John F. Price, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John F. Price


It often transpires in this grand country of ours, where advantages are open alike to rich and poor, that a man will rise from the obscure walks of life and assert his right for a position among the best of his kind, through sheer force of intellect and will. Among those who have forged their way to the front, though he came a stranger to a strange land, John F. Price stands as a bright example. Born among the peasants of Swartburg, Prussia, of parents in but ordinary circumstances, he deserves great credit for the manner in which he has carved out his own fortune, and for the creditable way in which he surmounted the many difficulties that strewed his pathway in early life. He was conscripted into the Prussian army, in which he served one year, and he relates in a very amusing way some of his experiences during this time. While quartered in Bavaria it was a common sight to see chickens and domestic animals quartered in the same room with the family. Mr. Price was one of a family of five children: Karl, John F., August, Christian and Hermina. John F. is the only member of the family to come to America, on whose soil he landed June 17, 1854. From the city of New York he came to Indiana, and for some time, in company with a number of young men, he worked on the construction of a railroad from that point to Toledo during the summer months, but was taken sick in the fall, and for four days laid in a trance. He was only saved from being buried alive by the intervention of a physician, another member of the medical fraternity having pronounced him dead. He was restored to consciousness and in due course of time recovered, after which for a time he worked for his board. He later started on foot for LaPorte, Indiana, and the first day traveled forty-five miles, and twenty-five miles on the second day, but in his weakened condition this so exhausted him that he could go no further, and Good Samaritans cared for him and helped him to his journey's end. Here he worked for a farmer the following summer, and then secured employment in a dairy and cheese factory. A portion of this time he also did grubbing and clearing up a swamp, and in the winter he husked corn and chopped wood. Afterwards he again worked on a farm, receiving $18 per month for his services, but later he returned to La Porte and there formed the acquaintance of Miss Mary Bingel, whose father, Christian Bingel, had died of cholera at Michigan City, and their marriage was celebrated in 1857. They kept house at LaPorte that winter, but the following spring Mr. Price began working on a farm on the Kankakee, which he successfully managed until 1860. He then went to Valparaiso, and later to Flint Lake, and afterwards located on a farm in the vicinity of where he now lives, where he made his first purchase of land. Here he undertook to carve out for himself and family a home, bit in 1864 he put aside his personal interests to enlist in the Union army, becoming a member of the Seventh Indiana Light Artillery, with which he served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge from the hospital where he was lying ill. During the husbandís absence at the front the wife had done her best to take care of the farm and care for her little ones, and being a woman of more than ordinary ability, she succeeded remarkably well. During the married life of Mr. Price five children were born to him: John, Charles, Herman, Edward, and Mary. The mother of these children died when Mary was but seven weeks old and the eldest child was but nine years of age; but Mr. Price wisely kept his little family together until grown up, and has never replaced the wife of his youth. He cleared his farm, improved it with good buildings, and now has a valuable property, the result of that pluck that has ever characterized his walk through life. He is now in his sixty-sixth year of his age, is somewhat broken in health as a result of exposure while in the army, and in consequence he draws a pension from the government. He is intelligent and well-informed on the current topics of the day, is strictly straightforward in all his business transactions, and is now passing his declining years in the enjoyment of a competency which has been earned through his own honest efforts. He is a Republican in politics, but is not a member of any church.

Source: Goodspeed Brothers. 1894. Pictorial and Biographical Record of La Porte, Porter, Lake and Starke Counties, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Brothers. 569 p.
Page(s) in Source: 185-186

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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