Monday, April 25, 2011

John Price


John Price's headstone in Coloma's Pioneer Cemetery -- his middle initial on the headstone is incorrect

John G. Price
Born: May 1831 (Burlington, Vermont)
Died: October 17, 1902 (Coloma, El Dorado County, California) - Gangrene
Interred: October 19, 1902 - Pioneer Cemetery, Coloma, El Dorado County, California
Occupations: Miner, Clerk, Military Veteran, Grocer, Postmaster, Store Owner

John Price was born and raised in Vermont. At the young age of nineteen he boarded a ship and set sail around the Isthmus of Panama, headed for California. He arrived in San Francisco then headed to Stanislaus County to seek his fortune in the newly discovered gold mines. Not having much luck in the mines, he soon returned to San Francisco then headed up to Sacramento where he got a job working as a clerk in a grocery store through 1852 and early 1853. In July 1853 he again decided to try his luck hunting for gold, this time moving to Coloma, site of the original discovery that spawned the rush to California.

In the early 1860s when the Civil War began, Price headed back east to fight, enlisting as a private in the 4th Infantry Regiment's Company F. After he was mustered out of the army he returned to Coloma, making it his home for the rest of his life. He again worked as a store clerk, this time in Robert Bell's store. In 1868, Price bought the store from Bell and continued to run it as a general merchandise business. For a time, his store also served as the town's post office with Price himself holding the title of Postmaster. Price also served as Secretary for the local Masonic lodge.


Robert Bell's old store, arguably the most picturesque building ruin in Coloma


Highway 49 through Coloma -- Robert Bell's store is on the right

On May 29, 1870 Price married Hannah A. Teuscher. Known familiarly as Helen, she was the daughter of long-time resident and prominent California pioneer John Teuscher. John and Hannah Price had one child, a daughter born in 1872, whom they named Cora Embeline.


Newlyweds John and Hannah (Helen) Price, enumerated in the 1870 Federal Census, Coloma Township, El Dorado County, California (line 14)


1880 Federal Census for Coloma, El Dorado County, California, showing the Price family (line 42)


1900 Federal Census for Coloma Township, El Dorado County, California, showing the Price family (line 9)

John passed away in Coloma on October 17, 1902 and was buried in the town's Protestant Cemetery two days later. Less than two weeks after his death his wife also passed away. She was laid to rest next to him.


Hannah Price's headstone in Coloma's Pioneer Cemetery

Sources:
History of El Dorado County, California -- published by Paolo Sioli, 1883
Suzi Mickus
El Dorado County Marriage Records, Book B, Page 427
Coloma Cemeteries -- edited by Lynette Mizell, Coloma Cemetery Committee, 1997
1870 Federal Census, Coloma Township, El Dorado County, California
1880 Federal Census, Coloma, El Dorado County, California
1900 Federal Census, Coloma Township, El Dorado County, California

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