Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Bessie Louise Pierce  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: Michigan

Died: October 3, 1974

-- Bessie Louise Pierce on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Professor of History, University of Chicago

Biographical and Professional Information

Bessie Pierce devoted 44 of her 86 years to writing a history of Chicago. A native of rural Michigan, she earned degrees at the University of Iowa, and then taught there. In 1929 pierce was recruited by the University of Chicago to examine the city from the standpoints of all the major social-science disciplines, including historyand to write the volumes.


Distinguished Service Award in 1959 for the three volume History of Chicago series.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)

Selected Titles At Your Library

A history of Chicago /
ISBN: 0226668398. OCLC Number: 173521977

University of Chicago Press,. .

As others see Chicago :
ISBN: 0226668215. OCLC Number: 53932600

University of Chicago Press,. .

As Others See Chicago consists of writings culled from over a thousand men and women who visited the city and commented on the best and worst it had to offer from the skyscrapers to the stockyards. Originally compiled by Bessie Louise Pierce, the first major historian of Chicago, and featuring her own commentary, the volume brings together the impressions of visitors to Chicago over two and a half centuries, from the early years of westward expansion to the height of the Great Depression. In addition to writings from better known personalities such as Rudyard Kipling and Waldo Frank, the book collects the opinions of missionaries aristocrats, journalists, and politicians observers who were perfectly placed to comment on the development of the city, its inhabitants, and well known events that would one day define Chicago history, such as the Great Fire of 1871 and the 1893 World's Fair.--Jacket.