John and George Pierce

On January 14, 1895, brothers George and John Pierce and William Vandevere were seen together on horseback near Tahlequah, Indian Territory. The following day, a gunshot was heard from the direction in which they had traveled and the Pierce brothers were soon after seen returning from that direction.

Investigation led to Vandevere’s body. A posse was formed and the Pierces were arrested in Tahlequah.

Taken to Fort Smith to stand trial, the Pierce brothers were convicted of murder on March 1, 1895.

After delays for the consideration of appeals, George and John Pierce were hanged in Fort Smith on April 30, 1896.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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