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Pierce City, Missouri is in both Lawrence and Barry counties, in the southwestern part of the state. The town was established in Lawrence County, as a stop along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, and originally spelled Peirce City, for Andrew Peirce, Jr., a railroad president. The current spelling of the city was erroneously used by the post office, and officially adopted in the 1930s, and a 1982 attempt to revert to Peirce was rejected by the U.S. Census Bureau. In retaliation for the rape and murder of a white woman in 1901, a mob of white residents lynched three black men and drove the remainder out of of its black citizens out of town at gunpoint, an incident that was written about by Mark Twain in his essay, The United States of Lyncherdom, as well as a 2007 PBC documentary, . In 2003, about ninety percent of the buildings in Pierce City’s downtown business district were damaged or destroyed by a tornado. Pierce City is centered at the intersection of Missouri Highways 37 and 97, southeast of Wentworth, northwest of Monett, and northeast of Berwick.

 

 

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