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Duke Riley Pearce, son of Chester Pearce and Martha (Hodge) Pearce, was born in Houston County, Georgia, on December 19, 1871. He attended the public schools at Henderson and Byron and entered Mercer University in February, 1890. He graduated with an A.B. degree in June 1893.
After graduation he taught school in Cobb County in 1894 and 1895, and in Houston County in 1896 and 1897. While teaching school he read law under W. C. Davis, a member of the bar at Perry, Georgia, and was admitted to practice law in April 1897.
In July, 1897, he moved to Hawkinsville, Pulaski County, Georgia. He was Solicitor of the County Court in 1898 and 1899; became judge of the newly-established City Court of Pulaski County in 1910, and served as judge of that court until January, 1916, when the court was abolished. While judge of that court, he had the unusual distinction of never having a case reversed by the appellate courts of this State.
He served as alderman of the City of Hawkinsville and was mayor in 1922 and 1923. He was one of the original members of a military company that was formed here shortly after he came to Hawkinsville, and went from private to captain of the company and battalion adjutant.
He has been superintendent of Pulaski County schools since September 1926. During his administration as superintendent, consolidated schools have been perfected and all valid debts of the school system have been paid and the schools of the county have increased in efficiency and general standing throughout the State and the teachers have always been paid promptly.
He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Hawkinsville and of Mount Hope Lodge, F. & A. M., of which he has served as Master. He married Mrs. Mamie DeVaughn McCall, November 12, 1902; and she has been a great inspiration to him all these years.