The subject of this sketch, James Voss Price, is the venerable father of Sylvester Baily Price, one of Cloud county's able commissioners. Mr. Price descends from an ancient and patriotic English family, a branch of which settled on the Little Peedee river in the state of North Carolina, prior to the period of the Revolutionary war. He is a grandson of the patriotic John Price who served all through the Revolution under General Marion. His father, John Lowry Price, demonstrated his valor by shouldering a musket and rendering duty as a soldier all through the war of 1812, and was slightly wounded. He was born on the Little Peedee river but emigrated to Barnes county, Kentucky, in the early settlement of that state and where James Voss Price was born in 1812. In December, 1852, he, with his family drove through the country to southern Illinois and arrived at their destination, what is now known as "Little Egypt," on Christmas day.
Our subject's maternal grandfather Voss, from whom Mr. Price received his Christian name, was also a soldier of the Revolution. The Voss and Price families settled in North Carolina and in the same community almost simultaneously. Like his distinguished ancestry, Mr. Price was a patriot. When Company H, Eighty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was instituted he responded to the call for more troops by enlisting in their ranks August 12, 1862. He entered as second lieutenant and was promoted to first lieutenant, but after receiving his commission was compelled to resign on account of a crippled foot and ankle that would not admit of participating in the march. The patriotism of the Price antecedents has been handed on down the line. The two sons of Mr. Price were both soldiers of the Civil war and members of the same company with their father.
Mr. Price began his career by working on a farm near Bowling Green, Kentucky, where for three years he received five dollars per month. He was next installed as overseer of the McCutcheon plantation, a large southern estate in Logan county, Kentucky, for the remuneration of one hundred dollars per year, which was considered fair wages in those days of cheap labor. His services proved so satisfactory his employer offered to Increase his salary to one hundred and fifty dollars per year if he would continue in charge, but Mr. Price bought forty acres of land, married February 10, 1835, and established a home. His wife was Lucinda Hall, whose people were among the earliest settlers in Sussex county, Virginia, and were slaveholders, she receiving two slaves upon her marriage with Mr. Price as a dowry from her father. To their union three children were born, all of whom are deceased. The wife and mother died in August, 1840. His second wife was Frances Jane Weathers, also of Virginia birth, and from one of the pioneer families of Dinwiddie county. Many of her father's people were in the confederacy, but the maternal side furnished several Union soldiers. Mrs. Price was a near relative of General Albert Sidney Johnson, who was killed in the first day's battle at Shiloh. By this union four children were born, two sons and two daughters. The eldest, Frances Ellen, is the wife of Doctor Dabney, of Denver. S.B. Price, whose biography follows that of his father, is the second child and first son. E.R. Price is one of the representative farmers in the vicinity of Hollis. The youngest child, Mary Melissa, is the wife of Fred Kunkle, and resides in Concordia. Mrs. Dabney is the original Fannie Price, for whom Mr. Carnahan named "Fanny" postoffice.
Mr. Price was a practical farmer all his life until he retired from labor to enjoy the ease and comfort due a well spent career of usefulness. He emigrated with his father's family to Illinois and bought a squatter's right in "Little Egypt," for which he paid one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and where he resided until coming to Kansas in 1886. Thus it will be seen Mr. Price was a pioneer of two states and almost three, for Kentucky was yet in its infancy. He first settled in Pottawatomie county, but in 1868 pushed further westward and located a homestead near where the town of Hollis now stands, where he continued to reside until he sold the farm in 1884.
Since the death of his wife in 1886, Mr. Price has lived wtih[sic] his children. He is now with his son, S.B. Price, in Concordia, and where likely he will spend the rest of his days. Before the organization of the Republican party Mr. Price was a Whig. He has been prominent in politics and was personally associated with such men as John A. Logan and grows animated as he interestingly converses of the days when Stephen A. Douglas aspired to the presidency. Those times of anxiety and factional strife seem as vivid in the mind of this aged veteran, over whose snowy head a century has almost dawned, as if that memorable period were but yesterday. The fires of enthusiasm kindle within his breast and illumine his countenance as he intelligently narrates the proceedings of the Republican state convention held in Decatur in 1860, when Richard Yates was nominated for governor of the state of Illinois and Abraham Lincoln endorsed for president. Mr. Price was honored by the appointment of delegate to this distinguished body along with Griffin Garlin and John Russell.
Mr. Price is perhaps the oldest Mason in the county, and one of the few in the state who have been identified with the order since 1847. He was initiated into the mysteries of Free Masonry in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He has not lost his love and consideration for the order, but declining years do not admit of his attending the lodge meetings.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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