Answer: The University of Pennsylvania
Ward Wright Pierson was born in Iowa in 1879, and he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1908. He and his wife, Harriet, eventually settled in Somerton, Pennsylvania. Pierson worked as a successfully lawyer at the firm of Pierson and Shertz, but he was also a member of the faculty at Penn’s Wharton and served as the head of the Commercial Law Department prior to volunteering for military service in 1917. Pierson trained for the army at Fort Niagara, New York, from May to August 1917. He was commissioned a captain following his training and was stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, from August 1917 to June 1918, where he led Company L of the 315th Infantry, known also as “Philadelphia’s Own” because so many of its members called the city their home. everal years after Pierson’s death, in 1932, the Citizens’ Military Training Camp at Fort Meade was renamed “Camp Ward W. Pierson.”
Ward was selected to serve overseas in France, where he was in command of the First Battalion, 315th Infantry, 79th Division. He sailed for France in June 1918. Ward died less than five months later, on November 9, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. While discussing tactics in a dugout, Ward and one sergeant were killed by a high explosive shell. He was buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.
HSP’s Pierson family papers (#3040) consists of two items: a scrapbook, created by Harriet Pierson, which contains newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, maps, condolences, and memorabilia relating to her husband’s military career and World War I experiences; and Pierson’s World War I diary, which chronicles the last five months of his life.