George W. Pierce, born ca1825 in Tennessee, died Intestate on May 10, 1886, in Jefferson County, Missouri. A Coroner's Inquest into his death concluded that George W. Pierce accidentally drowned while apparently attempting to cross Cotter Creek, north of Victoria, MO. From the papers filed in connection with the probate, we know the circumstances of his death, as well as the names of his widow, heirs and other people who might have been close to the family.
W.R. Pierce, while not an heir, did have some type of claim against George W. Pierce's estate and he received money from the estate because of it. I personally believe "W.R. Pierce" is William Richard Pierce who was the son of William Goosby Pierce, and I believe it's possible that George W. Pierce and William Goosby Pierce were brothers...though proving that is another thing alltogether! :-)
Newspaper article in the Jefferson Democrat, May 1886:
"The body of a drowned man was found Tuesday Morning at the creek at John Vinyards, near Victoria, and on examination it was recognized as that of Geo.W. Pierce. He passed through Victoria Monday, before the rain, and was intoxicated, and it is supposed was asleep in the creek bed when the flood came The coroner held an inquest and we will have further particulars next week."...
[Then there's a note from the transcriber: "A fold was microfilmed making it impossible to read the complete item ".]
Follow-up item in the Jefferson Democrat:
"The coroners inquest over the body of George W.Pierce developed no facts in regard to his drowning. He passed thro' Victoria after the rain and evidently met the raging flood in Cotter Creek and was overwhelmed by it. Mr. Pierce was a good, honest citizen, and we do not suppose he had an enemy in the world. His only fault was in his occasional sprees, but those he indulged in premediately and not from lack of strength to resist temptation. At all times and under all circumstances he was good natured and never insulted nor molested anyone. His untimely death was a sad occurence. He leaves a wife and several children, all about grown."
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