Dear Bill:

I recently received a phone call from Jeff Wampler, 1007 Grand Street, Winfield, KS 67156, Phone (316) 221-1770, inquiring for information about an ancestor of his, Daniel W. Pierce. Mr. Wampler told me that he used to live in Arkansas City before moving to Winfield. He promised to send me a letter relative to Mr. Pierce. I received it today. I was able to furnish him some information relative to Pierce, but I did not have too much through 1884 Winfield newspaper. MAW July 25, 2000

Mr. Wampler wrote the following: "Am not sure what paper this article was from, but believe it to be from the Winfield Courier, as it states the editor of the Courier wrote it. Clipping belonged to Thelma Pierce Poteet, now in possession of her nephew, Don Faubion."

[I have taken the liberty of correcting spelling mistakes, etc. MAW]


The sudden and unexpected death of D. W. Pierce was a great shock to all his friends. And thus passed another of the men whose lives have been indelibly stamped upon the history of Cowley County. No man was held in higher esteem than Dan Pierce. Scrupulously honest, clear headed in judgment, able and patriotic, he was looked to for counsel and advice. For twelve years he served the county on its board of County Commissioners with ability and rare judgment. Many of the policies he inaugurated are still and always will be applied to county affairs. It is with a deep feeling of sorrow and personal bereavements that the editor of the Courier writes these lines—for to him D. W. Pierce embodied all the best qualities of friendship, of character and of loyalty to his county, his state, and his country.

Mr. Wampler also sent a copy of a letter from Mr. Sheldon.

Letter from W. H. Sheldon.

I received a copy of your letter with the sudden death of D. W. Pierce, who was a companion of many years, from childhood. Went to same schools, grew up as brothers. When of age we took a notion of the west; bought a light rig and started from Waterloo, Wisconsin, to Waterloo, Iowa. Weather getting cold, we bent our way south through Des Moines, Iowa; Columbus, Nebraska; and on through to St. Mary’s Mission, Kansas, where we sold our rig to the Indian agent. This was winter of 1869. We wintered in Topeka and in spring took train to Emporia, then the last railroad station. From there we hoofed it down the Cottonwood and Neosho River, landing on the west bank of the Walnut river near where afterwards we took 320 acres, and to decide which should have choice, Dan threw up the chip and I took dry and drew the west 160, which I afterwards sold to Dan, the railroad cutting my 160 through cornerways, spoiling it for a farm of itself. At this time the settlers were thick in numbers, some settling before the survey and when surveyed some two and three on one claim. Then came the contest. They all had cattle, but no money. Someone found that one might have some money and offered us a bonus of so much for thirty or sixty days, which figured out 120 percent. We were not capitalists but we accommodated a few of them. The principal buildings at Winfield at this time were a two-story log trading post owned and run by Merris and Hunt, who offered to relinquish 320 acres where Winfield stands for $300. We remained until fall of 1870. Proved up on our land, went back to Wisconsin, heavier in experience but very much lighter in weight, some 80 lbs. Sent a man by name of Walters fourteen miles with yoke of Texas oxen for a two-gallon of stimulant to get us to the railroad station, arrived home, and in 1872 I came to South Dakota. Dan stayed in Wisconsin a few years, then took his family to Seeley, Cowley County, again and remained.

The news of his sudden death was a great shock to myself and family. One who has a friend like D. W. Pierce could always depend on the best from him, kind to all, ready to stretch forth to assist all distressed, strictly reliable, true to his country, a Civil war veteran, an even disposition, a friend to all. If the world was made up of men like D. W. Pierce, it would be very much better. Cowley County has lost a valued friend.

Regards to all his friends.

Respectfully yours,

W. H. Sheldon

Parker, S. D.

Dec. 29, 1919


I am puzzled about reference to "two-story log trading post owned and run by Merris and Hunt." Was Sheldon referring to "old log store" started by Manning and Baker?

Perhaps if you seek help from those interested in Cowley County history, we can find out more. I would like very much to assist Mr. Wampler, if that is possible.

Attached are the pages containing the information I was able to find about D. W. Pierce.


To Stage Coach at the Central Hotel
To The Central Hotel
To Early Hotels in Winfield
To Transportation Images
To Mary Ann Wortman's Home Page



















At first C. C. Pierce was the only Pierce I found in Winfield Courier.

Finally, Daniel W. Pierce began to appear...MAW July 11, 2000.


Kansas 1875 Census Ninnescah Township, Cowley County, March 1, 1875.

D. W. Pierce 28 m w Vermont Wisconsin

Minerva Pierce 24 f w Wisconsin Wisconsin

Cora Pierce 2 f w Wisconsin Wisconsin


[FEBRUARY 1871] PAGE 208.

DANIEL W. PIERCE was president of the board of county commissioners of Cowley County. He was a resident of the county since February, 1871, living in section 14, Ninnescah Township.

Daniel W. Pierce was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, January 21, 1847, a son of Willard A. Pierce.

Willard A. Pierce was a lifelong farmer, who in 1854 left Vermont and moved to Dodge County, Wisconsin, where he took up a farm near the village of Waterloo. There he lived until his death, in 1868. He married Mary J. Northrop, who died in 1898, while residing with a son in the northern part of Kansas. They were the parents of seven children.

1. Alvira, who was the wife of T. W. Carter, of Jefferson County, Wisconsin.

2. Charles, who was a merchant at Boise City, Idaho.

3. Daniel W.

4. Ida, who was the wife of A. Thompson, employed by the Fisher-Bowman Mining Company, of Boise City, Idaho.

5. Clara, who was the wife of A. A. Fisher, manager of the same company—Fisher-Bowman Mining Company, Boise City, Idaho.

6. Albert, who was a farmer in the northern part of Kansas.

7. Abbie, who was the wife of A. Dewey, a retired farmer of Dane County, Wisconsin.

Mr. Pierce attended school at Waterloo, Wisconsin, and remained under the parental roof until he attained the age of twenty-four years.

With William Sheldon, he drove through to Iowa, thence to Nebraska, and finally to Kansas. In February, 1871, he took up his present home, although he did not move upon it until 1873. In 1880 he bought 160 acres in the section west of his home, and 80 acres in section 23, which were taken up by a Mr. Wells. The last named place contained an orchard and a small house, and 50 acres of it had been broken, while the other farm contained no improvements whatever. Mr. Pierce set about improving his farm and it became second to none. The buildings were good and substantial, and the place had an appearance denoting a thrifty and enterprising owner. His present home was completed in 1899, at a cost of $1700. He was a large producer of grain and feed, and raised large numbers of hogs and cattle.

Mr. Pierce formed a matrimonial alliance with Minerva Thompson, of Dane County, Wisconsin, a daughter of Harrison and Adeline Thompson. This union resulted in the birth of the following children: Cora, who was the wife of T. Stone, and died aged twenty-one years; Olive; Oscar; Herbert; and Mary.

Mr. Pierce was a soldier in the Civil War, enlisting at the age of seventeen in Company H, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery; he served one year, or until the end of the war.

Politically, Mr. Pierce was a Republican; he was elected to various township offices. He served as township trustee; on the school board; and since 1896 held the position as president of the board of county commissioners.

He was an active member of Lodge No. 408, I. O. O. F., of Udall, Kansas. Religiously, he favored the United Brethren Church.

Winfield Courier, December 17, 1874.

Dec. 12th, 1874.

The citizens of Ninnescah Township met pursuant to a call of the Trustee to organize an aid society and elect a committee to cooperate with the Cowley County Relief Association in procuring aid for the needy.

The officers of the Ninnescah Aid Society are Pres., Dr. A. C. Capper; Vice Pres., D. W. Pierce; Sec., P. W. Smith; Treas., F. D. Davis. Committee consisting of T. Walker, A. D. Wood, and P. W. Smith.

The following resolutions were adopted, to-wit:

1st. Resolved, That this committee report immediately to the Cowley County Relief Committee at Winfield.

2nd. That this committee canvass the township within the next five days to ascertain the exact number of destitute in the township.

3rd. That the proceedings of their meeting be furnished to the Winfield COURIER and Telegram for publication. P. W. SMITH, Sec.

D. W. Pierce in next item...

Winfield Courier, December 12, 1878.

Among the substantial citizens of Cowley County who have favored the COURIER in the past few days by payments on subscription, are, D. S. Brown, W. H. Denning, W. W. Bush, D. Thompson, R. W. Anderson, George Walker, N. B. Sipe, B. Alexander, W. Christopher, J. J. Christopher, E. Wilson, L. Prickett, A. Booth, F. M. Savage, E. Pate, H. L. Barker, J. M. Harcourt, J. M. Rosson, A. D. Edwards, R. R. Longshore, J. F. Lacey, T. R. Carson, A. E. Silliman, R. White, W. H. Hartman, M. S. Troxel, Warren Wood, B. F. Saunders, J. J. Michener, C. R. Myles, J. H. Lee, W. A. Butterfield, J. H. Beckley, W. H. Gilliard, S. B. Littell, P. W. Crawford, W. H. Melville, D. W. Pierce, J. W. Haynes, J. Nixon,

A. J. Pickering, Joel Mason, Daniel Kempton, H. S. Brooking, P. Buckley, J. R. Scott, W. C. Briant, J. J. Johnson, S. Pennington, J. Shaw, R. Gilstrap, J. A. Goforth, S. W. Huff, L. Stout, and S. Cavanaugh. Thanks, gentlemen.

Note: Both C. C. Pierce and D. W. Pierce appear in next item...


Winfield Courier, September 11, 1879.

The county central committee was chosen as follows.

Township Member P. O.

Beaver C. W. Roseberry Tannehill

Bolton J. D. Godfrey Arkansas City

Cedar James Utt Cedarvale

Cresswell C. R. Mitchell Arkansas City

Dexter H. C. McDorman Dexter

Harvey B. T. Smith Glen Grouse

Liberty Justus Fisher Winfield

Maple J. R. Moore Red Bud

Ninnescah Daniel Pierce Bushnell

Omnia A. S. Crow Baltimore

Otter C. R. Mills Cedarvale

Pleasant Valley C. C. Pierce Winfield

Richland D. C. Stephens Floral

Rock T. S. Green Rock

Sheridan H. C. Irwin Tisdale

Silver Creek A. P. Brooks Moscow

Silverdale B. C. French Silverdale

Spring Creek A. A. Wiley Maple City

Tisdale S. S. Moore Tisdale

Vernon J. B. Evans Winfield

Walnut S. E. Burger Winfield

Windsor Wright Martin Lazette

Winfield City W. O. Johnson Winfield

The convention adjourned with three cheers for the whole ticket.


Winfield Courier, February 26, 1880.

At a meeting of the council last week, it was decided by a unanimous vote of the board not to admit any saloons to our peaceful little city.

Public necessity demands a bridge over the Walnut river at Morton & Picket’s mills. Said mills are now ready for grinding both wheat and corn.

Mr. Reader is erecting a large blacksmith and wagon shop on Johnson’s addition.

Mr. Henry Irvington is excavating the cellar for a business block on the same addition.

Mr. James Hollister, of this township, recently gained ten pounds in one day. It was a boy.

Mr. R. F. Kimbrough of Goldore, took in this city Friday last. He declares "all bets off."

Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Martin, of Cowley, were in the city Sunday last, the guests of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Hall.

Mr. James Rothrock, of Winfield Township, gave our town a friendly call on Sunday.

MARRIED: At the residence of D. W. Pierce, on Sunday last, by Squire G. L. Cole, Mr. Sherman Thompson and Miss Maggie Seehorn, all of this township.

Winfield Courier, November 3, 1881.

Cowley County, Kansas, November A. D. 1881 Term.


F. E. Lewis vs. D. W. Pierce, administrator, et. al.


Winfield Courier, November 3, 1881.

SEELEY, KAS, Oct. 29, 1881.

We, the veterans and old soldiers of the late war, met at Seeley for the purpose of organizing a company to attend the Regimental Drill at Winfield Nov. 12th, 1881. The following officers were elected.

Captain: A. A. Jackson.

1st Lieutenant: H. H. Martin.

2nd Lieutenant: G. S. Cole.

1st Sergeant: D. W. Pierce.

2nd Sergeant: Jeff Hammond.

3rd Sergeant: Henry Reidell.

4th Sergeant: H. H. Crick.

5th Sergeant: Jacob Wolgamott.

1st Corporal: J. A. Hood.

2nd Corporal: Will Ratliff.

3rd Corporal: L. B. Goodrich.

4th Corporal: Jim Hubbard.

5th Corporal: J. H. Roach.

A meeting was appointed for Saturday, Nov. 5th, at 2 o’clock p.m., all the veterans in the township are cordially pressed to be present. WM. SENSENEY, Clerk.

Winfield Courier, January 19, 1882.

SEELY, KANSAS, January 13, 1882.

The Crooked Creek Library Association held their third annual meeting January 4th. House called to order by the Secretary, Mr. D. W. Pierce, chosen Chairman pro tem.

Treasurer’s report read and adopted, and Librarian’s report read and approved.

Officers elected for the coming year: Mr. D. W. Pierce, President; Mr. George S. Cole, Vice President; Bert Copple, Secretary; Mr. S. A. Hood, Treasurer; Mrs. J. N. Hood, Librarian; Mr. Geo. B. Cole, P. J. Copple, and Jacob Hopkins, Library Committee; and Albert Pierce, L. H. Senseny, and Mr. T. Thompson, Trustees.

Adjourned to meet the first Wednesday after the first Monday in April.

BERT COPPLE, Secretary.


Winfield Courier, February 16, 1882.




Among other proceedings had by the Board the following claims were acted upon as follows.


Geo. S. Cole, Judge: $3.90

H. H. Martin, Judge: $2.00

W. A. Wood, Judge: $2.00

D. W. Pierce, Clerk: $2.00

Benjamin F. Turner, Clerk: $2.00

Winfield Courier, August 10, 1882.


66th REPRESENTATIVE CONVENTION: N. M. Chaffey, chairman; W. B. Weimer, secretary.


Ninnescah: J. A. Hood, Wm. Crawford, D. W. Pierce.


Seeley: Gertrude McKinley; Clara V. Pierce; Lilly Perrin.

Winfield Courier, January 25, 1883.



JUROR: D. W. Pierce

Winfield Courier, March 15, 1883.

Coroner’s Inquest.

DIED. The Coroner was called suddenly Tuesday morning to hold an inquest on the body of Mrs. Rachel Ann Cunningham, who dropped dead in her house in Ninnescah Township, Monday evening. The following jury was summoned: A. A. Jackson, E. H. Jones, Jesse Isenogle, John A. Hood, James Rothrock, D. W. Pierce. The investigation was careful and searching and the following facts were elicited. During the evening Mrs. Cunningham was very much excited and used abusive language toward her husband, who was trying to quiet her. About eight o’clock she went out doors and soon Mr. Cunningham heard someone moaning and heard a fall. He sent one of the children out to see what was the matter. The child returned and said her mother had fallen down. Mr. Cunningham then went out and found her lying on her face. He picked her up, brought her into the house, tried with camphor and water to restore her, and finding it was of no use, sent for the neighbors. A post mortem examination was made by Dr. Emerson, who ascertained that her death had been caused by heart disease, and the jury found a verdict in accordance therewith. Mrs. Cunningham was about forty years old and leaves five children.

Winfield Courier, July 5, 1883.

D. W. Pierce brought in last Saturday some corn stalks raised near the Arkansas in this county which are beginning to tassel and are ten feet high to the end of the tassel. He has 65 acres all nearly as good as the samples brought us, and as much more not quite so good.

Winfield Courier, October 18, 1883.

Recap: In matter of Estate of William Frier, Deceased. D. W. Pierce to be Administrator of Estate. W. P. Hackney, Attorney for Administrator. To be considered first Monday of January, A. D., 1884; Friday, January 5; Friday, January 11.

Winfield Courier, January 17, 1884.

Commissioners Proceedings.

The viewers’ report on S. H. Harbour and D. W. Pierce county roads were approved.


Winfield Courier, April 17, 1884.

Commissioners’ Proceedings.

The Board of County Commissioners were in session last week, and ground out an unusual amount of business.

Hearing of application of Justice Hollister for damages in the D. W. Pierce Co. road was set for July 2nd.


Winfield Courier, July 17, 1884.


What was Done at its last Quarterly Session, Beginning July 7th.

A careful examination of the assessors’ enumeration of inhabitants of the county was made and the Board found that the population of the county was 26,137.

The J. A. Elliot, H. J. Sandfort, N. R. Penny, E. B. Stowe county road petitions were laid over to the October session of the Board.

Philo Kent was allowed $35 damages in J. B. Taylor county road.

The viewers’ report in H. Ireton county road was adopted and damages awarded.

J. Hollister was allowed $35 damages in location of the D. W. Pierce county road; also damages $35 allowed Solomon Schammahorn in W. S. Rigdon county road.


Winfield Courier, August 14, 1884.

The drawing of the petit jury resulted in the selection of the following.

Ninnescah. D. W. Pierce.

Winfield Courier, August 28, 1884.


The county convention met pursuant to call, and was called to order by D. A. Millington, chairman of county central committee. After the reading of the call by the secretary, E. A. Henthorn, of Silver Creek Township, was nominated for temporary chairman and E. G. Gray, of Creswell Township, for temporary secretary.

The report of the committee on credentials was then submitted, and the following parties reported as entitled to seats in the convention.

NINNESCAH. H. H. Martin, G. S. Cole, D. W. Pierce.

Winfield Courier, August 28, 1884.

D. W. Pierce and wife came down from Seeley and spent Saturday and Sunday with J. S. Rothrock’s family. D. W. is one of Cowley’s oldest settlers, coming to Kansas fifteen years ago, and located on the farm that he now lives on. His farm contains 320 acres, all of which is in high state of cultivation. He has made his farm just what it is and he has around him stock of all kinds. When the writer first knew him, he had one cow and she was blind, and on the night of the 11th of June, 1878, she drowned in Crooked Creek, leaving him without a cow. He now has forty head of cows, fifteen or twenty young cattle, and is prosperous in all things.