Woman of the Century/Kate Pier
PIER, Mrs. Kate, court commissioner, born in St. Albans, Vt., 22nd June. 1845. Her father was John Hamilton, and her mother's maiden name was Mary Meekin. Both parents were of Scotch-Irish descent. Kate Hamilton was educated in the public schools of Fond du Lac, Wis., and she taught there for about three years. She became the wife of C. K. Pier, of Fond du Lac, in 1866. Her father died in 1870, and since that time her mother has lived with her, thus making it possible for Mrs. Pier to accomplish what no other woman in America, or in the world, has done. She has made a lawyer of herself and lawyers of her three daughters. Misses Kate H. Pier, Caroline H. Pier and Harriet H. Pier, with herself, constitute a law firm now practicing in Milwaukee, Wis. Mrs. Pier began business life by assuming the charge of her mother's and her own share of a large estate left by her father. Her success therein brought others to her for assistance in their own affairs, and so, from a general real estate business, in which there was naturally more or less legal work continually, Mrs Pier, under the advice of her friends, entered upon the profession of law, in which she pays now and has always paid special attention to real estate and probate law. In addition to the three daughters of her own. Mrs. Pier has brought up two nephews from their infancy, KATE PIER. being assisted by her mother in the care of the large family. She greatly desired that her daughters should begin business life under her personal supervision. She had started alone and knew what pioneer business undertakings meant for a woman. She wished her girls to benefit by her experience. As it was a new venture for girls to enter law schools, she desired to take the course with her oldest. Mrs. Pier and Kate therefore began their legal studies together in the law department of the Wisconsin State University, in 1886. It was a unique precedent and brought the talented pair immediately into public notice. Their companionship was evidently so pleasant, their manners were so perfect and their aims so high and womanly, that they met with general kindness and pronounced courtesy. In May, 1891, Mrs Pier received an appointment that shows the decided advancement of women in the legal profession. She was made court commissioner, and she still holds the position. Of course, in departing from the beaten path of " woman's sphere," she conquered many obstacles before reaching the level road of a successful practice. Feeling that the profession of law needs women in its ranks almost, if not quite, as much as did the medical, Mrs. Pier is an enthusiast in her work.