Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
THOMAS W. PRICE. One would find it necessary to search long and far to find a farm kept in better condition or managed under more up-to-date methods than that of Thomas W. Price of Taylor township, Greene county--the place on which he has spent his life. He has not only worked hard and persistently in keeping everything in its proper place, but has been a student of local conditions and has read such literature as pertains to twentieth century methods of husbandry, so that he has been enabled to reap just reward for his pains and labors from year to year.
Mr. Price was born here on July 14, 1871. He is a son of John H. and Mary (Calwell) Price. The father was born in Russell county, Virginia, July 19, 1822, and was reared there on a farm and received a common school education. The mother of our subject was born in Tazewell county, Virginia, December 17, 1830. She was brought to Missouri when a young girl by her parents, the family locating in Greene county, where she attended school, and here she married Mr. Price in 1868. Her death occurred on the home farm in Taylor township, July 13, 1899. John H. Price was fourteen years of age when, in 1836, he immigrated with his parents from the Old Dominion to Greene county, Missouri. His father entered a farm from the government which he developed. Here John H. Price worked amid pioneer environments, and in 1853, during the gold fever days, he and his brother drove five hundred and twenty-five head of cattle overland to California, reaching their destination with four hundred and ninety head. A loss of only thirty-five head from this large herd over the wild plains of the vast west and during a trip of some six months was indeed a remarkable feat. He was successful in his venture to the far West, and returned home in due time and turned his attention to general farming. When the Civil war came on he joined the Home Guards in 1861, and was made assistant inspector general of General McBride's brigade of the Federal army, and in September, 1861, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel for meritorious services. He had command of the post at Lebanon until October of that year. He was in command of the State Guards at Springfield when Gen. John C. Fremont marched his great army to that place, and it was against Colonel Price's men that Major Zagonyi made his famous charge in October, 1861, just west of the city. Colonel Price was captured in Taney county and for a brief period was held a prisoner at the government arsenal in St. Louis, finally being exchanged and. rejoining the army under Gen. Sterling Price at Osceola, St. Clair county. He saw considerable hard service and was an efficient and brave officer. He fought at the battle of Pea Ridge and was captured again and sent to the Union prison at Alton, Illinois, where he was held for six months. In June, 1863, he rejoined the Confederate army and was made adjutant of Colonel Cornell's Missouri regiment. In August, 1863, he was appointed inspector general of Freeman's brigade of Marmaduke's division, which position he held with honor and success until the close of the war. Returning home after his brilliant military career he resumed farming and was owner of two hundred and fifteen acres, on which he carried on general farming and stock raising in an able manner. He was well known and influential in his locality, and was a man of fine personal character. His death occurred on April 7, 1889, in Henderson, Missouri. He had but two children, namely: Mrs. Lydia Foster, who lives in Springfield, and. Thomas W., of this sketch.
Thomas W. Price was reared on the home farm, where he worked hard when growing up, and he received his education in the common schools. He worked the farm for his father until the latter's death. He has remained on the home place, which consists of one hundred and thirty-eight acres at the present time, this being his part of the original. He has kept it well improved and carefully cultivated and the buildings in good repair.
Mr. Price was married on October 15, 1902, to May Wells, who was born in Webster county, Missouri, December 4, 1880, and was reared on a farm there and received her education in the common schools. She is a daughter of John D. and Elizabeth (Compton) Wells, both of whom still live in Webster county and are actively engaged in farming. Four children have been born to our subject and wife, namely: Mary, John H., Marion and Mildred.
Politically, Mr. Price is a Democrat. He has been justice of the peace in Taylor township for four years, giving eminent satisfaction. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Springfield-Greene County Library