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The Prices

William P. Price was born in what later became the Allegheny Center Mall area in October 1845. He was one of at least seven children of Henry T. and Mary Price, both born in Pennsylvania. By 1858, the Price family lived on Sherman Avenue near Sampsonia Street. At the time, Henry T. Price was a carpenter with a shop at Water and Middle Streets in Allegheny.

In about 1862 the Price family moved to Chateau Street in Manchester, then an independent borough bordering Allegheny City. Around that time, William P. Price began working as a carpenter with his father.

In 1865 Henry T. and William P. Price formed a partnership, Henry T. Price & Company, oil tank builders, at 165 Lacock Street. The Price family moved to 1231 Monterey Street the following year. William P. Price went into business as a real estate and insurance agent at 33 Ohio Street in 1867, and moved the business to 21 Diamond Street by 1870. Later in 1870, William P. Price closed his office and joined his father in Price, Stewart & Company, agricultural implement dealers, at 32-34 Ohio Street.

Records of the 1870 census show that William P. Price, 25, lived with his parents and younger brothers and sisters on Monterey Street. Price’s siblings were James, 21, a clerk in a boat store, John, 19, a salesman in a store, and Mary, 17, Ella, 14, Charles, 13, and Frank, ten, all attending school. In 1870, William P. Price owned no real estate and had no personal estate. Henry T. Price owned no real estate and had a personal estate of $3000.

In 1872, at 26, William P. Price married Margaret McClintock Whitesell, 22, of Carrington Street in Allegheny City. She was born in Allegheny City on February 4, 1850, and was a daughter of Catherine McClintock Whitesell and the late Dr. George L. Whitesell. William P. and Margaret Price began living at 1214 Arch Street.

William P. Price was elected to Allegheny City Council for the first time in 1873. Serving on the councils of Allegheny or Pittsburgh was then a part-time endeavor, and Price continued as a partner in Price, Stewart & Company. He eventually served as Allegheny City Council president.

The Prices moved to 1528 Arch Street by 1877. The 1880 census enumerated William P. and Margaret Price at 1528 Arch Street with their children George L.W., five, and Henry T., three, and Margaret Price’s mother Catherine Whitesell, who was 50.

The Price family lived at 1528 Arch Street until they moved to 908 Beech Avenue in 1886. At about that time, William P. Price left the agricultural implements business that he had worked in with his father and became a manufacturer’s agent. Price had an office Downtown at 43 Sixth Avenue in the late 1880s, at 943 Liberty Avenue in 1890, and at 17 Seventh Avenue in 1892.

Records of the 1890 census, which would provide information on residents of 908 Beech Avenue in that year, were destroyed in a warehouse fire in Washington D.C. in the 1920s.

William P. Price changed careers again by 1893, when he opened a sewer pipe and builders supplies business at 302 Wood Street in Pittsburgh. Price continued in this work until about 1895, when he and his son George L.W. Price went into business as electrical contractors.

At the time of the 1900 census, William P. and Margaret Price had had five children, all of whom were still living at home at 908 Beech Avenue. George L.W. Price, 25, was an electrician, Henry T., 23, was a physician, and Ella, 19, John M., 17, and Catherine, 14, attended school. An adopted daughter, Nancy J. Stinson, 26, also lived at 908 Beech Avenue. Stinson was an unmarried schoolteacher who had been born in Pennsylvania to Scotch-Irish parents. Margaret Price’s widowed mother Catherine Whitesell, 70, also lived at 908 Beech Avenue in 1900.

William P. Price died on October 25,1904, when he was struck by a train at the North Avenue and Brighton Road crossing near his home. The crossing was then at-grade, a few years before the tracks were lowered through and northwest of West Park. During the first decade of the 20th century, numerous fatalities at at-grade railroad crossings throughout the United States led to the lowering or shifting of railroad lines in the interest of public safety. It is likely that the death of a well-known citizen such as William P. Price contributed to the decision to lower the tracks through West Park.

In 1910, according to census records, Margaret Price lived at 908 Beech Avenue with other family members, a lodger, and a servant. Nancy Stinson, 36, was a schoolteacher, as was Ella Price, 28. John Price, 26, was an electrical supplies dealer, and Catherine Price, 23, was a self-employed music teacher. Frederick A. Riegel, 28, an unmarried electrical supplies salesman, was the Prices’ lodger. He had been born in Pennsylvania. The family’s servant was Margaret O’Brien, 20, who had born in Pennsylvania to parents born in England.

Pittsburgh city directories show that Margaret Price moved out of the city of Pittsburgh in 1911 or 1912. After leaving 908 Beech Avenue, Price converted the house to a four-family dwelling. She lived at 6911 Prospect Avenue in Ben Avon, which she owned, with her daughter Ella and Nancy Stinson before she died on February 7,1934.

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