Vital Records
Birth, Death, Marriages


William Pierce Price

1835 - 1908


The son of Dahlonega's first marshal, William Pierce Price, Sr., Price begins attending the Union Sunday School in 1840 at the age of five. Apprenticed to a printer in 1845, he is still a printer's boy in 1849 when Dr. Mathew F. Stephenson makes his famous speech on the steps of the Lumpkin County Courthouse, exhorting miners to stay in Georgia. Price moves to Greenville, South Carolina in 1851, where he attends Furman University. Before graduating, he leaves to take charge of the editorial department of the Southern Enterprise, a Greenville newspaper. Price studies law and is admitted to the bar in 1856. He commences practice in Greenville. At the beginning of the Civil War, Price speaks to a large audience in the Dahlonega courthouse, resulting in an abundance of Confederate volunteers. During the Civil War, Price serves in the Confederate Army as orderly sergeant in Kershaw's Second South Carolina Regiment. He is wounded at Lewisville, Virginia in 1861. Price is elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1864 to 1866, after which he moves back to Dahlonega, where he speaks in honor of the Civil War dead at a memorial service. He serves as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1868 to 1870 and is then elected as a Democrat to the Forty-first Congress to fill the vacancy caused by failure to elect. He is reelected to the Forty-second Congress and serves from December 22, 1870, to March 3, 1873. He is not a candidate for renomination in 1872. Later, he serves again as a member of the George House of Representatives from 1877 to 1879, as a member of the Georgia Senate in 1880 and 1881, and once again as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1894 and 1895. Price is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1880. While in Congress, he facilitates the donation of the defunct Dahlonega Mint building to the State of Georgia for educational purposes. The result is the founding of North Georgia College. Upon his return from Congress to Dahlonega in 1873, Price is honored with a torchlight procession. He serves as president of the North Georgia College board of education for thirty years. The Price Debating Society is formed at North Georgia College in February 1873. Price donates $4,200 to North Georgia College for investment in Georgia 8 percent bonds, the interest of which is to be used in paying the faculty. Price's house is destroyed by fire in 1874. After fire destroys the old Mint in 1878, Price takes a prominent role in the meeting to reconstruct the college. He is a member of the board of directors and vice president of the Findley Gold Mining Company in 1878. Also in 1878, Price forms a law partnership with R. H. Baker. In 1890, compelled to protect his large interest in the Gainesville and Dahlonega Railroad, Price buys the railroad at auction in Gainesville for $4,000. Price writes much about Dahlonega's history, including the history of the militia district, Confederate soldiers, mining, and Native American Baptist preachers. Price is the chairman of the building committee for the new Baptist church in 1897. The new church costs $4,200, of which Price contributes $1,000 and secures much of the rest. At his suggestion, the baptistery under the church is lined with copper made from old stills donated to the church by former illicit distillers. Before becoming a Baptist, Price is a member of the Presbyterian Church and serves on its board of trustees. In 1897, Price is one of seventeen Dahlonega residents weighing over 200 pounds; he reportedly weighs 250. As a member of the County board of education, Price tours Lumpkin County in 1898, speaking about the new plan for public school improvements and inviting the cooperation of citizens and patrons of schools. Later he publishes news reports of improvements. When President McKinley visits Atlanta, Georgia in 1898, Price presents him with a gold nugget symbolizing friendship and genuine hospitality. When Dahlonega is incorporated as a city, Price becomes Dahlonega's first mayor in 1900. At Price's suggestion, the Gus Boyd Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, organized in 1905, is named for Captain Augustus Boyd, a Dahlonega native killed while rallying his troops during the Civil War battle of Baker's Creek, Mississippi. Price lays out a city subdivision in east Dahlonega and names it Mechanicsville in commemoration of the Civil War battle of Mechanicsville, Virginia in 1862. On the occasion of Price's death, North Georgia College and the public school are closed until he is laid to rest. Court is also suspended for memorial services. Price is buried with Masonic honors at Mt. Hope.

Related Pages: Mrs. William P. Price Passes Away in Atlanta, GA


Source: "Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills": Gold and Gold Mining in Georgia, 1830s-1940s