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William H. and Ellen A. Price – Garfield Cemetery, Garfield, Pawnee County, Kansas


Taking the train, William brought his wife and two sons to Pawnee County in September 1879. Each family could fill another train car with their belongings. William packed their households, horses, wagon, and farm implements. He brought what he thought would be needed; however, Mother Nature can quickly put a wrench in the best-laid plans.


William Price and Ellen Spencer shared the same early childhood. Their parents emigrated to America and made their way to Jefferson County, Wisconsin, where William and Ellen were born. The two were united in marriage on November 29, 1876.


Having learned the machinist’s trade, William found employment with the railroad. After working for them for eight years, William quit and went west. The Santa Fe Railroad was selling land to settlers. A homesteader would have six years to pay $5.40/acre. Amid drought and unable to pay, William abandoned the railroad land and acquired a timber claim.

He built a two-room dugout for the family, which now consisted of three boys. Slowly, William could afford a dairy cow and some chicken. William purchased more cattle when the corn and feed crops were produced, but the infamous blizzard of 1885-1886 wiped out his cattle.


The Price family experienced more hardships and privations, but they persevered and became one of the prosperous families in Pawnee County. William was elected as a township trustee and a county commissioner for seven years.


William and Ellen’s only daughter, Bessie, died as an infant. She is buried in Garfield Cemetery. In 1921, Ellen passed away. William lived to the ripe old age of ninety-two, dying in 1947.


The rest of the story: Charles Price was killed by a train passing through Garfield in 1910 and is buried with his parents and sister.

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