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PIERCE, FRANK CUSHMAN

PIERCE, FRANK CUSHMAN (1858–1918). Frank Cushman Pierce, lawyer and writer, was born at Fort Davis, Texas, on December 15, 1858, the son of Sarah Katharine (Cushman) and Leonard Pierce, Jr. He spent his early years in New England, in Buffalo, New York, and, briefly, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, where his father was a United States consul. In late 1865 or early 1866 the family settled in Brownsville, where Pierce received some formal education in public and private schools. In 1871 he became a telegrapher; later he was an assistant agent for the Morgan Steamship Company at Port Isabel (see MORGAN LINES) and a seaman on the U.S.S. Rio Bravo during its brief career on the Rio Grande. In 1882 he moved to Indianola, where he married Kate Eichlitz, who died eight years later; they had no children. In the 1880s Pierce moved to Dallas to work as a business-college instructor and as a court reporter. He began contributing articles about Mexico and South Texas to Texas newspapers and magazines. He also studied law and was admitted to the bar in Dallas in 1895. Pierce married Isabella Jane Archer on December 1, 1891; they had eight children. In 1904 he moved with his family to Brownsville. There he practiced law, organized and operated the Rio Grande Valley Abstract Company, and became a genealogist. Pierce was one of four residents designated by Gen. Frederick Funston of Fort Sam Houston and Gen. James Parker of Fort Brown to assist in reassuring citizens of Mexico during the Border Incident, 1915–16 (see PERSHING, JOHN J., VILLA, FRANCISCO), by personal contact and circulation of a manifesto in Spanish. In 1916 he compiled a handbook, Colloquial and Idiomatic Mexican, and in 1917 he wrote A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, containing information largely obtained from conversations with longtime residents. The same year he worked with the military authorities in permanently marking the sites of the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palmaqv, and old Fort Brown. Pierce died on November 10, 1918, and was buried in Brownsville. Texas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Florine Pierce Faulk and Grace Edman

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Florine Pierce Faulk and Grace Edman, "PIERCE, FRANK CUSHMAN," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpi09), accessed August 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.