James H. Price. The large interests which have engrossed the time and energies of James H. Price have brought him to the very forefront among the business men of Crawford County, and particularly of that part lying adjacent to the City of Pittsburg, with which city he has been prominently identified for the past ten or more years. From the very start of his career, he has been interested, in one or another way, with the mining industry, and today he is known throughout Kansas as an extensive coal operator and contractor.
Mr. Price was born in Herefordshire, England, April 9, 1865, and is a son of Thomas and Louise (Lovett) Price, natives of the same place. His father was born in 1838 and was reared on a farm, his education being received in the rural schools of his locality. He was married in his native land and there engaged in farming on his own account, but was not satisfied with the success which attended his efforts and therefore determined to seek his fortunes in America, to which country he came in 1873. He first settled at Brazil, Indiana, where for some time he worked in the coal mines, but later resumed his earlier occupation of farming, and subsequently moved to Montserrat, Johnson County, Missouri, where he purchased a farm. During the remainder of his life he devoted himself to the pursuits of the soil and became one of the substantial farmers and stockmen of his locality. His death occurred on his homestead place, in 1906, when he was sixty-eight years of age. Mr. Price was an industrious, hard-working and God-fearing man, who was representative of the best citizenship of his locality. In politics a republican, he cared naught for political office, but devoted himself whole-heartedly to the development of his farm and the making of a comfortable home for his family. He was an active supporter of the Methodist Church, which he built at Montserrat, and held all the lay offices therein in addition to being deacon for many years. He was married in his native land to Miss Louise Lovett, who was born in 1847, and died at Montserrat, Missouri, in 1892. They were the parents of the following children: Mary, who married James Oughton, a coal miner, and went to Seattle, Washington, where both passed away; James H., of this review; Francis, who is mine foreman for the Western Coal Mining Company, with headquarters at Pittsburg; William, who is a weighmaster in the coal fields and resides at McCormack, Kansas; George, who is a mine foreman for the Western Coal Mining Company, and lives at Flemming, Kansas; and Elmer, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in the vicinity of McCormack, Kansas.
James H. Price was eight years of age when brought to the United States by his parents, and his subsequent boyhood and youth were passed at Brazil, Indiana, and Montserrat, Missouri, at which latter place his education was completed in the public schools. His earliest occupation was as his father’s assistant on the home farm, on which he remained until he reached the age of twenty-one years, and then entered upon his own career in the field in which he has won such satisfying success. When he left the parental roof, Mr. Price went to Richhill, Missouri, where he entered the mines, and gradually, as the years passed, familiarized himself with every department of the industry. From time to time, as his abilities made themselves felt and his experience warranted, he was advanced, and thus developed into an operator, and as such came to Kansas in 1906. Locating at Pittsburg, Mr. Price began contracting for the sinking of mines, as a contractor, at first in a small way, and later on a large scale. During the time he has been engaged in this business here he has sunk something like 2½ miles of mines in this region, probably as large a work of accomplishment as has been done by any one man in the West. Almost all the mines in the region of Pittsburg have been sunk under contracts handled by Mr. Price, and he has also operated extensively in this way in Oklahoma, Montana and other parts of the United States. Few men know the industry better, and few have a higher reputation for the prompt and efficient fulfillment of contracts. Mr. Price is also the owner of a valuable coal mine of his own, located about two miles north of Pittsburg, and has his own home at No. 605 North Elm Street, and another residence property on East Washington Street.
Mr. Price is a democrat in political matters, but beyond casting his vote takes little part in public matters. He is well known in fraternal circles, being a thirty-second degree Mason and holding membership in Pittsburg Lodge No. 127, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Pittsburg Chapter No. 58, Royal Arch Masons; Pittsburg Commandery No. 29, Knights Templars; Fort Scott Consistory No. 6, and Mirza Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
Mr. Price was married in 1888, at Butler, Missouri, to Miss Louisa Frazier, of Belleville, Illinois, and they have had the following children: Anna May, who is the wife of Patrick Drysdale, of Pittsburg, a coal operator; Thomas, who is a mine foreman in the employ of his father and resides at Frontenac, Kansas; Raymond, who is a mining engineer and resides at Pittsburg; William H., who is a member of the senior class at the Pittsburg High School, and resides with his parents; Dewey, who is attending the same school as a sophomore; Irene, who is a freshman at the high school; Eddie, Webster, Edna and Stella, who are all attending the graded schools at Pittsburg, and Maynard, the baby.