Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Exactly one hundred years ago today, Lewis Keith and John B. Chapman platted a village in the southern part of Washington township. It was laid out on the proposed route of a new railroad to be built from east to west through our county.

If a town were to be platted in our county today perhaps it would be names after President-elect Eisenhower. This village was named after the President-elect at that time Franklin Pierce.

Pierceton became the first railroad town in our county. The rails of the line which is now called the Pennsylvania were laid from the east and the first passenger train reached Pierceton on September 1, 1854. The first load of freight left there sometime in October. The rails were not laid to Warsaw until 1856.

Because of its location on the railroad several factories were started at Pierceton during and immediately following the Civil War. In 1866 Peter Conrad started a carriage and wagon factory which in a few years employed ten men and manufactured about 100 wagons and carriages annually. In 1867 L. C. Smith started a hub and spoke factory which soon had a payroll of eight men.

A visitor to Pierceton in 1873 states that in addition to the two factories mentioned above the town had a furniture factory, a stave manufactory, a flouring mill, one hardware, two drug stores, two dry goods stores, two tailors, the "Pierceton Restaurant", the "Pacific Hotel", and "Engle's Livery Stable".

In 1866 the citizens of Pierceton voted to incorporate. The community organized both a civil and a school corporation. By this time Pierceton was the second largest town in our county, second only to the county seat. In 1869-70 Pierceton built a $12,000 school building which was the best in the county at the time. The school corporation has been abandoned since that time in favor of a township school

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Dec. 6, 1952