This is a reprint of a handwritten story found among the files of Sigfus Olafson (1897-1987), known in southern West Virginia as the “Grand Old Man of Genealogy.” He was a geologist by trade, co-authored several publications on Boone County genealogy with his daughter, Jean and in his retirement was a founding member and past President of the Boone County Genealogical Society. He also served as President of the West Virginia Archeology Society and the Eastern States Archeological Federation. He died February 28, 1987, and is buried in Boone Memorial Park outside Madison.
PETER PRICE and FATHER
TOGETHER OLD AS COUNTRY
(By Sig Olafson)
We hear it said that ours is the oldest form of government in existence among the Great Nations, meaning that all others have undergone radical changes since our Constitution went into effect in 1789. Yet among all the great nations we are the youngest, and a striking evidence of our youth exists in our own community, for we have a man living here whose Father was born the year our Constitution went into effect. He is Peter Price, commonly known as “Uncle Peter,” who lives on Pond Fork about a mile from Madison. His father, Peter Price, Sr., was born in 1789, the year George Washington first took office as President, so together Father and Son have lived during every year of every administration of every President of our Country.
Peter Price, Sr. was born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. He was the son of Benjamin Price, who married Elinor (Nellie) Smoot, who was the granddaughter of Daniel Jenifer, one of the framers of the Constitution, who signed it as “Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer.” It is therefore worthy of note that Uncle Peter Price is the great, great-grandson of one of the framers of the Constitution.
Benjamin and Elinor Price moved from St. Mary’s County, Maryland to Culpepper County, Virginia, where they lived for several years, and then to Rowan or Iredell County, North Carolina. In 1805 Thomas Price, their oldest son, moved to the present site of Danville and is said to have come by canoe down the New and Kanawha Rivers to the present site of St. Albans and thence up Coal River. And [was] the father of the first white children born in Boone County. A few years later his parents and his brothers, Vernon, Saul, Tuncil and Peter Sr. moved to this vicinity. A sister also came with them, who married David Longernecker, the marriage contract being recorded in Kanawha County. Still later another sister, Chloe, who had married Mumford DeJournett, also moved to this community. About 1825 a brother of Elinor Price, Daniel Jenifer Smoot, followed his relatives here. He is the ancestor of the Smoot family of this section, and is buried near the community building in Madison. His tombstone gives the dates of his birth and death and the place of his birth as St. Mary’s County, Maryland.
On June 8, 1840, Peter Price Sr. married Mary (Polly) Dolin, daughter of John and Mary Dolin, the first settlers on Camp Creek. The marriage is recorded in Kanawha County, and Peter Price Sr. was then 51 years old. The children were as follows:
• John S., born 1842; died 1900, who never married
• Saul, born 1845; died 1893, who married Ellen Bias, daughter of Simeon and Delilah Bias
• Julia, born 1846, who married Richard Woodrum, son of Balt and Mary Woodrum
• William, born 1848, died 1927, who married Mary Ann Griffith, daughter of William and Nancy Griffith
• Nancy, born 1849, who married Irvin Green, son of William and Hettie Green
• Mary, born 1853, who married Hansford Miller, son of John S. and Caroline Miller
• Peter, born 1855, still living who married Nancy Green, daughter of William and Hettie Green
• Thomas, born 1857, who married Telicia Ann Green, daughter of David and Pauline Green
Of these, Uncle Peter is still living and has reached the age of 88. [He died Dec. 14, 1945].
The above dates have been verified by the records of the United States Census Bureau, and by marriage, birth and death records of Boone and Kanawha County.