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Another Archery Legend has said his last, “Good-bye.”

                                                                                                                                  By Ann Clark


Charles “Charlie” Pierson passed away peacefully, October 6th, 2010 after a long illness. His long time caretakers and friends Lara Schweder and Liz Patton were with him at the end. Both spent countless hours at the Meadow Brook Care Center with Charlie. Their daily visits and tender loving care over the years added extra years to his life. They were devoted friends.

Perhaps not so well known as some archery legends, Charles was a giant in the Cincinnati area as well as the state of Ohio and much of the Midwest.

 He was a master flight shooter, having won many titles with the foot bow, he established many long distance flight records with an arrow. His expertise playing “Archery Golf” made him a sought after teacher to learn his technique at long distance shots with a hand-held flight bow of his design.

 His flight bows were famous among flight shooters such as Harry Drake and Dr. Bert Grayson, to name a few. The design and exotic wood used are worthy of museum quality. Lucky many of you who are privileged to own these early beauties! Namely “The Sultan Bow!”

 Charlie and his dad E Bud Pierson were master craftman and one of America’s finest bowyers.

 His collection of antique bows as far back as Turkish archery, the English long bow, crossbows, and foot bows made him a sought out collector and information source. The late Glenn St. Charles came to Cincinnati to add to his collection of antique bows, provided by Charlie. Dr. Bert Grayson was also a frequent caller. Much valuable information was shared via long distance from Oregon and Washington State with these three excellent collector

 Charlie, like the late Dr. Grayson was a collector of ancient release aids long before present day compound bow releases.

 His crested wooden arrows were beauties all their own.  The wood flight arrows were sought after the world over.

 Charlie and the Pierson Family hunted every year in the Mio, Michigan area. His mother, Daisy, was the only successful hunter.

 A life member of Cincinnati’s Winton Bowmen Archery Club, he was a leader in the formation of the Cincinnati Archers Club, known as the TCA.

 After leaving his shop on Burnet Avenue, due to expansion of the hospital zone he purchased property in Cincinnati’s Tri-County area where he built the first indoor archery range in the area with the finest lighting available. This was Darrell Pace’s first encounter with archery and as they say regarding Darrell, “The rest is history.”

 Pierson Archery was always seen at local sport shows and outdoor events with a hands-on shooting booth for all to try with the master himself on hand to teach the correct technique to shoot the bow.

 I met Charlie and his dad, E. Bud Pierson, along with his mother, Daisy, in their shop on Burnet Avenue here in Cincinnati, the year I started my career in archery, 1953.

 E. Bud Pierson & Son were widely known in the Cincinnati area as “the place to be” if you were interested in archery. A well known bowyer who attracted many personalities to the shop, several I met on my first visit was outfielder Jim Blackburn of Cincinnati Reds Baseball fame. George Helwig, who would later become a Hall of Fame member. He and Charlie became influential establishing the Jr. Olympic Archery Program that  produced many archery champions.  Mildred and Ed Miller first brought this very successful program to the attention of the public nationally via television for archery publicity, known as the Robin Hood Tournament. This was to draw potential archers to the World Archery Center, referred to as TWAC.

 Charlie and his wife, Mildred were coaches at TWAC as well as lecturers to broaden the knowledge of would-be archery champions and instructors participating in all phases of the sport. Charlie was active at TWAC for 50 years.

 Charlie and Mildred gave freely of their time and loan of equipment to a weekly JOAD program for the advancement of youth in archery here in Cincinnati.

 Together they received the coveted JOAD Award in 1988. They joined with Klelus Wheatly, George Helwig, Ann Clark, and Debbie Blum to receive this prestigious award, all from the Cincinnati area.

 The Piersons were instrumental in my early instructions. They taught my husband Jack, who was my personal coach. We learned how to fletch arrows and among other things to make bow strings. Charlie was always on hand to encourage and help in any way possible.

Charlie was a lifelong Quaker and  is a member of The Society of Friends .

He was a Conscientious Objector during World War II. While serving his country during the war, his time was spent at an Army Hospital in England caring for the wounded.

 You will find a section on Charlie at The Cincinnati Museum Center at the Old Union Terminal regarding Cincinnati’s Conscientious Objector (a person who refuses to take part in warfare because his conscience prohibits his participation in killing).

 Charlie was a quiet man, a gentle person, one who always took time to help his fellow man, asking nothing in return.

 The Pierson’s spent many Christmas get-togethers at my home for wild game fondues, comradery, and archery talk

 Many are gone now, but all live in my memories of archery days gone by.

 Here’s to those remaining who knew and loved this quiet humble man, who loved to dress in colorful fashions.

 Charlie, will be missed by all that knew him and benefited from his help.

World War II photo

During his life on earth he developed many Champions – his most famous was Darrell Pace who became twice Olympic Champion, many-time World and National Champion.

Other Cincinnati World Champions who he assisted on their way to World fame were Doug Brothers, Nancy Vonderheid Kleinman, Debbie and Ann Clark, Maureen Bechdolt and a host of others.

 George Helwig and Charlie in the early 80's


Charlie can also boast of his quiet work in the background that introduced Cincinnatians to the Archery Hall of Fame that includes as members: George Helwig, Ann Clark and Allan Martin.

    World Champions and Team Members – Doug Brothers, Darrel Pace, Maureen Bechdolt, Nancy Vonderheid Kleinman, Ann and Debbie Clark

  National Champions - Darrel Pace, Ann and Debbie Clark

  Officers in National Organizations:

   Jim Steinway – President NAA

   George Helwig – President NAA

   Marvin Kleinman – President NAA

   Allan Martin – President NAA

   Darrel Pace – President NAA

  National Coaches – George Helwig, Ann Clark, Teresa Brothers, and Debbie Blum

  World & National Officials – Ann Clark, George Helwig, Teresa Brothers, Debbie Blum, and Allan Martin

Ann and Charlie

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