Biography - John Price

JOHN PRICE, a venerable pioneer of Grisham Township, Montgomery County, Ill., now residing upon section 11, is supposed to be the oldest settler in that portion of the country. He was born in Wayne County, Ky., August 22, 1816. For three-score years his life has been full of activity and incident. Thrown upon his own resources at fifteen years of age, he bravely faced the world, his sole capital a stout heart and willing hands.
The father of our subject was drowned when John was but eight years old. His mother was a native of the South, and a woman of courage and resolution. She had borne five children and bravely shared the hardships of her husband's life. He died a poor man and left his family unprovided for. Overcoming all obstacles with patient endurance, the widow journeyed with her children to Illinois, locating in what is now Hillsboro Township. Toiling and saving to keep the wolf from the door, the mother yet spared a little money to send John to the subscription school in the neighborhood.
Judge Rountree gave our subject his first employment. The lad was handy and soon learned to make rails and handle the carpenter's tools. He made the sixteen thousand shingles that covered the second court house in the county. As time passed on he prospered and made a home of his own. Ellen N. Loving was the name of the lady he chose for a wife. She was born in Simpson County, Ky., March 2, 1824, and was therefore but seventeen years of age when she was married to John Price, April 22, 1841, but she had grown up amid the scenes of pioneer life and understood well the ways of the household.
Mr. Price took his young wife to a forty-acre farm in Grisham Township, section 9. There was a little log house, 12x14 feet, and a little log stable in the rear. Only twelve acres of the farm were under cultivation, the rest being unbroken prairie. In about a year Mr. Price traded this property for another farm of sixty acres on section 22, of the same township. Upon this farm our subject and his wife remained for years contented and happy. Finally they removed to their present location, on which there is some fine timber. There was the usual primitive cabin on the land, and in this humble home the family dwelt until in 1855 Mr. Price built his present residence, hauling all the timber from Alton, a distance of forty miles.
Mr. and Mrs. Price have had fourteen children, nine sons and five daughters. Of this large family eight survive: George W., of Montgomery County; Mary C., wife of D. S. Clotfelter, of Ellis, Kan.; John E., who is a widower and lives with his parents; Thomas S., of Bond County Ill.; Isaac K., of Mead Centre, Kan.; James E., of Donnellson. Ill.; Joseph A., of Montgomery County, and Martin C., supposed to be in Arizona.
The homestead has now two hundred and twenty-five acres, two hundred of which are under fence and much of it is highly cultivated. Mr. Price originally owned six hundred acres, but has given each of his children farms, thus materially reducing his own holdings. Our subject began life without the aid of friends or money, but he has always been well able to care for the little ones who came to him, and the great pleasure of his latter days has been to start them on their upward way.
No man in the Western country has a greater store of valuable reminiscences than the subject of this sketch. Past events of public and private interest are as familiar to him as household words. He shot deer where the town now stands, and was known as a skillful hunter of the early days. Mr. Price cast his first vote for Buchanan. For several years he supported the Republican ticket, then favored the Greenback party, and now votes for the best man, regardless of politics. Mr. Price has been a Class-leader of the Methodist church for many years; his wife is also a valued member of the same persuasion, and both are interested in all religious enterprises.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 162-163.

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