William M. Pierson, farmer, section 35, Ashland Township, was born July 2, 1828, in Steuben Co., NY. His parents were Moses L. and Lydia (Fluent) Pierson. The name represents old English stock which is traced back to the original settlers of the American Continent. The parents emigrated to Portage Co., Ohio, in 1838, and three years later, in the fall of 1841, to DeKalb Co., Ind.
Mr. Pierson was a member of his father's household until he was 21 years of age, and obtained all the education possible in a new country, working in the meanwhile on his father's farm. After attaining his majority he pursued the career of a common laborer at various places until he came to Michigan, in the fall of 1852. He came to Casnovia, Muskegon County, and found employment as a farm assistant until 1859, when he became a pioneer settler of Ashland Township, where he was one of the first to put his shoulder to the wheel of local government. He was present at the first town meeting, and was elected to the post of Constable, but, disliking the situation, he did not qualify. (The spring following his arrival in Muskegon County he assisted at the organization of the township of Casnovia). He built the "palace of the pioneer" on his tract of land and has placed 105 acres under improvement, which creditable and suitable farm buildings. He is a typical Michigan farmer, and takes a just pride in what he has accomplished by the united efforts of hands and head, figurative of strength and judgment. He persistently declines office to which he has been repeatedly elected, and enjoys the esteem and respect of his townsmen for the uprightness and integrity of his daily life and bearing toward his generation. Mr. Pierson enlisted Sept. 9, 1861, in the Second Mich. Cav., Co. E. His regiment was attached to the Western Division under General Halleck, and after some active service, Mr. Pierson was discharged on his surgeon's certificate of disability, his papers bearing date of Feb. 17, 1862.
Mr. Pierson was married March 18, 18--, in Casnovia Township, to Harriet, daughter of Drayton and Zilpha S. (Loomis) Moore, natives of New England, of genuine Yankee stock. Mrs. Pierson was born in Portage Co., Ohio, May 7, 1836. Soon afterward her parents went to Medina County, Ohio, and in the autumn of 1844 to DeKalb Co., Ind. She was 17 when her family settled in what is now Muskegon Co., Mich., where she was married.
Mr. and Mrs. Pierson have eight children, born as follows: Drayton H., Feb. 5, 1856; Louisa C., May 22, 1857; Milon C., March 11, 1859; Rachel W., Feb. 26, 1861; Lewis B., July 19, 1864; Dennis V., July 14, 1868; William W., Sept. 15, 1872; Julius A., Oct. 6, 1875. The happy family circle is as yet intact, the dark-winged destroyer having never cast his gloomy shade over the brightness of paternal and fraternal love and hope; and long may he with hold his blighting visitation. The parents are devoted adherents to the United Brethren Church. Mr. Pierson is an unmistakable Republican.
As pioneers eminently worthy the place, we insert in this volume, in connection with this sketch, the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Pierson.