William Thomas PRICE (born 1856) was the oldest of four children born to Charles Thomas PRICE (1833-1902) and MaryEllen Howard WHITE PRICE (1828-1910). Will, as he was called, was brother to Clarence PRICE who I wrote about early in the year. You can read about Clarence here: Clarence
Will’s other brother was Montgomery PRICE (1859-1947) who was my great-grandfather on my dad’s side. This makes Will my great grand uncle.
Will was born in Poolesville, Montgomery County, Maryland. He had a 4th grade education, and he worked as a laborer for most of his life and mostly on farms.
In 1881, when he was 25, Will married Algerene TURNER (1862-1919), who went by Algie. Their first child of at least 7 children was born in 1882. The last of their children was born in 1899.
Will had a drinking problem. And from what I can tell from some letters written by his daughter, Maude, to Will’s sister and niece, Will had had a drinking problem since before he and Algie married. Maude blamed Will for her mother passing in 1919 at a young age – 56. Maude said that her father had worried and worked her mother to an early death.
In the early 1930’s Maude was able to secure a bed at the Washington Home for the Incurables for her alcoholic father. He was in his 70’s. According to the census, he was living there in 1935 and 1940.
Maude was the only one of the children to lift a finger to help Will. Had she promised her mother to take care of him? I don’t know. But from the letters, I know that caretaking for Will was stressful for Maude who was married and had children, too. Will had lived with Maude and her family for a while which was unsuccessful to say the least.
The Home for the Incurables was like a nursing home, but the residents could go out during the day if they were able. This was a problematic for Maude since Will had to keep sober to stay there, and Will’s sister, Gertie, and Gertie’s daughter, Myrtle, would sometimes visit and give Will money…which he would use to buy liquor.
Hence the letters from Maude to Gertie and Myrtle about them giving Will money and that making it hard to keep him at the Home. Gertie and Myrtle paid her no mind and kept giving Will money anyway. The letters are fascinating, but that is a story for another day.
Will went blind which kept him from wandering the streets of Washington looking for a drink, a relief to Maude no doubt. My father told me that Will fell down some steps at the Home and died as a result of the fall. He passed on 10 Oct 1943 at 87 years of age.
Will is buried at Monocacy Cemetery in Montgomery County, Maryland, along with many of his PRICE relatives and his wife, Algie. Algie has an ornate stone marker. Will has no marker at all. I guess Maude figured she done enough for him already.
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