Clay County

Biography - T. O. Peirce

T. O. PEIRCE, merchant, Xenia, was born in Clay Comity, Ill., July 8, 1838, and is a son of John Peirce. Our subject was reared on a farm, and educated in the schools of the county, first attending, in 1845, in an old log schoolhouse in the old part of Xenia. In 1860, he engaged in the furniture and lumber business in Xenia, in partnership with George Kenower. In 1862, he turned the business over to his partner, and enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, August 9, 1862, under command of Col. Martin. He enlisted as a private, but was elected the first Captain of his company. The history of the One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois is well known, from the time it marched from camp at Salem in November, 1862; its marches in Kentucky, and up the Tennessee River, the garrison duty at Paducah, Ky., etc., the joining of Gen. Logan's command March 15, 1864. It also participated in the Atlanta campaign, the chase of Hood afterward, and then the march to the sea, and the capture of Fort McAllister, etc. Up to this time, Capt. Peirce had remained with his company, but December 18, 1864, was appointed Acting Assistant Inspector General, in the place made vacant through the fall of Capt. J. H. Groce at the charge on Fort McAllister. Capt. Peirce served in this office till June 1, 1865, when he was relieved from duty, with the personal thanks of his General. He then returned to his company, and was mustered out June 23, 1865. July 13, 1865, he was married at Shullsburgh, Wis., to Miss Maria C. Songer. She was the daughter of John Songer, an early settler of Clay County, and her mother was a daughter of Dr. John Davenport. Mrs. Peirce died February, 1867. Mr. Peirce was afterward married to Miss Eliza Cox, of Wayne County, Ill. She was left an orphan in early life, and was reared by Mr. H. H. Beecher, now of Springfield, Ill. This union has been blest with four children, only two of whom are now living, viz.: Nathaniel T. and Laurena. In the fall of 1865, he engaged in the mercantile business, first in groceries, but gradually changed into the hardware business, but also keeps a general stock of goods, including almost everything except ready-made clothing. Capt. Peirce has been very successful in business. Starting with only about $1,500, he has steadily increased, till now he carries a stock of about $5,000, besides dealing in grain and agricultural implements, and has a farm near Xenia of 243 acres, large brick business house, residence, etc. He is a member of Xenia Lodge. I. O. O. F., and has served in all the chairs of the lodge, and has represented it in the Grand Lodge of the State. He is a stanch Republican.

Extracted 28 Dec 2017 by Norma Hass from 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, Xenia Township, pages 165-166.

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