Franklin J. Pierce, a successful business man of Claremont in the eighties, was born in Chester, Vt., August 5, 1848, the seventh child of Joseph G. and Hannah (Hemenway) Pierce. At the age of eighteen Mr. Pierce entered business life in Windsor, Vt., in the capacity of clerk in one of the stores. Afterward, in Claremont, he followed in turn the business of clothier and that of shoe dealer. Later for a short time, he was a druggist in Lawrence, Mass. Ill beyond recovery, he was obliged to return home from Lawrence; and he died February 13, 1886. The maiden name of his wife was Martha E. Wheeler. She was a daughter of Sylvester and Persis E. (King) Wheeler, of Claremont. Of his five children four died in infancy. The survivor is George R. W. Pierce, who was born November 28, 1878.
The first Wheeler of the Claremont family was Deacon Moses, who came from New Ipswich, N.H. He was for some years the owner of a foundry. He also had land and houses, and at one time he was the butcher of Claremont. He first married Lydia Parker, of Lempster, N.H., and afterward one of the Dexters of Dexter Hill. The two children of his second marriage died in infancy. Those of his first wife were: Philena and Lucinda, who never married; Martha, who died young; Maria, who married Caleb B. Ellis; and Sylvester, who married the daughter of Adolphus King, of Newport, N.H. Sylvester Whecler, who is said to have been a typical Yankee, began trading at an early age. He kept a livery stable at the lower village for many years, and was engaged in buying and selling throughout the greater part of his life. He died in 1890, at the age of seventy-nine. His wife survived him until June 21, 1893. They had three children, namely: Orange S., who died in 1879, at the age of twenty-nine; M. Nellie, who, born in 1860, died in 1867; and Martha E., born May 30, 1854, who was educated in Claremont and attended the Stevens High School. Mr. Pierce is survived by his widow and their son, George In life he was much attached to the Congregational church, of which he was an esteemed member. He was a charitable man and of sound principles.