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Joseph Warren Pierce, a prominent resident of South Cornish, was born August 18, 1837, at Winchester, N.H., son of Hosea and Verlina (Putnam) Pierce. On the maternal side he traces his ancestry back to Israel Putnam, of Revolutionary fame, and to General Joseph Warren, the hero of Bunker Hill. His grandfather, Elihu Pierce, born in Connecticut, married a Torrey, and had three children. Elihu carried on a large farming business, and was very prominent in town affairs in New Salem, Mass., where, after being a resident for the greater part of his life, he died. He was Selectman and Overseer of the Poor for many years. His children were: Hosea, Alvira, and a daughter who became Mrs. Putnam. Alvira married Silas Spear, of Orange, Mass. Mrs. Putnam, who had three children, died at New Salem.
Hosea Pierce, born in New Salem in 1801, was a physician, having graduated from a medical college at Pittsfield, Mass. He settled in Winchester, N.H., and practised there for about fifty years, acquiring, it is claimed, the largest practice of any physician in this section of the State. He was sent as Representative to the legislature from his district for two terms. By his wife, Verlina, he was the father of three children-George W., Elihu P., and Joseph W. George W., who is a physician, has succeeded to his brother’s practice. He married Maria C. Follett, who had by him four children, all of whom are living. The other brother, Elihu, born at Winchester, lives at Springfield, Mass., where he Maria Baker Pierce, and his present wife is Emma Bullard Pierce. Both brothers served in the Civil War.
Joseph Warren Pierce was educated in the public schools at Winchester and in Mount Caesar Academy at Swanzey, N.H. He afterward studied dentistry, and began to practise it in the South, where he worked for two or three years. He then came North, and located in Winchester. One year after he went to the military school at Philadelphia, Pa., and from there into the army. He entered as Second Lieutenant of the Fifth Regiment of United States Infantry, and was in action at Fort Harrison and Deep Bottom, and was present at the surrender of Petersburg, at Bunkersville Point, Farnumville, and Appomattox. After the war Mr. Pierce was engaged in a mercantile business for fourteen years at Claremont, and then bought a farm in Cornish. He married Mary Emmeline Fairbanks, of Winchester. His only child, Verlina Relief, who was born September 27, 1872, married Clyde Rawson, of Cornish, the superintendent of mills at Springfield, Vt. Mr. Pierce never held a public office, notwithstanding the fact that he takes an earnest interest in all the public affairs of the town. He has, however, been President of the Republican Club for a number of years and one of the supervisors of the check list of the town.