Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

December 22, 2006

Pearce honored at Civil War Museum

Benefactor of Civil War, Western Art Museum recognized with display

By AJ Narasimhan

A momentous tribute to a local legend was observed at the Cook Center on the campus of Navarro College Thursday morning. Charles S. Pearce, arguably the biggest factor for the Pearce Civil War Museum and Western Art Collection’s success, was honored with a display case dedicated to his late wife Peggy Pearce.

“This was a collaborative effort, spearheaded by Rosalie Meier,” museum archivist Julie Holcomb said.

What began as a fickle idea in February 2005 turned into a splendid presentation Charles was proud of. Utilizing help from Charles’ daughter Vivian Pearce, the Pearce Museum team received Peggy’s copy of “Killer Angels” and made an exhibit out of it.

Now visitors to the exhibit can witness the love that was shared between Charles and Peggy.

“That is how this whole thing started,” Holcomb said.

In addition to the display, a portrait of Charles hung over the enclosed display. The portrait was taken by local photographer Charla Holmes and then was donated to the center. The unveiling of the portrait drew applause from the 20 residents present at the event.

A video interview recorded earlier this year rounded out the program.

In 1996, Charles donated 38 artifacts to the museum. In less than one decade, that number has grown to more than 14,000. Holcomb believes Charles is the primary reason for the museum’s success.

“This was all due to his generosity,” she said.

Charles, now nearly 90, smiled from ear to ear with the presentation and audience members were able to recall the early days of the Pearce family.

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AJ Narasimhan may be contacted via e-mail at ajn@corsicanadailysun.com