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History of Pierce

The following was reprinted from the 1996 CIP (Community Improvement Program) manual.

Pierce was originally founded by Germans from Wisconsin in 1869. Three years later the town grew to include many different nationalities. On May 4, 1871, a plat was filed with the Pierce County Register of Deeds laying out a 56-block area. At the time of the platting, streets were given names, some of which were named after persons who purchased the land or made additions to the city, such as Brown, Lucas and Gibson.

Other historial dates of growth include:

•> 1870 Pierce Post Office Established.

•> 1871 First Courthouse built at a cost of $4,000.

•> February 14, 1871 City of Pierce Established

•> 1877 First newspaper published in Pierce County known as The Pierce County Call. It was a leading Republican paper owned by Ed Fry and the editor was Jacob Sharot. In 1891, A.L. Brande became owner until 1948 when the Call was purchased by the Leader.

•> 1878 First church in town established was the Congregational Church. A country church, St. John's Lutheran Church, was located just east of town existing since 1871. Both churches still exist with four other churches added since.
•> 1878 The original dam for the mill was built and constructed out of brick. This was destroyed by a flood in 1924 and rebuilt in 1936.

•> 1880 The Pierce Milling Company was built. During full operation the mill shipped as much as 1,300 sacks of flour to Omaha, Nebraska, at one time and was making regular shipments to Glasgow, Scotland. In 1908, mill was destroyed by fire and later rebuilt in 1913.

•>1882 Woods Cones opened the first bank in Pierce. Later he found a partnership with William Spence and the bank operated as Pierce County Bank. With another change of partners it became First National Bank. In 1897 the name changed to Cones State Bank. Then in 1999 a new building was built and the bank became Midwest Bank, N.A.

•>May 24, 1883 Village of Pierce officially incorporated.

•>1889 Established second newspaper. The Leader was the only Democratic paper in Pierce County and was edited by Douglas Hewitt. Today, we provide area residents with one locally printed newsprint called the Pierce County Leader.

•>1890 Second courthouse replaced original structure one block north as a cost of $25,000.

•> 1902 First Fire Department started with equipment consisting of only a single-hose cart. We now provide protection to 168 square miles with 3 pumpers, 3 tankers, 2 rescue, 1 brush rig, 1 equipment truck, a fire and rescue truck and a new ambulance.

•> 1920 First paving in the City of Pierce.

•> 1964 Dike around Pierce built by Core of Engineers due to floods in 1960 and 1962.
•> 1964 Nine hole golf course completed.

•> 1970 New lake built in memory of Bill Cox, former editor of the Pierce County Leader. The lake is located in Gilman Park. The park provides swimming, picnic areas, camping, fishing, an elaborate museum and newly planted arboretum complete with walking path.

•> 1976 Historical Museum opened and Legion Memorial dediated at Gilman Park.

•> 1984 New firehall built.
•> 1984 Willow Lake State Recreational Area completed.

•> 1992 Expansion of Golf Course.
•> 1992 New athletic complex including football field, soccer fields, asphalt track and grandstand.

•> 1993 New City office building, attached to firehall.

•> 1994 New municipal swimming pool.
•> 1994 Installation of 911 service.
•> 1994 Passage of bond issue for new JR-SR High School.
•> 1994 December 17th Cuthills Vineyards - Nebraska's first Winery opened.

•> 1995 May 28th Pierce County Veterans Memorial dedicated.
•> 1995 New Club house erected for Golf Course.

•> JUNE 1996 Pierce Quasquicentennial "Pride in 125".

•> 1996 Completion of new JR-SR High School.
•> 1996 Restoration of 1st gasoline powered Fire Truck.

•> 1999 10 housing lots were annexed into city limits known as the Willow Ridge Pase I subdivision.

•> 2000 A new building is constructed within the Museum complex in Gilman Park.

•> 2001 A new playground structure was erected in Gilman Park with the help of a grant from the Kiewit Foundation.

•> 2002 34 blocks of paving were completed within the southwest part of town.
•> 2002 The Lied Pierce Public Library was constructed.
•> 2002 3 housing lots were annexed into city limits known as the Willow Wood Subdivision along with several 2.5 acre lots.

•> 2003 13 potential housing lots were annexed into city limits known as the Five Star Subdivision.
•> 2003 7 housing lots were annexed into city limits known as the Willow Ridge Phase II Subdivision along with several rural 2.5 acre lots.

•> 2005 Opening of Tuscan Villa & Gift, Bed & Breakfast.
•> 2005 A multi-purpose room was added on to the Jr-Sr Highschool.
•> 2008 12 Unit (Independent Living) "Marshall Grove Apartment Complex" was constructed.

•> 2009 Elevator at Pierce County Courhouse is completed.
•> 2010 E911 System is operational.
•> 2011 New Shelter House constructed at Gilman Park.
•> 2011 New Pavilion constructed at Pierce County Fairgrounds.
•> 2012 New Elkhorn Valley Bank building constructed.

From the commitment of private and public sources, we continue to address and upgrade various activities for the betterment of the community. Pierce boasts medical facilities, 24-hour fire and rescue squad department, rest home, state recreation area, 9 hole golf course, 911 service, a comprehensive education system, and museum. There are various recreational programs for youth and adults and many service organizations have been established. The future looks bright for Pierce as we continue to meet the needs and challenges of its people.



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