Bio: Pierce, Walter E. (1865 - 19??)


Surnames: Pierce, Anderson, McEachon, Curtis, Yale, Saurbrei

----Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens, by Louis Marchetti, 1913.

Pierce, Walter E. (17 June 1865 - 19??)

Walter E. Pierce, who is superintendent of one of the large industrial plants of Wausau, the Curtis & Yale, manufacturers of sash, doors, etc., is one of Wausau's best known and valued citizens, having been identified with many things of importance in this city. He is a member of the Wausau School Board and is also serving as alderman representing the Sixth ward. He was born at Princeton, Wis., June 17, 1865, and is a son of Jonathan Pierce.

Walter E. Pierce was three years old when his parents moved to McIntosh Mill, Marathon County. In the following spring they came to Wausau, and when thirteen years old he went to Merrill, Wis., lived there three years and then returned to Wausau. He had very little chance to attend school. When he took his future in his own hands, all his earthly possessions were wrapped in a newspaper, and thus he started on foot for Merrill, Wis. There the brave boy secured work in the office of the Northern Wisconsin News and remained as printer's devil for one and one-half years, in the meanwhile absorbing considerable knowledge of the trade. After that he was employed in the office of the Lincoln County Advocate, also at Merrill, afterward returning to the News and completed his apprenticeship. In the fall of 1881 Mr. Pierce came to Wausau and went to work for Curtis & Yale, who were then installing machinery for their large plant and when operations began in February, 1882, Mr. Pierce returned to the company as a machine operator, at wages of one dollar a day. This is indeed a contrast to the position he occupies with the same company today as superintendent over its force of 400 men. Through all departments he rose step by step and has been continuously with the company with the exception of an interval of four years, during a part of this time, from April 1896, to April 1898, he served in the office of chief of police at Wausau, under Mayor Anderson and Mayor McEachon. He moved then to Milwaukee where he was with the Northwestern Railroad for two years, returning then to the Curtis & Yale people.

Mr. Pierce was married to Miss Catherine Saurbrei, of Kingston, Wis., and they have three children: Gertrude, Ethel and Erwin. The eldest daughter is assistant librarian of the Wausau Public Library, while the second daughter has charge of the typewriting room in the Wausau High School. Mr. Pierce, notwithstanding his early disadvantages, has made steady progress in life from his lonely boyhood and there are few men who can, at present, more readily find friends on every hand. He has been as useful as a citizen that once he was elected to membership on the county board and is now serving in his third term as alderman of his ward. He was one of the earliest members of the E. F. U., an organization which has grown, in the last few years, into one of much prominence in Wisconsin.



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