcott and Norris Henrotin of Chicago.
      Among those invited to the reception and Mrs. and Mrs. John Hurst, Mr. and Mrs. F. P. Hiscock, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dey, Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy, Mr. and Mrs. Judson, Mr. and Mrs. Dyer, Mr. and Mrs. H. Chase, Mr. and Mrs. C. Stone, Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Hazard, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Dey, Mr. and Mrs. W. Tracy, Mr. and Mrs. H. Peck, Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Wiley Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Austin Dickinson, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Crouse, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Belden, Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Belden, Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Crouse, Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Larned, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Holcomb, Mr. and Mrs. E. Rust, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Chase, Mr. and Mrs. Thurwatcher, Mr. and Mrs. Colton, Mr. and Mrs. Miss Anna King, Mrs. Wm. Teall, G. P. Clark, Miss Lockwood, Mrs. Lucius Denison, Mrs. Fred White, Miss Bruce, Mrs. H. White, Miss Lynch, Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Hiscock, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Joy, Mrs. beach and Mrs. Charles Belden.
      A poem has been written by Charles R. Sherlock, of New York, formerly of Syracuse, for this silver anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Pierce which will be read this evening at the reception given by them as follows:
      THE APOTHEOSIS OF SYRACUSE
      Old Syracuse, God bless your heart,
      Whose pen shall tell thy tale?
      Whose gifted hand with cunning art
      Shall lift Time's heavy veil?
      By whom shall fleeting years be viewed
      With candid eyes and true
      As with honesty imbued
      We hunt them through and through -
      To search there for the one event -
      The great day of them all -
      Some blessed hour by Heaven sent
      Or awful like his fall;
      The epic moment of the years,
      The city's proudest time,
      The time that poets and seers
      Would hail as most sublime.
      What is the epoch, era, deed
      Gall Sherman's skill might hold
      in monumental form of meed,
      As it 'twere carved in gold?
      What thrilling subject would inspire
      A master painter's brush
      God help us! Would he be McGuire,
      Midst foods of vocal much?
      No, no, you say, 'twould be a crime
      To Carter so employ
      As soon as Tennyson to rhyme
      of John Gray's baby boy.
      A thousand things move on the stage
      In history much bigger -
      Why, Daniel Webster in a rage
      Came here to catch a nigger!
      Before that too, came Henry Clay
      To speak on James street hill -
      The town counts that a gala day
      And smokes the Clay brand still.
      We had a beef "trussed" long ago,
      A barbacue 'twas called:
      When John Greenway o'er fires slow
      Cooked oxen that were stalled.
      High jinks there were in Syracuse,
      A week of fun galore;
      From Washington they were let loose
      These friends of Summer Corps.
      So on and on the record runs
      Of days and doings grand,
      Of Blaine and Grant, the bland
      When Hiscock to the Senate went
      The town let out a whoop;
      We thought he might be president,
      This lion of the group.
      And then the day when all aflame
      Our name lit up the sky! -
      The day when Edward Westcott's fame
      Breathed in a world wide sigh
      And after "David Harum." too,
      The old town had a list
      Of books by authors just as true
      (Save mine - it won't be missed).
      McGrarth, who wrote of clashing glades,
      And Belden, nee Van Zile,
      Whose dainty tales of Holland maids
      Are limed like old Delft tile;
      And Mrs. Andrews hyphened name -
      The city owes them much -
      And Linda Larped's in the game
      With "literary touch."
      The first prize in Love's lottery,
      There's pretty Edna May -
      Like Onondaga pottery,
      Most precious kind of clay.
      Forbes Hoermans, too, the bon vivant,
      Of him the city's proud;
      And Alta Crouse, the queen of song,
      Looms in our famous crowd.
      Great Caesar's ghost! The tasks too hard.
      It's hopeless, can't you see?
      A thousand names on one small card,
      All stars of destiny.
      So Syracuse is glorious
      For what she's said and done,
      For incidents uproarious
      And keeping on the run
      Her annals filed with might deeds,
      Her roll with mighty men.
      In everything that's big she leads;
      She knows not "Might Have Been."
      But running all her triumphs through,
      Recording her great days,
      Giving honor where honor's due
      One thing lifts in the gage -
      This is a moonlit night aflame -
      No pale moon - none so fierce -
      When pretty Ellen Rust became
      Just Mrs. "Stuffy" Pierce!
      Charles R. Sherlock.
      New York, June 16, 1905"
      Source - "The Telegram", 16 Jun 1905, Syracuse, NY.
    Children
    1. Has Children William Rust Pierce b: 25 NOV 1882 in Syracuse,Onondaga,New York,United States of America
    2. Has No Children Harold Spalding Pierce b: 22 DEC 1886 in Syracuse,Onondaga,New York,United States of America
    3. Has No Children Dorothy Pierce b: 4 MAY 1890 in Syracuse,Onondaga,New York,United States of America
    4. Has Children Rosamond Rust Pierce b: 13 OCT 1895 in Syracuse,Onondaga,New York,United States of America

    Sources:
    1. Title: Gravestone - Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY
      Abbrev: Gravestone - Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY
      Page: R1136, ED96, Sht 15, Pg179 A, Ln 8
      Note: Age 51, born May 1851 in NY.
      Date: 14 JUN 1900
    2. Title: Census - NY - 1900 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1900 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: Roll 1137, ED 136, Sht 4, Line 83
      Note: Age 48, born Aug 1841 in NY. Month is wrong
      Date: 4 JUN 1900
    3. Title: Census - NY - 1860 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1860 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: Roll 830, Page 886, Line 19
      Note: Age 9, born in NY.
      Date: 6 JUL 1860
    4. Title: Census - NY - 1870 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1870 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: Roll 1063, Page 357, LIne 12
      Note: Age 18, born in NY.
      Date: 15 JUN 1870
    5. Title: Census - NY - 1880 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1880 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: Roll 908, Page 374, Line 10
      Note: Age 29, born in NY.
      Date: 2 JUN 1880
    6. Title: Census - NY - 1910 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1910 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: R1055,ED111,Sht10 B,Pg248 B,Ln 60
      Note: Age 56, born in NY.
      Date: 26 APR 1910
    7. Title: Passport application of William K. Pierce - 1872
      Publication: Application 24760, issued 16 Sep 1872.
      Abbrev: Passport application of William K. Pierce - 1872
      Page: R1055,ED111,Sht10 B,Pg248 B,Ln 60
      Note: b. 11 May 1851 in Syracuse, NY.
      Date: 26 APR 1910
    8. Title: Newspaper account
      Abbrev: Newspaper account
      Note: See death Nortes.
    9. Title: Gravestone - Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY
      Abbrev: Gravestone - Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY
      Note: Section 3, Lot 232-233, Interment 15438.
    10. Title: Census - NY - 1860 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1860 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: Roll 830, Page 886, Line 19
      Note: Son of Sylvester and Cornelia.
      Date: 6 JUL 1860
    11. Repository:
        Name: Peter C. Pierce
        Arlington, TX 76014-2452
        E-mail (10-2004) pete dot genealogy at
        sbcglobal dot net

      Title: Pierce Genealogy, Being The Record Of The Posterity Of Thomas Pierce, An Early Inhabitant Of Charlestown...
      Author: Pierce, Frederick Beech
      Publication: Worcester : Press of Chas. Hamilton, 311 Main Street, 1882.
      Abbrev: Pierce Genealogy, Being The Record Of The Posterity Of Thomas Pierce, An Early Inhabitant Of Charlestown...
      Note:
      Reprint edition.
      Page: Page 233, person # 3765
    12. Title: Census - NY - 1900 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1900 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: R1136, ED96, Sht 15, Pg179 A, Ln 8
      Note: William K. Pierce, head of household.
      Date: 14 JUN 1900
    13. Title: Census - NY - 1910 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1910 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: R1055,ED111,Sht10 B,Pg248 B,Ln 60
      Note: William K. Pierce, head of household.
      Date: 26 APR 1910
    14. Title: Census - NY - 1900 - Onondaga Co.
      Abbrev: Census - NY - 1900 - Onondaga Co.
      Page: Roll 1137, ED 136, sheet 4
      Note: In the cesnus, he said he had been married 20 years.
    15. Title: Newspaper account
      Abbrev: Newspaper account
      Page: "The Sunday Courier", Syracuse, NY
      Note: An article about his batchelor's party on Sunday, 13 Jun, says William and Ellen married "last Wednesday."
      Date: 13 JUN 1880

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