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Historical Sites of Grand Rapids



Byron Root Pierce
(Lot 11, Block 7)

Byron Root Pierce was born on September 20, 1829. He came to Grand Rapids in 1856. Enlisting on June 10, 1861, just after the outbreak of the Civil War, Pierce helped organized a company (the Third Michigan Infantry) and went to the front as its captain. He advanced rapidly and distinguished himself for gallant conduct. After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, President Andrew Jackson promoted him to Major General for gallant service done at Sailor’s Creek just before Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. At the end of the war he was breveted Brigadier General.

Pierce returned to Grand Rapids after the war. He became an assistant postmaster and was still on the job as of his 90th birthday on September 20, 1919. Major General Pierce died on July 10, 1924 at O’Keefe’s Sanitarium along Reed’s Lake.