Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pierce City: What's in a Name?

Many years ago, when I first saw the town of Pierce City spelled "Peirce City," I thought the author had made a mistake, but I soon learned that the town's name was indeed spelled "Peirce City" during its early days. That part is not in doubt, but there still seems to be conflicting information on the Internet and elsewhere as to exactly how the town got its original name. According to information I found on the website of the Springfield-Greene County Library, for instance, the depot at what became Peirce City was named after railroad executive Andrew Pierce, but the name was misspelled as "Peirce" on the original plat dedicating the land for public use. However, according to workers at the Harold Bell Wright Museum at Pierce City with whom I talked last summer, this is not true. They said that Andrew Peirce's name really was spelled "Peirce" and that descendants of the family even objected when the name of the town was officially changed to "Pierce City" in the 1980s. What is known for sure is that the "Pierce City" spelling had been in widespread popular use for many years before it was officially adopted. Can anyone shed additional light on this issue?

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