Pierpont, William (1797–1866)

By: Cecil Harper, Jr.

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 27, 2017

William Pierpont (Pierrepont), legislator, merchant, and farmer, the son of Evelyn and Rhoda (Collins) Pierpont, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on August 20, 1797. He and brother-in-law, Hiram Frisbie (Frisbee, Frisby), owned Frisbie and Pierpont Mercantile in Lyons, New York, and in Clarendon Village, New York, in 1821. Pierpont lived in Ashtabula (Salem), Ohio, and Missouri before moving to Texas in 1835 or 1836 with his wife, Sophronia (Frisbie), and their children. He probably settled in Shelby County originally. Pierpont represented Shelby County in the House of the Second Congress, 1837–38, where he was a member of the Election and Ways and Means committees. Shortly after the close of the session, he moved to Houston. In partnership with John White of New York City, he operated a mercantile business, William Pierpont and Company, in Houston, while White probably managed Pierpont and White, their New York City branch. Pierpont sold supplies to the Texas Navy in 1838 and 1839, as well as maintaining an extensive assortment of dry goods in his Houston store. The partnership was dissolved in December of 1839, and Pierpont apparently closed his Houston mercantile operation. Pierpont was one of the original vestryman of the Christ Episcopal Cathedral in 1838–39, was initiated into Holland Masonic Lodge No. 1 in 1839, and in August 1839 was one of three members of the Houston City School Committee. He was living in the Houston area when his wife died on May 28, 1840, at Cottage Hill Plantation near Lynchburg. Pierpont was also an agent for J. P. Collins of Galveston and McKinney and Williams in 1840. In 1841 Pierpont was a commissioner of Spring Creek County, one of the judicial counties abolished when the act that established them was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1842 (see DEFUNCT COUNTIES). By 1845 he had married Mrs. Elizabeth (Ellet Austin) Parrott, and in 1850 the family was farming in Jackson County. From there he moved to DeWitt County and settled in an area that became known as Pierpont Place. By 1852 he was in DeWitt County, where he was appointed postmaster of the new post office of Pierpont Place. He was appointed a notary public in DeWitt County in March 1852 and reappointed in 1854. Pierpont died in 1866 in Wharton County.

Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

  • Second Congress (1837-1838)
  • House
Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Cecil Harper, Jr., “Pierpont, William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/pierpont-william.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 27, 2017

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