Hon. Hiram Price
PRICE, BETTS, DILLON, COLLIER, SULLY
Posted By: Annette Lucas (email)
Date: 7/14/2021 at 07:42:50
SOURCE: Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott County, Iowa. American Biographical Publishing Company, H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co. Proprietors. 1895
HIRAM PRICE was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, on the tenth of January, 1814. He had very few of the advantages of education in his early youth , receiving instruction only in the common branches, and having few opportunities for mental improvement. He early developed so strong a taste for reading that everything readable that could be borrowed was eagerly devoured. After leaving school he entered a retail dry goods store as clerk, was afterward chief clerk at an iron works, and still later was employed in a forwarding and com mission house.
He removed to Iowa in 1844 and located in Davenport, which place was his residence until a few years since, when he removed to Washington, District of Columbia . On his arrival he went into the mercantile business, with a very small capital, not exceeding one hundred dollars, and by perseverance, energy and business tact, succeeded in acquiring a competence, retiring from the business in 1848. In 1847 he was elected the first school fund commissioner of Scott County, which office he held for nine years. In 1848 he was elected recorder and treasurer of the County, holding these offices for eight years.
Mr. Price is entitled to an infinite deal of credit for the part he has taken in advancing the construction of railroads. He was one of the first men, west of the Mississippi, who agitated a railroad connection with the Atlantic, and it is owing to his efforts, as much or more than to those of any one else, that the people were induced to subscribe to this object. He accepted the position of secretary of the Mississippi & Missouri Railroad Company, in which capacity he served seven years, and until his election to Congress. He was president of the State Bank of Iowa during its entire existence after the first year, and closed the affairs of that institution to the entire satisfaction of all concerned, handling millions of dollars. He served many years as a member of Congress and during the War of the Rebellion was paymaster- general of the State of Iowa.
Mr. Price has always taken a decided and consistent position in favor of the cause of temperance. He was one of those who, in February, 1848, organized the Grand Division of the Sons of Temperance for the State of Iowa, and served afterward as Grand Worthy Patriarch for the State. He was elected for a number of years as representative to the National Division of North America . In 1847 he was instrumental in organizing a division of Sons of Temperance in Davenport, and was elected the first Worthy Patriarch. His views and the position he took upon the temperance subject have given him a prominence possessed by no other private citizen in the State, and yet there was not a man of his opponents who did not respect the singular honesty of his endeavors and his entire freedom from all effort to gain either personal or political popularity.
In religious views he is a Methodist, having joined that church in his seventeenth year. He was treasurer for the Scott County Bible Society for the years 1851, 1852, 1856 and 1857, and president for the years 1876 and 1877.
Mr. Price was raised in the Democratic school of politics, and remained in that party until an attempt was made to force slavery into free soil, when he helped to organize the Republican party of Iowa, and has been ranked as a radical Republican ever since.
He has passed some time in travels, having visited nearly every State in the Union, and has traveled over England, France, Switzerland, Ireland and Scotland.
He was married on the twenty- seventh of April, 1834, to Miss Susan Betts.
His son, M. M. Price, was United States Consul to Marseilles, France, and one of his daughters is the wife of Hon . John F. Dillon, for many years one of the ablest jurists in the West; another daughter married the Rev. Laird Collier, and another married Alfred Sully, of Brooklyn, New York.
In the various changes of an active life Mr. Price has gained the respect of a large circle of friends and the confidence of his business connections, and, while making constant use of his natural powers, he has never wasted or weakened them , so he is still in possession of much of his native vigor and strength.
Scott Biographies maintained by Lynn McCleary.
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