pierce city main street

Pierce City

Looking forward to an active and progressive future.

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About Pierce City

The City of Pierce City was founded in Lawrence County in 1870 as a division point for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. Named for railroad executive Andrew Peirce, the town used both spellings before settling on “Pierce” in 1934. An early leading city in southwest Missouri, the town was a hub for railroad traffic and commerce. Early industries included lime manufacturing, a pottery factory, a brewery, a feed and flour mill, strawberry shipping, buggies and support for local agriculture. One of the oldest department stores in southern Missouri, Newman`s, began here in 1870. By 1900, Pierce City had two banks, ten churches and 11 community and fraternal organizations, three hotels, two newspapers, veterans groups for both the North and South, a well-known community band, an opera house, a National Guard company and the Baptist Bible College from 1878 to 1904. German, Irish, Polish, and African Americans made their homes here. After the black population left in 1901 and the land rush moved west with the railroads, Pierce City`s business focus turned more local. Twentieth century industries included canning, casket, garment, fishing motor and wood processing factories. Pierce City has produced gifted artists and prominent state leaders, from political representatives to the adjutant general of the National Guard. The city`s population peaked at 3,500 in the mid-1890s. The town was experiencing an economic revival when a tornado destroyed the historic and picturesque downtown and 71 homes on May 4, 2003. The community proved to be a model for disaster recovery, moving and rebuilding the business district. Pierce City has embraced its rich heritage through the Harold Bell Wright Museum and looks forward to an active and progressive future.

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Storm Shelters

    Shelter 1

    Located at the fire house

    307 E. Main

    Shelter 2

    Located at the high school, across from the football field

    300 N. Myrtle

    Shelter 3

    Located at the National Guard Armory

    600 S. Pine