Title and statement of responsibility area
Osborne J. Pierce family sousfonds
General material designation
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of sousfonds
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1858-1941, predominantly 1858-1931 (Creation)
Physical description area
- 2.47m textual records
- 287 photographs
- 7 plans
- 32 drawings
- 8 watercolours
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Archival description area
Name of creator
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.
Records were originally created, received and maintained by four members of the Pierce family: Osborne J. Pierce, Caroline Little Pierce, Annie Louise Taylor, and Winifred Mabel Pierce. Presumably these records were passed into the custody of Ted Taylor after the deaths of the original creators. Ted Taylor then organized the records as a collective entity
Scope and content
Sousfonds consists of records of the Osborne J. Pierce family, most notably records of Osborne J. Pierce, Caroline Little Pierce, Winifred Mabel Pierce, Annie Louise (Pierce) Taylor, and, to a lesser extent, those of L.D. Taylor, Theodore Pierce Taylor, and Kenneth Osborn Taylor. The sousfonds includes correspondence, diaries, journals, photographs, and financial and investment records relating to members of the Pierce family. Also included are records of Osborne J. Pierce relating to his business affairs as an architect and a drawing instructor and his military service during the American Civil War, as well as various autobiographical, prose and poetic writings by Osborne. The sousfonds also contains records relating to Winifred s career as a schoolteacher, and records concerning Annie s education, her marriage to L.D. Taylor, and the time that she spent living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Among the correspondence there are several letters to and from L.D. dating from the time that he left Chicago and came to Vancouver, British Columbia, through his ownership and loss of the World newspaper, 1905 to 1915, and during his first three terms as Mayor of Vancouver in 1910, 1911 and 1915.
Record types include correspondence; photographs and photograph albums; bank statements, receipts, invoices, cheque books and accounting records; journals, diaries, notebooks and record books; legal documents and agreements; architectural plans and drawings; certificates and a patent; written poetry and prose, including essays, short stories, speeches, notes and outlines; books, newsletters, and reports; advertisements, an editorial cartoon, and newspaper and journal clippings; postcards; pamphlets, programs, invitations, and other ephemera; business cards and membership cards; as well as report cards and school assignments.
Sousfonds has been arranged into 14 records series: Family letter files (1862-1925); Family photographs ([ca. 1858]-[ca. 1928]; Osborne J. Pierce autobiographical and other writings ([189-?]-[ca. 1905]; Osborne J. Pierce American Civil War records (1862-1865, 1890); Osborne J. Pierce correspondence (1890-1893, 1904); Osborne J. Pierce business records (1858-); Osborne J. Pierce architectural drawings and plans (1875-); Osborne J. Pierce and Caroline Little Pierce real estate, investment and other financial records (1891-1941); Osborne J. Pierce photographs (1890-1891, 1900); Annie Louise Taylor educational records (1883); Annie Louise Taylor correspondence ([188-?]-1917); Annie Louise Taylor financial records (1902-1925); Annie Louise Taylor photograph albums (1896-; and Winifred Mabel Pierce journal (1910-1914)
Some records have been damaged by mould and rodents.
Immediate source of acquisition
Records were arranged by Ted Taylor
Language of material
Script of material
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Restrictions on access
There are no restrictions on access to these records
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Series, file and item level descriptions are available
More biographical information regarding Osborne J. Pierce is available in the series Osborne J. Pierce autobiographical and other writings.