Preserving Our Heritage for Future Generations
ABOUT PIERCE COUNTY
Pierce County, Georgia has a long and prosperous history dating much earlier than her formal establishment. The foundation of this area spans back to the days of the Native Americans of the Creek Nation. During the War of 1812 and the Creek Wars, General David Blackshear was ordered to remove the first inhabitants and to construct a military road which was to be the beginning of Pierce County's rich and fascinating history.
Incorporated in 1857, the county was given its name in honor of the 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce. Soon thereafter, Blackshear was established, being named for General Blackshear. It was not long after its establishment that the citizens had to make an important, yet difficult, decision as to whether they would remain loyal to the United States or join their fellow Georgians in the formation of a new government. When the War Between the States erupted many of Pierce County's sons were taken away to the battlefields of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee. While the men were away fighting, the citizens felt the harsh realities of war firsthand when some 5000 Union prisoners were brought to Blackshear for imprisonment. At the time there were only 333 households. When the war was over, her sons returned home to continue what they had begun; building a community. Since there were less than five slaves in Pierce County prior to the war, this did not affect any drastic changes in the way people carried on their occupations. Many of the citizens were farmers. Cotton had been the mainstay, but it had become infected with the boweevil. Local farmers were in urgent need of a new crop.
In the late 1800's Pierce County was introduced to tobacco which would become the major cash crop through the next century. Tobacco warehouses such as the Brantley and Big Z Planters were constructed in the town limits of Blackshear making it a focal point for farmers of surrounding counties to bring their tobacco to market. As farming prospered other businesses and communities such as Patterson, Offerman, Bristol, Mershon, Otter Creek, Hacklebarney, Schlatterville, Aspinwall (Wall's Siding), and Zirckle sprang up. Timber and turpentine became contributors to the local economy. Some citizens traveled in to Waycross to work at the bustling railroad yards. The Depression hit Pierce County as hard as anywhere else in the country. However, the strong Christian faith of these citizens banned together and endured this most challenging test in American History, and moved forward.
As devoted as they were to the Confederate cause, the people of Pierce County have answered the call as honorably to defend the United States during the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and Desert Storm.
The people of Pierce County are very diversified, but have a common interest in taking a sincere pride in their heritage and the future of their community. The citizens of Pierce County have held on to the Christian values through the decades which has built this thriving and stable community.
Through the trials and triumphs of her citizens we hope to preserve the memory of their accomplishments and the legacy they have left behind, so that future generations may learn and appreciate what their forefathers endured to build this important and valuable community.
Website Created August 1999
Last Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2001
Contact Website Administrator: ChristyMW1@aol.com
© 1999, 2000, 2001 Pierce County Historical and Genealogical Society