Gilbert Ashville PIERCE, Congress, ND (1839-1901)

Senate Years of Service:

PIERCE, Gilbert Ashville, a Senator from North Dakota; born in East Otto, Cattaraugus County, N.Y., January 11, 1839; attended the public schools; moved to Indiana in 1854 and settled near Valparaiso; attended the University of Chicago Law School two years; during the Civil War enlisted as a second lieutenant, rose to lieutenant colonel and chief quartermaster; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Valparaiso in 1865; member, State house of representatives 1869; assistant financial clerk of the United States Senate 1869-1871; resigned to accept an editorial position on the Chicago Inter-Ocean, serving as associate editor and managing editor for twelve years; became associated with the Chicago News in 1883; author of several books and plays; Governor of Dakota Territory 1884-1886, when he resigned; upon the admission of North Dakota as a State into the Union was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from November 21, 1889, to March 3, 1891; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; moved to Minneapolis, Minn.; purchased the Minneapolis Tribune and became its editor in chief in 1891; moved to Florida, then Colorado; appointed Minister to Portugal in 1893, but soon resigned due to illness; died in Chicago, Ill., February 15, 1901; interment in Adams Cemetery, near Valparaiso, Ind.


Dictionary of American Biography; Pierce, Gilbert. A Dangerous Woman: Being the Experience of the Hon. John Billings, M.C. Chicago: Donnelley and Sons, 1884; Pierce, Gilbert. Zachariah the Congressman: A Tale of American Society. Chicago: Donnelley, Gassette and Loyd, 1880; Schlup, Leonard. “Gilbert A. Pierce and Republican Party Politics in the Harrison Era.” Nanzan Review of American Studies 19 (Summer 1997): 85-99.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present