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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pierce's Drug Store

Growing up with my grandparents, I often listened to the telling and retelling of wonderful stories. I have forgotten many of these but one that has always stayed with me was about Pierce's Drug Store.

Mr. Cader Aquilla Pierce owned a drug store at 1711 Irving Ave in Beaumont (Jefferson Co).  When my grandmother was younger, she had worked a few years in the store as a clerk for Mr. Pierce. They remained good friends long after she stopped working for him.

In the summer of 1940, someone was breaking into the drug store and the police could not catch the burglars. Mr. Pierce discussed it with my grandfather and for several nights they sat in Mr. Pierce's car outside and across the street from the store with guns in hand, waiting to see if someone would try another break in.  I do not think they ever confronted anyone and you sure would not be able to do that today.

Eventually the police did capture Woodrow Griffith, Bill Murty and Joe Woodburn, according to the newspaper clipping below:

It seems the drug store was the focus of several burglaries over the years. In August 1945, another man broke into the drug store and got away with $3,200 worth of War and Postal savings stamps. I don't know if he was ever caught.

On Feb 26, 1946, poor Mr. Pierce was hit so hard in the back of the head by a burglar that he was knocked unconscious. The man got away with $25 but was caught the next day.

I remember seeing Mr. Pierce a few times when he would come over for a visit. He was a very soft spoken man and not very large. He had brown hair and eyes and always wore a smile on his face.

Mr. Pierce was born Feb 12, 1891 in Lindale, Smith Co., TX to Aquilla O. Pierce and Demitrius Emma Bibby and married Miss Winnie Davis  He passed away in Houston March 17, 1965 and is buried in the Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery, 12800 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077.

His siblings were
Lakie Fannie 1887-1924 m. Oscar Rodgers
Lenis William 1889-1961 m. Esther Love
Clifton Lewis 1893-1986 m. Eunice Edna Price
Sadonia Lora 1900-1985 m Henry M. Ferguson

Newspaper clippings source: Stu Otts
Genealogical source: The Bibby Families of Smith County, Texas
Death Certificate