William Cecil Price was born in Russell county, Virginia, April 1st, 1816, and is the third child of Crabtree and Linny C. Price, the family being of Welsh descent. His father was a farmer, who emigrated to Greene county, Missouri, in 1836. William had the advantage of a common English education in boyhood, and at twenty years of age was sent to Knoxville college, Tennessee. On returning from college he taught school in this county, and subsequently clerked in a general merchandise store, reading law whenever he had any spare time. In 1840 he was appointed deputy sheriff of Greene county, and one year later was appointed justice of the Greene county court, filling out an unexpired term. He was admitted to the bar in 1844, practiced law till 1847, and was then elected probate judge, holding the position for two years. In 1854 Judge Price was elected to the State Senate, but resigned in 1857 to accept appointment as judge of the 27th judicial circuit. In 1859 Gov. Stewart appointed him to represent Missouri as agent at the general land office at Washington, on the subject of swamp and overflowed lands, in which service he saved several hundred houses and acres of land for his State. President Buchanan appointed Judge Price, in 1860, to fill the unexpired term of Judge Casey as U. S. treasurer, which position he held till the inauguration of Lincoln. When the civil war came on, Judge Price being Southern in all his sentiments and interests, entered the Confederate service as a private under Gen. Price in McBride’s brigade, Missouri volunteers. He was captured at Pea Ridge, taken to Alton, imprisoned eight months and then exchanged at Vicksburg. President Davis assigned him to the adjutant general’s department, with the rank of major, and he did duty as recruiting officer in Missouri. In the spring of 1864 he resigned, and being financially ruined by the war, he began farming in Arkansas, where he remained till 1867, when he removed to St. Louis and there practiced his profession. He located at Springfield in 1869, where be has ever since continued to reside. In June, 1842, he married Miss Sarah J. Kimbrough of ]Kentucky. She died in August, 1859, leaving four sons and three daughters. Judge P. was again married, August 27th, 1860, to Lydia C. Dow, daughter of Ira M. Dow, of Vermont. She was born March 15th, 1836, and educated at Fairfax, Vermont. Of the last marriage there were born three children. Judge Price takes little interest in politics of late years, preferring private life. Formerly he was connected with the M. E. Church South, but does not now join in religious services with that body.
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