E. G. Pierson

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
August 1, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 639-640

E. G. PIERSON is one of the leading members of the bar
of Clay County, where he is engaged in the practice of his
profession at Clay, the county seat, and aside from his pro-
fessional activities, which have included service in public
office, he has given effective service as a member of the
State Senate.

Mr. Pierson was born on a farm near Elkhurst, Clay
County, and is a son of William D. and Nancy (Hall) Pier-
son, the former of whom was born in Nicholas County and
the latter in Roane County, Virginia, now West Virginia,
both having been children at the time of the removal of
the respective families to Clay County. The venerable
parents still reside in Clay County, they having there estab-
lished themselves shortly after their marriage, and both
being honored citizens who have contributed their part to
civic and industrial prosperity in Clay County. They are
zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and
in politics, with well fortified views, the father is a stal-
wart republican. Of their eight children all except one are
living at the time of this writing, in 1922: D. D. is a
prosperous farmer in Clay County; E. G., of this sketch, was
next in order of birth; Samantha J. is the wife of J. J.
Dangherty; Webster H. is associated with productive activi-
ties in the oil fields of the state; Alice B. is the wife of
P. S. Hart; Anna V. is the wife of John Grass; and Russell
remains in the parental home.

Mr. Pierson passed his childhood and earlier youth on the
home farm, and after profiting by the advantages of the
public schools he pursued higher studies in Marshall Col-
lege and in the West Virginia Wesleyan College. While
successfully engaged in teaching in the schools of his native
state he began the study of law, and in 1896 was admitted
to the bar and established himself in practice at Clay,
judicial center of his native county. In 1896 he was
elected representative of the Ninth District in the State
Senate, where he made an excellent record during his term
of four years. When war was declared against Spain he en-
listed as a private in Company H, Second West Virginia
U. S. Volunteer Infantry, in which he was promoted to
the rank of second lieutenant, the regiment having been held
in reserve and not having been called to the stage of active
conflict. After the close of the war Mr. Pierson engaged
in the practice of law at Fayetteville, Fayette County,
where he remained until 1910 and where he served out an
unexpired term on the bench of the Criminal Court of the
county, besides having been prosecuting attorney of the
county for one term. In 1910 he was appointed state pardon
attorney by Governor William E. Glasscock, was reappointed
by Governor Henry D. Hatfield, and held this position until
the election of Governor Jno. J. Cornwell in 1916. After
retiring from the office of pardon attorney he opened
a law office in the City of Charleston, and maintained the
same until he was elected prosecuting attorney of Clay
County in 1920. He is known as a versatile and resourceful
trial lawyer and well fortified counselor, and his practice
is of broad scope and representative order. He is a stal-
wart republican and is influential in the local councils and
campaign activities of his party.

Mr. Pierson was united in marriage to Miss Nannie P.
Johnson, who graduated from Baldwin University, at Berea,
Ohio, and who is supervisor of music and art in the Clay
County High School, she being an exceptionally talented
musician and being a valued factor in the cultural life
of her home community, as well as in its social affairs. Mr.
and Mrs. Pierson have two daughters: Margaret E. and
Dorothy A.