J. P. PIERCE, County Judge, Crittenden County, was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., December 16, 1841. His father, Stanton Pierce, was born in Wayne County, Ky., in 1820, and is living in Lyon County. Subject's mother, Mary Pierce, is a daughter of Eli Bettis. Mr. Bettis was born in South Carolina, immigrated to Jefferson County, Tenn., where he lived until 1865, then moved to Crittenden County, and died in 1874, aged eighty three years. His widow survived him only a short time. The subject of this sketch is the eldest of a family of five children, named as follows: J. P., J. A., Mary Jane (wife of J. K. P. Greenleaf), Eliza F. (deceased) and George W. In 1858 J. P. Pierce entered the Mossy Creek College, where he remained two years; in 1858 he came to Crittenden County, Ky., where he commenced teaching school near Dycusburg, following the profession for three years, and farming to a limited extent during the summer vacations. In August, 1863, he enlisted in Col. Chenowith's regiment for the Confederate service, and as first lieutenant served to near the close of the war, when, on account of sickness, and not being able to keep up with the regiment, he surrendered to the Federals, and was paroled. He then went to Illinois, and engaged in farming in Gallatin County, remaining there one year. He then came back to Crittenden County, and moved to a farm between Marion and Dycusburg, and later purchased a fine tract of land, which he still owns. In 1874 he was chosen magistrate of the Dycusburg District, and two years later was appointed deputy sheriff of Crittenden County under R. A. Dowell, the duties of which he discharged until 1878. In the latter year he was elected sheriff by a majority of over 400 votes, and two years later was re-elected to the same office by 700 majority. At the expiration of his term of office in 1882, Mr. Pierce was elected county judge by a strict party vote, over a very popular competitor, and is holding the office at the present time. Mr. Pierce is very popular in the county, and is in every respect a self-made man. He carries on a large farm, and is also interested in the hardware business, being partner of the largest house of the kind in Marion. October 26, 1860, Mr. Pierce was married to Miss Emeline F. Ralston, of Trigg County, by whom he has seven children, all of whom are now living. The following are their names: Florence E., Cortis J., Ambie B., Cora A., Norval L., Collin and Ira. Mr. Pierce is connected with several secret and benevolent societies, and is an active member of the Baptist Church, as is also his wife; they having contributed largely to the building of the First Baptist Church of Marion, Crittenden County. He takes a lively interest in politics, voting with the Democratic party.


Source:  J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin, & G. C. Kniffin. Kentucky. A History of the State. Louisville, KY, Chicago, IL: Battey, 1885. Pages 735-736.