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Pierce City, Missouri
St. Mary's Catholic Church (Pierce City, Missouri)
St. Mary's Catholic Church (Pierce City, Missouri)
Location of Pierce City, Missouri
Location of Pierce City, Missouri
Coordinates: 36°56′45″N 94°0′1″W / 36.94583°N 94.00028°W / 36.94583; -94.00028Coordinates: 36°56′45″N 94°0′1″W / 36.94583°N 94.00028°W / 36.94583; -94.00028
Country United States
State Missouri
County Lawrence, Barry
Area
 • Total 1.29 sq mi (3.35 km2)
 • Land 1.29 sq mi (3.34 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation
1,217 ft (371 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,292
 • Estimate 
(2019)
1,309
 • Density 1,014.73/sq mi (391.82/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
65723
Area code(s) 417
FIPS code 29-57494
GNIS feature ID 0724319

Pierce City, formerly Peirce City, is a city in southwest Lawrence and northwest Barry counties, in southwest Missouri, United States. The population was 1,292 at the 2010 census. In 2010, the town annexed property along Route 97 into Barry County to a point just north of U.S. Route 60. It was estimated to be 1,309 by the City of Pierce City as of July 1, 2019.

Geography

Pierce City is located at 36°56′49″N 94°0′9″W / 36.94694°N 94.00250°W / 36.94694; -94.00250 (36.946996, -94.002430).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.28 square miles (3.32 km2), of which 1.27 square miles (3.29 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 432
1880 1,350 212.5%
1890 2,511 86.0%
1900 2,151 −14.3%
1910 2,043 −5.0%
1920 1,476 −27.8%
1930 1,135 −23.1%
1940 1,208 6.4%
1950 1,156 −4.3%
1960 1,006 −13.0%
1970 1,097 9.0%
1980 1,391 26.8%
1990 1,382 −0.6%
2000 1,385 0.2%
2010 1,292 −6.7%
2019 (est.) 1,309 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,292 people, 538 households, and 343 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,017.3 inhabitants per square mile (392.8/km2). There were 602 housing units at an average density of 474.0 per square mile (183.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.9% White, 0.8% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 1.8% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.

There were 538 households, of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.97.

The median age in the city was 37.4 years. 26% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 16.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.

History

The Lawrence County Bank Building and Pierce City Fire Station, Courthouse and Jail are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Founding and spelling

Pierce City was laid out in 1870 as a stop on the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. It was originally spelled Peirce City, named for Andrew Peirce, Jr. of Boston, president of the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway. The Pierce spelling was used erroneously by the United States Postal Service and adopted officially in the 1930s. A 1982 attempt to revert to Peirce was rejected by the United States Census Bureau.

May 2003 tornado

One of the most notable tornadoes of the May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence was the one that hit in Pierce City. According to reports, nearly all of the buildings in the town were damaged, destroyed, or liable to collapse. Published and repeatedly broadcast reports of "all" or "nearly all" of the town's buildings sustaining severe damage were false. Approximately 90 percent of the historic downtown business district and homes nearby were severely damaged and later torn down. A nearby National Guard Armory, also known as the town's storm shelter in which several dozen people had fled to, sustained heavy damage, killing one person, J. Dale Taunton. However, outside the main path of the tornado, many Pierce City structures, including homes and the Harold Bell Wright Museum sustained little or no damage.

The Pierce City tornado was an F-3 on the Fujita scale.

Education

Pierce City R-VI School District operates one elementary school, one middle school, and Pierce City High School.

Pierce City has a public library, a branch of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library.

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