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 James Farnsworth Pierce

James Farnsworth Pierce

Madrid, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA
Death 8 Jul 1905 (aged 75)
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Section E
Memorial ID 40603148 · View Source
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Norwood News, July 18, 1905
James Farnsworth Pierce, who died at his home in Brooklyn, July 8, was before he retired from public life, one of the most prominent democrats of the state. He was long prominent in public and official life. He was a lawyer of distinction, a politician with great influence and an official in whom the public had implicit confidence. In addition to having filled with credit the important office of superintendent of insurance, he was state senator for a number of terms. He was always active in municipal, state and national campaigns, being a warm democrat.

He was born in Madrid, St. Lawrence county, April 3, 1830, and came of a noted New England family, which has produced many men of distinction, among them being President Franklin Pierce. His father was Dr. Caleb Pierce, a native of New Hampshire, a graduate of Dartmouth college, and a physician of high reputation.

Mr. Pierce was fitted for Yale at the St. Lawrence academy, Potsdam, and prepared to enter the sophomore class, but ill health forced him to temporarily abandon his studies. Upon recovering his health he began the study of law in the office of Henry L. Knowles, of Potsdam where he remained for 15 months, removing to Troy where he completed his studies in the office of Pierson & Beach. In 1851 he was admitted to the bar at Albany.

His health again becoming poor, Mr. Pierce removed to St. Augustine, Fla., where he practiced his profession for three years, occupying an office with the late Isaac H. Bronson, United States judge for that state. In the presidential campaign of 1852 he took a lively part with his pen and on the stump, and won such distinction that when he returned to St. Lawrence county in 1856, he was regarded as one of the leaders in the democratic party.

in 1862 he stood for his first political office and was elected county clerk of St. Lawrence, being the first democrat to be elected to the office in many years. Three years later he removed to New York city where he formed a partnership with Robert Sewell, a leading member of the New York bar. Afterward George P. Sheldon became the junior member and the firm of Sewell, Pierce & Sheldon existed for a number of years.

Mr. Pierce went to Brooklyn to live in 1866. The following year he was elected state senator from the second district by a majority of nearly 4,000, although the district had always been regarded as soundly Republican. He served one term, but was again elected in 1877. Afterward he once more went to the senate in 1886. He was reelected for 1888-89.

In 1891, Gov. David B. Hill recommended him to a Republican senate for the important position of state superintendent of insurance to succeed Robert A. Maxwell. The appointment was immediately confirmed on February 11, of that year. Many important matters were acted upon during his term of office.

Gov. Flower renominated Mr. Pierce for the position of superintendent of insurance, and his renomination was unanimously confirmed. In view of the fact that Mr. Pierce was always an active democrat, and the senate almost solidly Republican his friends regarded the unanimous confirmation as a tribute to his ability and honest manner of conducting the affairs of this office.

Mr. Pierce was a man of varied experiences. He had traveled widely, was a deep student, and of fine physique and Chesterfieldian manners. He had acted in some of the most important suits at the bar during his term of practice.

Funeral services were conducted Monday and burial was made in Greenwood cemetery, Brooklyn.

Mr. Pierce is survived by three daughters, and one son, his wife having died a year ago. The daughters are Mrs. Mary L. Bussing, Mrs. Jane R. Curtis and Mrs. Jesse R. Rose. James Farnsworth Pierce, Jr is the son.

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  • Created by: Anne Cady
  • Added: 12 Aug 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 40603148
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James Farnsworth Pierce (3 Apr 1830–8 Jul 1905), Find A Grave Memorial no. 40603148, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Anne Cady (contributor 46985237) .