Lt. Col. Leroy Colter Pierson


Family Links

1. Elizabeth Beecher

2. Sara Louise Whatley

Lt. Col. Leroy Colter Pierson 1 3 4

  • Born: 28 Feb 1913, Cincinnati, Hamilton, OH 3
  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth Beecher on 18 May 1935 in Kirkwood, St. Louis, MO 1
  • Marriage (2): Sara Louise Whatley on 27 Aug 1974 in Virginia City, Storey, NV 2
  • Died: 2 Sep 1999, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA at age 86 3
  • Buried: 16 Sep 1999, Santa Nella: San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, Merced, CA 3

   FamilySearch ID: LX92-9Y3.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Census in 1920 in Bloomfield, Oakland, MI. 5 The 1920 census recorded Newbold L. Pierson, salesman iron, 30, living with wife Helen C., 28; son Colter L., 6, everyone and their parents born in Ohio; and born in Michigan: daughter Margaret H., 4; and son Aaron A., 2.

2. Census in 1930 in Webster Groves, St. Louis, MO. 6 The 1930 census recorded renting a home at 215 Rosemont: Newbold L. Pierson, district sales manager steel, 41, living with wife Helen C., 41; L. Colter, 17; Helen M., 15; Aaron A., 12; Stuart L., 10; Daniel P., 6; and Polly, 6 months old. Newbold, Helen C. and Colter and their parents were born in Ohio. The other children were born in Michigan, except Polly in Missouri.

3. Residence: on 17 May 1935 in Webster Groves, St. Louis, MO. 1

4. Census in 1940 in Webster Groves, St. Louis, MO. 7 The 1940 census recorded Newbold Pierson, district manager steel industry, 51, living with wife Helen, 49; sons Colter, filing clerk fire brick company, 27; Aaron, civil engineer constructing company, 23; Stuart, 17; Daniel, 15; and daughter Polly, 10, born in MIssouri. Aaron, Stuart, and Daniel were born in Michigan. Newbold, Helen, and Colter were born in Ohio.

5. Residence: on 2 Sep 1999 in Fair Oaks, Sacramento, CA. 8

6. Obituary: Sacramento Bee: obituary of Leroy Colter "Colt" Pierson on 5 Sep 1999 in Sacramento, Sacramento, CA. 8 Memorial services will be held Saturday for retired U.S. Army Col. Leroy Colter Pierson, whose 26-year military career included combat in World War II and intelligence gathering in Korea,Vietnam and the Cold War of the 1960s.

Nicknamed "Colt," Col. Pierson moved to Fair Oaks in 1971 after his retirement from the U.S. Army National Guard, with which he'd been active since 1940. He died Thursday in a local hospital after a heart attack. He was 86.

"He was a fascinating man," said his friend and former neighbor,Roy Liebman of El Dorado Hills. "He took on some very interesting assignments during his military life."

Those assignments included running a network of agents behind the Iron Curtain from 1947 to 1952 to gather information on the Soviet bloc, Liebman said.

He also gathered intelligence during the Korean War and served three years in the late 1950s with the Central Intelligence Agency. In the early 1960s, he gave daily intelligence reports to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"He was one of the first to see the photos of the missiles in Cuba that started the Cuban missile crisis," Liebman said.

In 1962, he became commander of Army intelligence units at the Presidio of San Francisco and went to Japan for counterintelligence duties involving the Vietnam War, Liebman said.

In retirement, Col. Pierson pursued his hobby of gardening.

He was past president of the Fair Oaks Rotary Club, the local chapter of the Retired Officers Association and the Stewart Clan of North America. He was also a member of the Caledonian Club and served as acting executive director of the state Mental Health Association in the late 1970s.

Col. Pierson was a native of Cincinnati, and was reared in Webster Grove, Mo. He and his three brothers all received engineering degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.

While in combat in Italy, his engineering background came in handy when he saved a building from being destroyed by local partisans after he recognized its historical significance based on its architecture, Liebman said.

In gratitude, the building's owners presented Col. Pierson, who was an accomplished horseman, with a custom-made saddle, Liebman said.

Col. Pierson is survived by his wife, Sara Sally Pierson of Fair Oaks; a daughter, Patricia Harper of Tempe, Ariz.; and stepsons, Bill Turner of Hayward and Mike Turner of San Diego.

The family asks that any donations be sent to St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 2140 Mission Ave., Carmichael, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Memorial services will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Michael's Episcopal Church. Interment will be at San Joaquin National Cemetery in Los Banos.

Leroy married Elizabeth Beecher, daughter of Samuel Edward Beecher and Mae Ella Bradley, on 18 May 1935 in Kirkwood, St. Louis, MO.1 The marriage ended in divorce. (Elizabeth Beecher was born on 18 Jun 1914 in Kirkwood, St. Louis, MO 9 10 11 12 and died on 26 Feb 2002 in Prescott, Yavapai, AZ 12.)

Leroy next married Sara Louise Whatley on 27 Aug 1974 in Virginia City, Storey, NV.2 (Sara Louise Whatley was born on 17 Nov 1918 in , , TX,13 14 died on 6 Dec 2004 in Lakeside, San Diego, CA 13 15 and was buried in El Cajon: Singing Hills Memorial Park, San Diego, CA 15.)


1, Missouri, U.S., Marriage Records, 1805-2002 (Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.), Marriage of L Colter Pierson and Elizabeth Beecker. Online image 789.

2, Nevada, U.S., Marriage Index, 1956-2005 (Clark County, Nevada Marriage Bureau. Clark County, Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-1966. Las Vegas, Nevada: Clark County, Nevada Marriage Bureau.), L Colter Purson and Sara W Turner, 27 Aug 1974; from "Nevada, Marriage Index, 1956-2005," index, ( : 2007); citing Virginia City, , Nevada, United States.

3 Find A Grave,

4 St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri), 26 Dec 1963, page 53. Pierson-Harper Wedding.

5 1920 United States Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Bloomfield, Oakland, Michigan; Roll: T625_789; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 160; Image: 309.

6 1930 United States Census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Central, St Louis, Missouri; Roll: 1225; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 0070; Image: 133.0; FHL microfilm: 2340960.

7 1940 United States Census, Newbold Pierson, Tract SLC58, Webster Groves, Jefferson Township, St. Louis, Missouri, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 95-124, sheet 5A, family 86.

8 Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, CA), 5 Sep 1999, obituary of Leroy Colter Pierson.

9 1930 United States Census, Missouri, St. Louis County, Kirwood Ward 1, Series: T626 Roll: 1223 Page: 5.

10 1920 United States Census, Missouri, St. Louis County, Kirwood, Series: T625 Roll: 945 Page: 123.

11, United States Public Records Index, Elizabeth Beecher Pierson, Residence, Prescott, Arizona.

12 U.S. Social Security Death Index, Elizabeth B Pierson, 26 Feb 2002.

13 U.S. Social Security Death Index, null, 06 Dec 2004; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

14 1930 United States Census, William H Whatley, Roswell, Chaves, New Mexico, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0006, sheet 6B, family 130, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1393.

15 Find A Grave,

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