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(1855­- 1908)

by Edith Evans


John Evan Price, Jr., son of John Evan and Ruth Williams Price, was born at Llanfeigan, Brecknock, South Wales, January 18, 1855, at 4:00 p.m. On January 18, 1863, he was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

During his early life, he moved from place to place with his parents as his father spent most of his time doing missionary work. There was little opportunity for schooling. Even small children were carried into the mines to pick up coal and be errand boys. Sometimes they never saw the sun for weeks. He had this experience.

With his parents, he immigrated to America in May of 1865. They sailed from Liverpool, England on the Bridgewater ship. They were five weeks and two days on the water before landing at New York. They went from there to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where many Welsh immigrants were living. The Welsh people treated them very kindly, but they desired to go west to make their home. They left Pittsburgh and went to Detroit. From there they left July 18, 1866, with Captain John D. Holladay’s ox team company and headed west. They encountered many hardships on the plains. John, then 11 years of age, walked most of the way, as did many of the children and adults who were able. It eased the load for the oxen so they might bring their few possessions.

They reached Salt Lake City on September 25, 1866, and stayed there a few days. They then went to Brigham City where both parents were stricken with mountain fever and were confined to bed for two months. In February 1867, the family moved to Malad and joined their daughter, Ruth, who had come to this country previously and was married to Fredrick Thomas. They lived in Malad until April 1868. They then moved to what is known as Samaria, where his father had taken up 160 acres of land on which he had built a dugout. They were the first white family to settle there.

These pioneer children worked long and hard. Young John helped clear the sagebrush from the land ready for planting and went to the canyon with his father and brother, Daniel, to get logs for their homes, and other buildings. His father was an ambitious, hard-working man and always tried to use the logs the day we brought them from the canyon. They built a sawpit and sawed the logs at night and put them in place. They sometimes averaged as many as 18 trips to the canyon in three weeks. Their home was built a few logs at a time. They also sawed logs for sheds, corrals and fence posts. He helped dig canals for irrigation with pick and shovel. The logs used for the first church house were hewed by hand. He participated in this project.

When older, he freighted to Belleview, Wood River, Challis, Salmon and Eagle Rock, which is now Idaho Falls, and from Corinne to Montana. The first freighting was done with oxen. Later, horses were used. At one time they camped for the night at what is now known as Mud Lake. They unharnessed the horses for the night and the mosquitoes swarmed on them so thick they could hardly tell one horse from another.

He married Emma Morse, daughter of William and Margaret Evans Morse, on March 15, 1883, in the Endowment House at Salt Lake City. They traveled to Brigham City by team and covered wagon, taking a load of wheat with them to sell. With the money, they bought a wedding ring, some knives, forks, utensils, dishes and groceries. Leaving the horses in a rented pasture and their supplies with friends, they boarded a train and went to Salt Lake City where they were married.

Father had a two-room brick house built before they were married. The inside of the house was white washed with lime and was later plastered. The floor was of rough lumber. More rooms were added later and they lived the remainder of their lives in this home.

[Portrait of Emma Morse]

There was no water on the place and water had to be hauled in water barrels from the Samaria spring. The old water barrel on the water sleigh, pulled by a horse, was a familiar sight in this pioneer village. He homesteads a ranch at Pleasant View just three miles from their home. On the ranch they built one large building, which was divided, and a grain bin was built in part of it. Using straw ticks, they made their beds on top of the grain. They lived on the ranch only long enough to prove up the land.

John E. Price, Jr. was ordained a High Priest in the L.D.S. Church. He attended his meetings regularly although he was not a public man. He did much charity work and always paid every obligation to his church. At one time he hauled lumber for several weeks to help build the Logan Temple. He did not fulfill a mission for his Church, but he and his small sons ran the ranches and cared for the animals of his brother and brother-in-law while they fulfilled missions. He was a firm believer in family prayer and tried to teach his children by example. He served his community as school trustee, water master, constable and member of the water board. He farmed and raised stock as a means of livelihood.

He was a loving and kind husband and father, a man that took great delight in his children. He also took pride in his animals, always keeping them well fed and cared for. Father was 5 feet 9 inches tall, broad shouldered, slim bodied. He had gray eyes, dark brown hair parted on the side and a sandy mustache. He was a quiet and reserved man and seemed to be free in conversation only with those he was well acquainted with.


Left to Right: Ruth Price Sorenson, Royal Jr., Lettia Sorenson (Royal Sorenson’s sister)
Margaret Price, Edith Price, Emma Price

On March 13, 1908, he passed away at his home in Samaria of pneumonia and was buried March 16, the day they had planned to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary. He left his wife and the following sons and daughters: William M., John M., Evan M. Ruth, Elmer V., Daniel M, Margaret, Esther, Edith and Emma.

[Photo of John Evan Price, Jr. & Emma Morse]

John Evan Price, Jr.
  Born:    18 Jan 1855
  Married: Emma Morse, 15 Mar 1886
           She was born 17 June 1865

Their second child was John Morse Price
Born:    1 Nov. 1886
Married: Ruth Williams, 9 Feb 1907
         She was born 27 Mar 1889