Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.
Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.
JOHN W. PRICE, of the firm of Price & Wilkinson, proprietors of the Ruth Mills, of Taylorville, has been engaged in his present line of business since 1867, and the present partnership has continued since 1869. A native of Ohio, he was born in Leesville, Carroll County, October 12, 1829, and is a son of James Price, who was also born in Ohio, and is still living in Carroll County, at the advanced age of ninety-four.
Our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the county of his nativity, and served a four-years apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade. In 1856, he bade good-bye to friends and home and came to the West, believing that he could better his financial condition thereby. He started for Kansas, but the slavery troubles were then agitating that community, and he made a location in Christian County, where he has since resided.
He was first employed on the court house, and then worked as a journeyman for two years, when he began contracting in his own interest. The first work upon which he was engaged was the erection of the old Forest Mills, which were burned about 1870.
He then built the residence of W. A. Goodrich and Judge W. S. Moore, erecting the latter in 1860, on the site of the present High School. Mr. Price continued contracting and building until he built his mill, since which time he has devoted his energies to milling and to the grain business.
On the 18th of February, 1862, Mr. Price married Miss Hattie Cowgill, who was born in the Buckeye State. They are both members of the Presbyterian Church, and are pleasant, genial people, who in their intercourse with the residents of the community have gained many warm friends who esteem them highly. In early life, Mr. Price was a supporter of the Whig party, but on the organization of the Republican party he joined its ranks, voting for Fremont in 1856, and has since fought under its banner.
He has efficiently served as Township Trustee, and in other ways has been connected with public affairs, especially in aiding and encouraging any enterprise calculated to prove of public benefit. He is a strong friend to temperance and has always opposed license. In 1855, he was made a Mason in Urichsville, Ohio [ed., Uhrichsville], and has been an active member of the fraternity, being now Worthy Master of Mound Lodge No. 122, A. F. & A. M. His wife holds membership with the Order of the Eastern Star. They have an attractive home, situated on the principal street of Taylorville, and it is always open for the reception of their many friends.
Mr. Price has made some investments in real estate, and now owns two residences in the city, but gives his principal attention to the milling business. The Ruth Mill was built by Moore, Price & Co. in 1867, at a cost of $27,000. After a year Judge W. S. Moore, the senior partner, who is now living in Morrisonville, Ill., retired, leaving Mr. Price and Mr. Wilkinson as proprietors, and their connection has continued, under the name of Price & Wilkinson, from the year 1869 up to the present time.
The mill stands near the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad. An addition was made in 1883, and the roller process was introduced. It has a capacity of two hundred barrels daily. They also handle grain at other places. They have a mill and do business at Farmingdale, and have an elevator at Morrisonville, but it is rented. They have made extensive shipments of their flour, which has been sent into the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia, and even to Minneapolis, which is considered to be the centre of flour manufactories.
Mr. Price is a man of excellent business ability, and by close attention to his business, together with perseverance and enterprise, he has succeeded in establishing a fine trade and acquiring a handsome competence. Thirty-seven years have passed since he came to the county, during which time he has not only witnessed its growth and upbuilding but has aided materially in its welfare and progress. He well deserves mention in this volume among the honored early settlers and men of prominence.
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