Jack Pierce

John Eric Pierce Jr.

John William Eric Pierce Jr. is the son of John Eli Pierce and Daisy (Driscoll) Sanderson Pierce. We have seen his name as John William Eli Pierce and John Eric Pierce. His middle name may have been changed to Eric at the time of confirmation or perhaps to remove confusion between John Jr. and John Sr.

Jack, as he was known, was born 22 June 1895 in Wauwatosa. He was about seven years old when his father died.

The family story is that Jack met Elizabeth Anna Louise Schmidt, daughter of Louis and Caroline (Schiessl) Schmidt. Elizabeth, born 14 June 1897 in Minnesota. Her name has been seen through the years under many names. Lizzie and Elsie in her early years and Louise in her later years. She was a performer in the theatre. Her stage name was Elsie Schmidt.

Jack and Louise fell in love, probably when Jack was visiting the Schlitz Palm Gardens where “Elsie” performed. Shortly after Daisy (Jack’s mother) died Jack and Louise eloped in Waukegan, Illinois, They were married on 19 January 1914 before a justice of the peace. France, Jack’s half sister was disgusted. He married so soon after his Mother died and to someone so young (Louise was only 16) and she was involved in the theatre (how appalling!).

Louis Schmidt, Louise’s father was not any more pleased. As soon as he found out, he marched them over to the Church to get their marriage blessed. (Holy Trinity Catholic church on 16 Mar 1914) The story also is told that Louis also didn’t know that Louise was performing at the Schlitz Palm Garden.

Military Service

Jack served during World War I. He was mustered in 19 Nov 1917 in the 22nd Company 6th Battallion, 160th Depot Brigade. On 26 April 1918 he was promoted to Corporal. 19 August 1918 he was promoted to Sergeant.


In February 1920, we find a Wisconsin Supreme court case filed by John Eric Pierce against Arthur T. Wright.

John Eli Pierce, father of the plaintiff, died April 20, 1902, leaving an estate of the value of $200,000 or more. In his will the Mr. Wright was appointed one of the executors and one of the trustees of the estate. Mr. Wright performed his duties until January 1918. The estate consisted of property situated in New Orleans, and real and personal property situated in Milwaukee. The trust was invalid under the laws of Louisiana, the real property in New Orleans passed directly to Jack, who was a minor at the time of his father’s death. Under the advice of Mr. Wright, Jack had a corporation organized which took over the property in New Orleans. Jack became the owner of all its capital stock except the necessary qualifying shares. During Jack’s minority, his income was collected by his mother. After Daisy’s death, her will appointed Mr. Wright as executor of her estate. Knowing Jack had a suit against his mother’s estate for the income she collected, Mr. Wright resigned as executor of Daisy’s estate and was appointed guardian of Jack. He then brought suit against Daisy’s estate for the money owed Jack.

The claim was settled on 7th August 1915, for a sum of $12,208.06. Jack voluntarily paid Mr. Wright $5000 for his services. On June 22, 1916, Jack turned 18 and on 7 July 1916, Jack acknowledged through court action the receipt of all monies held by Mr. Wright on his behalf. 28 August 1916 Jack hired new counsel, James J. Kerwin, and by letter demanded the return of the $5000 voluntarily paid to Mr. Wright. The two parties and their lawyers went through negotiations and Jack accepted $1500 as settlement of the claim. Jack later realized his error and filed the above suit for the return of all the money. The court denied his request finding in favor of Mr. Wright.

Jack continued to operate the Troy Laundry in New Orleans. By 1930 the laundry business either dissolved or was sold. Jack owned and operated an automobile business as a mechanic. Many family members worked for him.

There have been more Pierce related court cases through the years. We will add them as we get the details sorted out.

The Children

John and Louise had six children, 4 sons and three daughters. For privacy reasons we are omitting the names of those that are still living. All the children were born in West Allis.

  • John E. Pierce, Jr., b. 22 Sept. 1916, died July 6, 2011.
  • James Eli Pierce, b. 4 Sept 1919, died 25 August 1956. Jimmy was a Golden Glove Boxer.
  • William Harrison Pierce, b. 18 February 1922, died 25 July 1944, in the South Pacific during WWII. He was a US Marine and died in the line of duty. Billy was also a boxer. More about William Harrison Pierce.
  • Caroline Daisy Pierce, was born 26 May 1923 and died 27 Mary 2004

Eternal Rest

Jack died 19 September 1948 and is buried in Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee County. Louise moved to California and died 15 July 1979 in Redding, Shasta, California. She is buried in Lawncrest Memorial Park in Redding.

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