Biography of Thomas Murray Pierce
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Thomas Murray Pierce, a man of splendid professional qualifications and of high social standing in St. Louis, is practicing at the bar as a member of the firm of Jourdan, Rassieur & Pierce and is also vice president and general counsel of the Terminal Railway Association, of which at one time he served as president. He was born in Union City, Tennessee, July 18, 1877. His father, Rice A. Pierce. also a native of that state, is a representative of an old Tennessee family of Welsh lineage that was founded in America by Rice Pierce, who came to the new world in 1777 with a Welsh regiment for service in the Revolutionary war. He remained, however, a resident of the new world and in 1812 served with the American forces at Norfolk, Virginia, and held the rank of colonel in the army. He originally settled in North Carolina and for many generations the family lived in the south. His namesake, Rice A. Pierce, father of Thomas M. Pierce, is a prominent lawyer of Union City, Tennessee, and served as a member of congress from the ninth congressional district of that state for more than twenty years, figuring very prominently in both state and national politics.
At the time of the Civil war he joined the Confederate forces under General Nathan Bedford Forrest and was on active duty throughout the period of hostilities. After the war he served as attorney general of Tennessee and he yet retains his residence in Union City and is most widely known as a prominent lawyer of distinguished ability. He wedded Mary Hunter, who was born at New Madrid, Missouri, a daughter of Judge Isaac Hunter, who was a well known jurist of that place and a. representative of a leading family of this state of English lineage, founded in the new world by Joseph Hunter, who crossed the Atlantic when this country was still numbered among the colonial possessions of Great Britain. The Hunter family was among the first to settle at New Madrid. Mrs. Pierce is still living and by her marriage became the mother of two sons: Thomas M. of this review; and Rice.
Thomas Murray Pierce pursued his more specifically literary education at Georgetown University, from which he was graduated In 1898 with the Bachelor of Arts degree. He prepared for the bar as a student in the Cumberland University Law School at Lebanon, Tennessee, and was graduated in 1899 with the LL. B. degree. He then entered upon active practice at Union City, where he continued until 1905, when he came to St. Louis and has since gained prominence as a representative of the Missouri bar. He first entered the law office of Boyle & Priest and he was at the same time general counsel for the St. Louis & Suburban Railway Company. He remained with Boyle & Priest until 1918, when the present firm of Jourdan, Rassieur & Pierce was organized. He was formerly vice president of the St. Louis Merchants Bridge Terminal Railway Company and is now general counsel for the Wiggins Ferry Company and general counsel for the St. Louis Merchants Bridge Terminal Company. He became general counsel for the Terminal Railway Association, which position he occupied from 1911 until 1920, when he was appointed acting president of the corporation to fill a vacancy, while subsequently he was made vice president and general counsel. His attention, however, has chiefly been concentrated upon the profession of law and he is an attorney of pronounced ability, particularly skilled in corporation law.
On the 30th of June, 1899, at Lebanon, Tennessee, Mr. Pierce was married to Miss Mary Beard, a native of that place and a daughter of Judge Edward E. and Sarah (Livingston) Beard. They have become the parents of six children, of whom four are living: Thomas M., Julius E., Dickson W. and Roberta W., who are with their parents at No. 21 Vandeventer place.
Mr. Pierce has always given his political allegiance to the democratic party but has never sought nor desired office. However, he served as colonel on the staff of Governor Elliot W. Major and by reason of his professional relations was general solicitor of the St. Louis-East St. Louis terminal district for the Hon. W. G. McAdoo, director general of the railroads during federal control. He belongs to the Roman Catholic church and in club circles is well known through his connection with the Noonday, St. Louis, Racquet and St. Louis Country Clubs. His interest in the welfare of his city is indicated by his connection with the Chamber of Commerce and he belongs also to the Law Library Association and the St. Louis, Missouri and American Bar Associations.