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Various corporate interests have felt the stimulus and the business activity and sound judgment of Richard Thomas Price, who is now conducting important interests under the name of the Interstate Coal Company and is otherwise connected with various. business concerns. He has also rendered valuable aid in connection with public affairs, looking to the benefit and up building of community and state. Born in Hyde Park, near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on the 4th of December, 1870, he is a son of Thomas Roger and Catherine Price, the former a coal miner of the Keystone state. When but ten years of age, Richard T. Price began work in the mines, laboring for twelve hours per day for the meager sum of sixty-five cents and walking four miles to his work. He was thus employed until fourteen-years of age and at that time became a delivery boy in the general store which was operated by the coal company. Steadily he worked his way upward in that connection, becoming a clerk and eventually manager of a branch store. Throughout his life he has improved every opportunity for advancement and he has recognized the fact that advancement comes through faithful service and a willingness to work. He has never been afraid that he was going to give his employer more service than he received pay for. On the contrary he recognized the fact that as he made his work worth while to those by whom he was employed he would receive promotion and adequate compensation. Step by step, therefore, he has advanced through individual merit, faithfulness and ability. On leaving Pennsylvania he looked after leases and the drilling for a large coal company at Cleveland, Ohio, which was operating thirteen mines in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Again progression rewarded his diligence and his faithfulness and he was advanced to the position of general manager and continued to serve in that capacity for twenty years, beginning in 1888.
Mr. Price came to Muskogee in 1915 on a trip for the benefit of his health, following an injury which he had sustained in the mines. He was pleased with the city and its prospects and here accepted the position of general manager with the Consolidated Fuel Company, a position which he continued to fill until the 1st of January, 1921, when he resigned to look after his own interests, having in the meantime organized the Interstate Coal Company, of which he is now the head. As the years have passed he has broadened his business connections here and he is president of the McAlester Colliery Company, a director of the Security State Bank and is identified with various other local companies. He was also a director of the National Coal Association and for three years he was president of the Oklahoma Coal Operators Association. He has likewise become an oil operator and is thus taking active part in the development of the natural resources of the southwest, through his interests as a coal and oil man.
On the 21st of September, 1893, Mr. Price was married to Miss Leah Phillips of Cleveland, Ohio, and they have one daughter, Laura Mae, who is now the wife of Norman E. Haner of Muskogee. Mr. and Mrs. Haner have one child, Betty June. Mr. Price belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and has membership in the Rotary Club, the Town and Country Club and the Wauhillau Club. His interest in civic affairs has been of a pronounced and helpful character and he has stood as a stalwart champion of many projects that have been of vital worth to the community.
He was a director of the Free State Fair Association, and for three years president of the Chamber of Commerce, also chairman of its civic affairs committee, is a director of the City Hospital and of the Young Men’s Christian Association. He is a lover of music, possessing a good singing voice and is the president of the Muskogee Choral Society. In music he finds much of his recreation and pleasure. His life has ever been guided and dominated by principles which measure up to the highest standards of American manhood and chivalry.