Mad in Pursuit Notebook

WJ and Sarah Price with 4 sons and 2 grandchildren

The WJ Price Family

This is what I've found out about the WJ Price family as they prospered in America.

Introduction by Walter T. Price

When WJ and Sarah moved to St. Louis, they seemed to move around a lot. Their early addresses in St Louis: 1884, 119 South Ewing; 1885, S.S. Swan Ave near Boyle; 1886, 2512a Dodier; 1887, Laclede Hotel; 1888, 4559 Cottage; 1895, 2923 Semple; 1899, 2501 Whittier; 1901, 4239 Easton; 1905, 1162 Aubert (shop at 4460 Finney). He continued at Aubert throughout his life, moving the shop there in 1907.

In his early years in St. Louis, William J. was a carpentry foreman on some of the large churches and apartment buildings in the area around Union, Kingshighway, Delmar and Maryland.

By 1910, W.J. Price Company was in full swing as a "Carpenter and Building Contractor."

They were members of the Episcopal Church on Euclid and Washington Av. William J was a very active member in the Order of the Sons of St. George, Wellington Lodge #419 [3].

After World War I, the family began to operate as Wm J Price & Sons, Carpenters & Builders. All six sons were involved in the business at that time. With William's wife Sarah leading the way, business boomed and all but Bill bought their own homes. Everyone prospered till the Great Depression wiped them out. Over time their business evolved into repairing rather than building. Kingbury Place, Westmoreland Place, Portland Place, and the ABC Apartments were some of the areas where they worked. They were masters of their trade.


Wm J PriceWilliam James Price

Born: Jan 1859 Sudbury (registered in Uttoxeter, Derbyshire)  England. Parents: James Price and Ann Nash. (See Prices of Mathon Family Tree and Nashes of Sudbury Family Tree)
Died: June 1934 St. Louis MO, "chronic nephritis with acute cardiac dilatation (onset 1929) and chronic myocarditis" [4]
Married: Sarah Elizabeth Newham,
6 July 1881 [2], in Witham-On-The-Hill, Lincoln, England (in Bourne district of Lincolnshire, where the Newham family lived)

1881 Census: living with parents in the civil parish of Foston & Scropton, on or near Hay Lane (in Staffordshire, just over the border from Derbyshire). Working as a carpenter. (More about his family>>> and specifically about his father James>>>)

Emigrated to America with wife and two oldest children in late 1883 (after the birth of William) or early 1884 (soon enough to be included in the 1884 St Louis City Directory. The 1900 and 1920 Census both list their immigration date as 1886; 1910 census, 1885—these can't be correct if 1884 directory is correct.

1887 Feb. 2512 Dodier, St. Louis MO (address on Frank Price birth registry)

1900 Census. With family, at 4239 Easton Av, working as a carpenter. 1910 Census. 1162 Aubert, with 5 sons, working as a "builder" with his own shop.

1920 Census (5 Jan). 1162 Aubert, with Sarah and the three sons — Frank, Walter, and Tab — who had been discharged the prior May from duty as soldiers in the Great War, in France. The sons were all in the family carpenter business.

Cricket. As a young man, my father had this idea that his grandfather William J would periodically disappear to play cricket in Australia. Once he began gathering more factual information on the life and times of Wm J, this seemed unlikely. While the Australian connection remains a mystery, we do know this: WJ Price played for the PASTIME OF ST. LOUIS cricket team in 1892 and 1893. Six of his matches are on record at Cricket Archive, one in St Louis at Sportsman's Park, 17 Sept 1892, and 5 in the Chicago area, during 4th of July week in 1893.

Sarah Newham PriceSarah Elizabeth Newham Price

Born: April 1860, Wytham on Hill (Lincolnshire) England (See Newham Family Tree)
Married: see above
Died: 30 Jun 1927 (age 67) "arteriosclerosis - contributory cardiac dilatation" [4]

1881 Census: living in Burton upon Trent at 161 Shobnall Street. Working as a laundress and living with her brother Charles Edward (a tailor) and his wife Ruth, along with their brother Samuel H. (a brewer's labourer). This is apparently where she met William J Price. (More about Sarah's family.)

CHILDREN (all born in Missouri, except where indicated)

Price Brothers at the shop

PHOTO: Some of the brothers at the shop on Aubert, with friends.

Mary Ann

B. in the 4th Quarter of 1881 in Burton Upon Trent (Derbyshire/Staffordshire), England [1]. According to family lore, she died aboard ship to America. No death record has been found.

Nothing is really known about Mary Ann, except the oral history of her death. The birth record I found fits the overall Price family story. It makes her the oldest child, born where her mother was working. Her parents married within three months of her birth.


B. in Sudbury (Derbyshire) England, Aug 1883. D. Feb 1965

1900 census. Working as a carpenter's helper (with his father, I assume).

1930 210 Sarah (Melrose Apartments at Sara and West Pine), living with wife Magdelen (age 47, parents from Germany). Working as a carpenter.

1940 [is this him?] Widowed, living alone at 739 Byron Place, Clayton MO, where he worked as a janitor in an apartment house, making $840 for 52 weeks of work in 1939. He also had non-wage income (assumed to be carpentry).

Frank L

B. Feb 1887. D. Mar 1947

Frank's Army Card from the Missouri State Archives. Served in WWI.

1920 Living at 1162 Aubert with his parents and working in the family business of carpentry.

1930 1160 Aubert (next to his dad), in his own home with Ireland-born wife Mary E Ward, and son Frank Warren. Working as a carpenter. (Later, married Lula, who died in 1954.)

1940 1162 Aubert, now widowed, with his brother Trevor/Tab's family and his 17-year-old son Frank W. He was still a carpenter, doing paid work for a building company. In 1939, he made some money on his own, but also secured a wage-earning job for 12 weeks, making $360.

The son Frank W. went on to marry Betty Jane Ehrhard. They had one child, Pamela (who was in high school with my cousin Patrick), and lived in St. Ann, MO. Frank W. Price died in 1995. It is thought that his wife and daughter went to live in Arizona.


B. 2 Jan 1889. D. 1944.

1910 Single. Living with his parents at 1162 Aubert St, St. Louis. Working as a carpenter.

1930 5143 Cote Brilliante, with wife Helen "Auntie" (age 39) and son William E (age 17). Helen is our great-aunt (who emigrated from Ireland), sister to my grandmother Bridget. With them was also living Patrick J Dunne (age 30), who emigrated from Ireland in 1924 and was not employed. Ern was working as a carpenter.

1940 Same home, with Auntie. At age 51 he was not working; during 1939 he had not worked at all. Auntie was working as a waitress in "private homes"; during 1939, she worked 30 weeks and earned $600. Their son Bill (age 28) worked as a clerk in a grocery store; in 1939 he worked 28 weeks and earned $455. Auntie's brother Pat lived with them. He was working as a laborer for Laclede Gas; in 1939, he worked 52 weeks and earned $1245.

Their son Bill aka Sonny became a policeman and died at the young age of 50. He married Florence Mogen and they had one daughter, Mary Frances, who had two sons and died at age 56.

Samuel Newham

B. 5 May 1891 (or 25 May per death certificate) D. 11 Jun 1952

1920 Living in the downstairs apartment of a rented duplex at 4352 Easton Av, with Ireland-born wife Margaret [Sheehan] and their first two children Elizabeth (4) and Samuel Jr (1). Working as a carpenter.

1930 5703 Kennerly (own home) with wife Margaret (age 41) and children [Julia] Elizabeth (14), Samuel Jr (11), Joseph (9), Rosemary (7), Fred (male, 6), Francis (male, 1). Working as a carpenter.

1940 Living in the same home, now widowed, working as a carpenter "on his own account", which provided the income for the 50 weeks he worked in 1939. His son Sam (21) was also working as a carpenter; in 1939 he worked for the family business and was classified as "unpaid." Son Joe (19) was working as a painter in an apartment repair business; in 1939 he made $304 in wages for 19 weeks of work. Also at home were daughter Rosemary (17), son Fred (16) and son Francis (11).

According to his Missouri death certificate, he was still living at his home on Kennerly when he died, at age 61, from lung cancer. It also reports he was still married. The informant on his death certificate was "Marie Price" -- I'm not sure of the relationship to him.

He is buried at Calvary Cemetery (Section 026, Lot 1160), with wife Margaret and sons Joseph John and Francis.

Children: Julia Elizabeth (1916 - declared legally dead 1957; thought to have committed suicide by her cousins, but information from one of her brothers suggests she went to California, where she worked as a nanny for a rich family. There she died and her ashes were spread upon the ocean); Samuel Jr (12 Jun 1918 - 3 Jan 1999); Joseph John (1921 - buried 3 Apr 1963); Rosemary (1923 - ?); Fred L(1924 - ?); Francis T (1929 - buried 3 Aug 1994)


B. Mar 1893; D. 6 Jun 1963

Walter's Army Card can be seen in the Missouri Archives Soldiers Database (war of 1812 - World War I). He served on the Western Front in 1918.

Draft Registration Card (click thumbnail above to enlarge)

1910 Census. Living with parents. Working as a clerk for a hardware company.

Married Bridget Dunne, 1920 (some time between census on Jan 5 [where he was reported living with his parents] and birth of first son at end of December).

1930 5642 Theodosia Ave, living with wife Bridget and first three children: John (9), Walter (7), and William (5). He was working as a carpenter.

Also living with them was his wife's cousin John Coughlin (age 30), who had emigrated from the Irish Free State in 1928 and was working as a carpenter.

(See complete history (children, etc.) under Bridget Dunne Price. See also: Private Price in WWI, The Lodge, Bridget takes charge)

According to WT Price, around 1936, Walter and Tab went out on their own. By 1940, they were starting to roll, but because of the threat of World War II, materials became scarce. They went to work on government projects, first at the TNT plant at Weldon Springs, Missouri (which opened in 1941), and later at the Granite City Army Engineering Depot, Granite City, Illinois. (The 1940 census data provides a confusing account, with both brothers working on their own -- but for 1939, Tab reported working 52 weeks, while Walt reported 0 weeks and no income. Maybe whoever sat with the census-taker on Theodosia thought it was nobody's business.)

1940 Living in same home, with Bridget and the five children John (19), Walter (17), William (15), Joseph (9), and Mary Ellen (4). Walt was working on his own as a carpenter at this time. In 1939, he reported that he had not worked any weeks at all. Bridget worked as a cook in a women's club; in 1939, she worked 12 weeks for $60. Jack was doing general office work for a manufacturing company; in 1932 he worked 52 weeks for a total of $600.

Trevor "Tab"

B. 16 Jun 1895; D. Oct 1966

Tab's Army Card from the Missouri State Archives. Served in WWI. Draft registration card (click thumbnail at left to enlarge.)

1930 4748 Spaulding (own home). Working as a carpenter and living with his Ireland-born wife Nellie T, who was older than him (he was 37; she was 44). (The census-taker recorded their name as "Pricer," so it was tricky to find.)

Nellie died young and Tab went on to marry Bernice. They had two daughters, Carol and Patricia.

1940 He and his family had moved to 1162 Aubert, where his parents had lived before they died. He was living with his wife Bernice (26) and daughter Caroline [sic] (6), as well as his widowed brother Frank (see above) and nephew. He was working on his own as a carpenter. During 1939, he worked 52 weeks at his own business, without other employment.


[1] From birth record data.

[2] From marriage record data.

[3] The Order of St. George was founded in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1836 as a counter to the Irish immigrant coal miners' organization known as the Molly Maguires. See Family History entry on "The Lodge."

[4] Death certificate, from State of Missouri

12.14.05 (revised 9.28.2012)


THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.



Follow page on FacebookFollow on LinkedinConverse on TwitterContactMad In Pursuit Home

Creative Commons License
All pages in this website by Susan Barrett Price are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. [The snowstorm image at the top of this page came from Wikipedia, under a Creative Commons license.]