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Gen. William G. Price, Jr.


Newspaper Unidentified

Gen. Price, Top Soldier, Dead at 90
His Career Spanned 3 Wars

RIDLEY PARK- Gen. William G. Price Jr., Delaware County's "first soldier" died Wednesday in the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia. He would have been 91 next month.

A veteran of three wars, his military service spanned almost a half-century. A lieutenant colonel in the Spanish-American War, he was made a three-star general in 1956 on the 25th anniversary of his retirement from active duty. Although his military career was one of the most distinguished in the state, Gen. Price was equally well known as a builder and developer. His native
city of Chester expanded through more than three decades of business activity.

In good health until just recently, he entered the hospital two weeks ago and seemed to be recuperating, when he apparently suffered a heart attack.

His home was at 24 W. Sellers Ave.

ENLISTED MAN
Services will be 2:30 p.m. Friday in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 9th and Madison Sts., Chester, where he served as rector's warden for many years. He will be buried in Chester Rural Cemetery. There will be no viewing.

He was born March 23, 1869, at 503 Kerlin St., Chester, the son of William Gray Price and Jane Campbell Price. Educated in the city public schools, his first job gave no hint of the military career that lay ahead of him -- he was employed by the Delaware County Trust Co. as a bookkeeper.

IN 1886 he joined B. Co. 6th ...[a line missing here] after that a 2nd lieutenant. He was 29 when the Spanish-American War broke out and he served with the Third Pennsylvania Volunteers. AS a brigadier General in 1909 he was in charge of the 21st infantry brigade of the PNG and he led this brigade in the Mexican border dispute in 1916.

SPROUL FRIEND
When World War I began he organized, trained and took to France, the 53rd National Field Artillery Brigade of the National Guard's 28th Division. When he returned from France, William C. Sproul, a boyhood chum who was then governor of Pennsylvania, gave him command of the 28th Division. It was Gen. Price who later persuaded state leaders to appropriate money to expand the national guard training facilities and it was he who selected the training site at Indiantown Gap near Mt. Gretna.

One of the organizers of the American Legion in Paris in 1919, Gen. Price was a member of the 17 man committee assigned to weld the Legion into a national organization when the troops returned to the U.S.

His military honors were many. They included the Distinguished Military Medal, Victory Medal with five stars, and the Croix de Guerre from France and Belgium. He also received a medal for distinguished service to the National Guard.  IN 1948 he was an honorary pall bearer at the funeral of Gen. John J. Pershing. He was awarded the United States Medal for service in the Spanish-American War and Mexican Border Dispute, and possessed the Distinguished Service Medal from Pennsylvania and Stewart Medal for long and distinguished service in the PNG.

When he wasn't serving his country militarily, he carried on his business as a real estate developer.

WAS BUILDER
He built homes, hotels and apartments in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. When the Spanish-American War came along, he had 200 homes under construction near George's Hill, Philadelphia. HE went to war and turned the business over to his wife, who also was left to care for their three small sons.

IN 1906 the prices returned to Chester, moving into Mrs. Price's home, Preston place, at 322 W. 7th St., the site of the city's present vocational high school. He continued in his building career, erecting homes on W. 5th Street between Edgmont avenue and Chester River the 200 block W 7th Street, 1100 block Kerlin and Parker streets, 200 block W. 9th street, E. 9th street, 900 and 100 blocks McDowell avenue and Elsinore place.

When the Mexican Border skirmishes began he left his business in care of his eldest son J. P. Eyre Price, who served in city council. Later the son together with Percival Johnson built Sun Hill and Sun Village in Chester.

MORE HOMES
In 1939 Gen. Price started development of Eyre Park. In 1943 he added 119 homes to rent to war workers and at the same time built 17 homes on Morton avenue and Hyatt street.

For 44 years until 1952 he was a vestryman of St. Paul's Church. In 1920 he was awarded the honorary degree of Master of Arts by Pennsylvania Military College and later received the honorary degree of Doctor of Military Science from the same institution.

For a number of years he was a member and acting president of PMC's board of trustees and at the time of his death was on the advisory board. He was present at almost every special occasion at the college. He was a member of the Union League of Philadelphia and was awarded the league's Gold Medal in 1954. He was a member of the Chester Rotary Club, Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution, Netherland Society, St. Andrew's Society, Corinthian Yacht Club, and an honorary member of the First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry.

In addition to his wife, Sallie Pennell Eyre Price, whom he married June 1, 1893, he is survived by three sons, W. Alrrich Price, Delaware County Sheriff and former Chester Councilman, J. P. Eyre Price of Scranton PA, and Col. Terrill E. Price, U.S. Army (ret,) of Gainesville Fla., four daughters, Mrs. Martha Eyre Lee of Ridley Park, Elizabeth Eyre Price of St. David's; Mrs. H. Gilroy Damon of Wallingford, and Mrs. Robert L. Granger of ...[last line cut off.]

Thanks to Anne Wiegle, awiegle@fast.net for sharing this obituary.


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2000, 2002 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 02/24/07