John Hogue Pierson
Charter Member of Waco 92 Texas Revolution Veteran MExican American War Veteran Charter Member of Marlin #152 Civil War Veteran Founder of Marlin, Texas
John H. Pierson was born on the 17th of April in Kentucky in 1817. His parents brought him to Texas when he was still a baby. His father, John Goodloe Warren Pierson, was a true Texas pioneer and legend. Past Master Pierson’s family moved to Nacogdoches when he was 13 after several years living along the Red River. They joined Stephen F. Austin’s Colony in 1831 and Pierson’s grandfather served as the first schoolteacher there.
On February 25, 1835, John Hogue Pierson joined Robertson’s Colony and was granted 1,107 acres of land. In the fall of that year, the Texas Rangers were formed and Pierson immediately joined their ranks where he served with twenty four others charged with protecting settlers near the Brazos as far north as the native village of Ouchaco(later anglicized to Waco on recommendation of George Erath). This lasted for three months until the Texas Revolution erupted.
In the struggle for independence, Pierson served in 1836 as a sergeant in his father’s cavalry company. Peace did not come with victory that April because the Comanches increased their aggressive attacks on settlements. On August 22, 1836, Pierson was severely wounded in a battle with those natives on Coleto Creek near Victoria. He received 4,280 acres of land in May of 1838 from the Republic of Texas in recognition of his service.
Old injuries did not prevent him from volunteering for the Mexican-American War in 1846 when he served under the infamous John C. Hays as a part of the Texas Mounted Riflemen Company B.
Throughout the 1840s, Pierson lived in the former town of Douglas in east Texas where he served as postmaster beginning in 1848 but in 1851, he relocated his family to Fall County where he and his father had amassed quite a bit of land. There, he raised livestock and led in the creation of a new community. He opened a general store for many years and the people elected him as county commissioner in 1852. On April 9, 1853, he was appointed as the acting attorney on behalf of the people in applying for 640 acres to establish the town of Marlin.
It is likely that Pierson knew many of 92’s other charter members due to his service with the Rangers and in the Texas Revolution as well as the Mexican-American War. For that reason, he found himself among the circle of friends who gathered in 1851 to apply for a Masonic charter which was granted in 1852 and so his name is there on the list of men who created our lodge. However, his homestead was fairly distant and while he maintained his membership and activity with our lodge, he went about creating yet another lodge, this time closer to home. On April 25, 1854, Pierson and six other Brothers received the charter for Marlin Lodge #152.
On February 15, 1860, the state of Texas granted 360 acres to Pierson for his service in the Texas Revolution and while it may have seemed that his fighting days were long since completed, such was not the case.
In September of 1861, Brother Pierson signed up to fight in the Civil War, this time as a part of the famous Terry’s Texas Rangers outfit. Half a year later, the Cavalry was in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Battle fatigue and lasting effects of Pierson’s old Texas Revolution injuries caused his captain, Rufus Y. King, to release him from duty.
February of 1867 was the last time Pierson moved his family. By this time, he had lived in Texas for exactly half a century and had called most of its regions home at one point or another. He took his family to some land he had purchased in Hamilton County along the Leon River. One can imagine the stories he must have told to his grandchildren and visitors while looking out over the river until his death in June of the same year. He had been sick for one week and died June 9 on a Sunday morning. Pierson was only fifty years old.
Fourteen years later, his widow received over a thousand acres from the State of Texas in gratitude for all the service Pierson had given to establish this place as a colony of Mexico, as an independent Republic, and as a new American state. Today, there is a street in Hamilton which bears his name.