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Osborne J. Pierce business records
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- Textual record
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- Pierce family, Osborne J.
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- 0.17 m of textual records
- 5 photographs
- 1 drawing
- 3 watercolours
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Osborne J. Pierce was born in Albion, Maine on March 8, 1839. He spent most of his life in Albion up until 1856, when he took some odd jobs in La Porte City, Iowa and Mankato and St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1858 he returned to Maine, where he taught school in Winslow and Albion. In 1860, Pierce left for Boston, Massachusetts, where he set up a sign painting business. After the outbreak of the American Civil War Pierce went to Albion to volunteer for service; he was appointed a recruiting officer in 1862. He was organized into the 24th Main Regiment, Company G on September 17th. In January 1863, he was appointed 6th Corporal of Company G, and in April he was promoted to Sergeant Major of the regiment. On December 30, 1863, after a brief break in service, Pierce entered U.S. Service as a 1st Sergeant, and he held this position until the close of the war. At the end of 1865, Pierce purchased a publishing business in Boston, moving it to Waterville in May 1866. On April 24, 1866, Pierce married Caroline Little Twitchell (b. February 24, 1847?, d. 1936) of Bethel, Maine. The couple had two children, Annie Louise (b. June 9, 1867, d. December 21, 1928) and Winifred Mabel (b. August 15, 1872, d. April 2, 1919). Annie Louise married Louis Denison (L.D.) Taylor on May 26, 1892. Together they had two sons, Theodore Pierce Taylor and Kenneth Osborne Taylor.
The Pierces lived in Waterville until May 1868, during which time Pierce added photographic portraiture and stereoscopic views of scenery to his business. In 1866, Pierce had taken courses in architecture in Worcester and taught drawing at the School of Mechanics. Upon moving to Worcester Massachusetts in June 1868, Pierce became engaged in architecture, first with the office of E. Boyden & Son in July 1868, then as a partner with A.P. Cutting Architects in May 1969, followed by a short partnership with E.L. Angell. In May 1872, Pierce left for Northampton, where he worked for Mr. W.F. Pratt, Architect, until March 31, 1873. Pierce then fell under the employ of Bradlee and Winslow Architects of Boston between April 1873 and April 1874. During this time he was appointed a Teacher of Drawing in Chelsea Free Evening Drawing School and the Drawing School for Public School Teachers. In September 1874, Pierce was hired by the City of Chicago to introduce the Walter Smith System of Drawing into the public school system. Upon completion of the contract in July 1875, he was hired as the Superintendent of Drawing for the City of Chicago Department of Public Instruction. After the completion of the contract in July 1976, Pierce taught art privately at Bryants Business College and the Chicago Academy of Design; he also designed furniture and decorative pieces and engaged in various commercial enterprises.
Between 1878-and 1880, Pierce worked as a draftsman and superintendent for several Chicago Architects. From 1879 to 1881, he worked for E.S. [Jamison] Architects and then for two or three other architects until June 1882 when he opened his own office at 155 La Salle Street, which he maintained until at least 1889. Types of buildings that Pierce designed include a school, warehouse, store, bank, houses, library room, office, and a livery stable. Pierce practiced in Chicago until 1894 and then lived in Oak Park, Illinois from 1895-1897. Moving back to Chicago in 1899, he worked for Frost & Granger as Superintendent of Construction and, in 1901, he became a Superintendent for Patton & Miller and then S.S. Beeman. Between January and October 1902, Pierce worked for Grace & [Lloyde] of Chicago and New York as the Inspector of Granite for the LaSalle Street Terminal Union Station this involved work in Hardwick and Northfield, Vermont. Osborne and Caroline Pierce moved to Redlands, California in November 1902. Pierce opened an architectural office there in January 1903. In October 1904, the family moved to Los Angeles so that Pierce could pursue a job as a draftsman. In 1906, Annie, Theodore and Kenneth Taylor joined the Pierces in Los Angeles. While living in Los Angeles, Pierce was a member of the South Hollywood Improvement Association. He died on January 11, 1912.
Scope and content
Series consists of records relating to Osborne J. Pierce's career as an architect and his position as a Superintendent of Drawing for the City of Chicago Department of Public Instruction. Records include correspondence, letters of recommendation, account books, notebooks and journals, a patent, a report, certificates, a book, a directory, business cards and advertisements.
Additional material intermingled with these records includes poetry and prose by Osborne J. Pierce, including autobiographical prose, family history notes, photographs, watercolours and drawings.
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Related records are available in the following series in this sousfonds: Osborne J. Pierce correspondence and Osborne J. Pierce architectural drawings and plans