Driving Through History: Who Was Dick Price?

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"Mr. and Mrs. Dick Price" (Richard Edwin "Dick" Price and wife Meloda Ann (Hefton) Potts Price) from "The Little Brown Book" The City of Kennedale 1882 ~ 1976

Are you ready for a ride down memory lane to discover the history of Kennedale and the people that streets are named after? This article is the first of a possible series of historical research into where or who the names of the streets of Kennedale came from.

Richard Edwin “Dick” Price was born on March 3, 1859, in Neosho, Newton County, Missouri to James Henry Price Sr. and Eliza Baldwin (Tatum) Price. James Henry Price Sr. was killed while on leave during the Civil War because he was mistaken for a deserter. Dick Price was only three years old when his father was killed. After her husband’s death, Eliza married again, this time to Calvin Calaway. Dick Price moved to Texas with his mother (Eliza Baldwin Price Calaway) her husband, Calvin Calaway and his brother James Henry Price Jr. Meloda Hefton was also born in Missouri, and she had been married at age 14 on August 1, 1869, to George W. Potts, who she had two daughters with. Dick Price married Meloda Ann Hefton in Tarrant County, Texas on September 17, 1882. On May 5, 1891, at 32 years of age, Dick Price became a father with the birth of his daughter Verna Delle Price. According to the Price family as Meloda Price got older she would pace the floor and mumble to herself because of leaving her daughters Susan Edna, born 1871 and Viola May, born 1875 behind.

Verna Price as a Student at Kennedale School 167 Pond Ave Early 1900’s (girl on far right in light dress) – Courtesy of Becky Sander-Cederlof

The Price family were pioneer farmers in Kennedale. According to Price family lure from Becky Sander-Cederlof (Great granddaughter of James Henry Price Jr.) Dick Price was a Road Commissioner of some sort and that is why the road was named after him. A family photo dated 1910 shows Dick, Meloda and Verna in front of their Kennedale farm home with their dog, cat and mules and the barn in the background. R. E. “Dick” Price was elected on July 27, 1909, as one of the first Trustees of the Kennedale Independent School District (School Board member) when the school formed its own district after being open since 1890.

(Price Family Circa 1910 – Courtesy of Becky Sander-Cederlof)

Verna Price graduated from North Texas Teachers College and became a schoolteacher for Kennedale and is pictured in several school group photos that are each over 100 years old today. Ms. Verna Price also taught school at Everman, Mansfield and Fort Worth’s Riverside Elementary School from 1923 to 1928. Verna Price married Shad Collard, who was also a teacher, on June 1, 1928, in Tarrant County, Texas. The Price family moved to south Texas because their son-in-law Shad Collard was a border patrol agent and Meloda Price died sometime before her husband. Richard Edwin “Dick” Price died on February 14, 1935, in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas weeks before his 76th birthday. Bronchial pneumonia and Senility were the causes of death listed on his death certificate. Dick Price’s funeral was held at the Kennedale Methodist Church but was preached by Rev. John E. Wilson (the former preacher of the Kennedale Baptist Church). Dick Price was buried in an unmarked grave at Hudson Cemetery.

Kennedale School Verna Price Collard with students 1914-15 – Courtesy of Becky Sander-Cederlof
Kennedale School Verna Price Collard with Her Students – Courtesy of Becky Sander-Cederlof

Less than three years later Verna (Price) Collard died in Laredo, Webb County, Texas at age 46 of Chronic Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Verna Collard’s funeral like her father’s was held at the Kennedale Methodist Church and was preached by Rev. John E. Wilson; her burial details are unknown, but it is believed that she is also buried at Hudson Cemetery in an unmarked grave. The Price family were not only pioneer farmers and settlers of Kennedale, but they were active and instrumental in developing the Kennedale School District.

The Hudson Cemetery Association is a group of volunteers made up of descendants of those buried at the Hudson Cemetery and the maintenance of the cemetery runs on donations. The Hudson Cemetery Association is also hoping to raise funds ($4,000) to cover a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) project which would locate and map all unmarked graves, allowing for anyone who knows who is in the unmarked graves to place grave markers and it would allow for reopening the cemetery for more burials of relatives already buried in the cemetery (burials are currently limited to those who have a long time claim on a spot they know is empty). Donations of any size for either the general maintenance fund or the GPR project would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to Hudson Cemetery Association c/o Sharon Gilley 612 Cooper Lane Kennedale, Texas 76060

Be sure to join and support the Kennedale Historical Society, which will be restarting their meetings soon.

 

Selected Sources

Email Communications and photographs from Becky Sander-Cederlof

1900 United States Federal Census

1910 United States Federal Census

1920 United States Federal Census

1930 United States Federal Census

Richard Edwin Price Death Certificate

Verna Price Collard Death Certificate

Richard Edwin “Dick” Price Find A Grave Memorial Page

Fort Worth Star Telegram January 20, 1938 (Verna Price Collard Obituary)

Fort Worth Star Telegram February 15, 1935 (R. E. Price Obituary)

Kennedale ISD Incorporation Election Results from July 17, 1909