William E. Peirce was born in Portsmouth, NH in 1866, the son of Elbridge Peirce and Frances Hadley Peirce. He married Annie Frances Conlon.
He worked as a clerk at Portsmouth Savings Bank and later opened his own insurance, investment, and securities firm on Market Street called the W. E. Peirce & Company Insurance and Investments.
William Peirce served as City Clerk of Portsmouth from 1901-1905 and died around 1910.
Below is a 1902 photograph of his Market Street establishment that appeared in C. S. Gurney's book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. The building was constructed after 1802, when its predecessor would have been destroyed in the Great Parade Fire. It likely dates from around 1846, since another earlier structure probably burned in the Great Market Street Fire of May 4, 1845.
Today, the N. W. Barrett Gallery of fine crafts is located in the retail space. The building has been considerably modified and is barely recognizable as the location where W. E. Peirce sold insurance and investments.