Ernest and Estelle (Walker) Pierce – Family Stories and Photographs

Estelle Walker, born 23 April 1894, was the oldest of the four children of Alfred Jack and Ada Ruth Walker. She and Ernest Pierce were married 29 April 1917.

On January 31, 1893, Ernest Edwin Pierce was born to Young, Jr. and Roxie Clementine Brown Pierce, in the China Creek Community. Across the county in Pecan Grove, Estelle Armour Walker was born to Alfred Andrew Jackson Walker and Ada Ruth Terry, on April 23, 1894. Both fathers were farmers in their communities, and highly respected by their neighbors. Ernest was one of ten children and Estelle was one of five. Estelle’s mother died in 1901. Ernest attended school at China Creek and Harkeyville before transferring to San Saba High when he was sixteen. Estelle attended school at Pecan Grove. During her high school years, Mr. Walker maintained a second home near San Saba, so his children could attend San Saba High.

Estelle developed an early interest in the piano, and continued that interest throughout her life, spending many years as a piano teacher. After the age of seventy, she taught herself to play the pipe organ that was in the chapel of Buckner Baptist Haven, a retirement residence and nursing home in Houston where she resided for the last ten years of her life.

It was at San Saba High School that Ernest and Estelle met. Ernest didn’t finish high school, but took an early examination to qualify for a teaching certificate. He knew nothing but farming, to earn a living, and that was not his favorite activity! It was hard to farm with a book always in one’s hand. After the examination and a short course in teaching methods, Ernest began a public school teaching career that lasted for almost fifty years.

Ernest’s first teaching assignment was at Fairview, where he taught seven grades in one room, swept the floors, and brought in the wood for the stove. Ernest taught in other schools in the county — Colony, Spring Creek, Hall, Live Oak, Henry, Pecan Grove, and San Saba. He served as superintendent of the county schools and principal of San Saba Grammar School. During summer months, he worked toward a degree in Education. One year, both he and Estelle attended school in Denton. He was at North Texas State Teacher’s College, and she was at the College of Industrial Arts, which is now known as Texas Women’s University.

Estelle Walker and Ernest Pierce Wedding Picture 29 April 1917
Estelle Walker and Ernest Pierce Wedding Picture 29 April 1917

On April 29, 1917, Ernest and Estelle were married at the San Saba home of her father, with the Walkers and Pierces present. In 1918, an infant daughter died at birth. A son, Joe Pierce, was born at Hall on Christmas Day, 1920. A naval aviator during World War II and the Korean War, Joe died at sea March 4 1954 while serving on the carrier USS Oriskany. A daughter, Roxie Ruth Pierce, was born December 11 1923, near the Old Henry School. She was a teacher in the Houston Public Schools until her retirement in 2001. A son, Eldon Walker Pierce, was born in San Saba March 13 1930. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1970 and moved to Albuquerque where he was in the retail book business until 2006.

Joe married Virginia Glenn of Wellington, Texas on July 16, 1943. Their daughters are Jo Carol, Cynthia, Beth, and Terry. Roxie is married to Curtis Wilcox of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their children are Elaine, Donna, and Stephen. Eldon married Mary Margaret Delaney in Whitton, Middlesex, England on February 1 1959. Their children are Steven, Elizabeth, and Michael. Ernest and Estelle have 10 grandchildren, 11 ggrandchilren and 5 gggrandchildren.

From 1932 to 1955, Ernest was a teacher or an administrator in rural School Districts in Hockley, Cochran, Union and Lubbock Counties on the South Plains near Lubbock. During World War II he taught at a Lubbock grade school and after the war at Idalou. He then became Principal of the Post Grade School where he retired from public school teaching. Many summers, he attended classes at Texas Tech, receiving his degree in 1944.

Wherever they lived the Pierces were always active in the Baptist Church as well as other community organizations. Ernest usually taught Sunday School or helped with organizational duties while Estelle was often the church pianist. Ernest was a member of the Masonic Lodge, serving as Lodge Master of the San Saba Lodge #612 in 1929. Estelle was an active member of the Eastern Star.

After retiring from the Post Independent School District in the middle fifties, Ernest helped establish the Post Retail Merchants Association, and served as its manager until his death in 1962. Estelle then served as manager until she retired and moved to Houston. She died in Houston in 1976, at the age of 82. Ernest and Estelle Pierce are buried in the Post, Texas City Cemetery in Garza County.