Big Man:

Julian Price

  • In lieu of an obituary, I thought it more fitting and appropriate to present the front page article from the Greensboro Record (October 26, 1946) which goes into much greater detail about Julian's rich life.

    Inquiry Determines Defect in Car Caused Price Death

    Julian Price's Negro chauffeur, driver of the car which crashed near North wilkesboro yesterday afternoon, resulting in the instant death of the 78-year-old Greensboro insurance magnate, was exonerated of all blame in the accident in a hearing held in North Wilkesboro this morning, the highway patrol office there announced.

    The cause of the accident 13 miles east of North Wilkesboro on Highway 421 was officially attributed to mechanical defects in the death car.

    The chauffeur, Walter Poole, 48, Route 2, Greensboro, and two other passengers sustained only minor injuries in the crash. E.D. Broadhurst, Greensboro attorney who suffered bruises of the chest and wrist, was released from Wilkes Hospital after treatment and was present at the hearing along with Poole, also dismissed from the hospital.

    Harrill In Hospital
    R.R. Harrill, 49, insurance agent of Elizabethton, Tenn., who was the third passenger in the car, remained in Wilkes Hospital for treatment for shock, a nose injury, and abrasions of the left cheek.

    Poole, who sustained cuts of his chin and left leg in the crash, was held under $2,500 bond until released at this morning's hearing.

    Funeral for Price, one of the city's leading citizens and chairman of the board of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at First Prsbyterian Church by Dr. Charles F. Myers, former pastor, and interment will be in the family mausoleum in Green Hill Cemetery.

    The body was scheduled to be carried to the late residence at 3 p.m. today.

    Active pallbearers will be returned veterans who are employed by Jefferson Standard, Charles M. Rives, J.S. Causey, Archie Coleman, R.G. Blair, James Van Hecke, Frank Thompson, James Ross, and John Barney.

    Honorary pallbearers will be the official staff and board of directors of Jefferson Standard and Pilot Life Insurance Companies and A. and R. Railroad; 33rd degree Scottish Rite Masons; members of divan and imperial representatives of Oasis Temple; officers of Greensboro Shrine Club; masters of all Masonic Lodges of Greensboro, representatives of Life Insurance Association and American Life Convention, and branch officer managers of Jefferson Standard.

    State Highway Patrolman Sydney M. Carter, who investigated the automobile accident, said that the sedan driven by Poole failed to make a slight curve on Highway 421 and traveled 40 yards along the side of the road, striking a five-foot embankment and traveling another 40 yards before coming to a stop on all four wheels at the edge of the highways.

    Price was taken to Wilkes Hospital by a passing motorist and was declared dead upon arrival there. He sustained a blow on the right side of the forehead and a bruised left leg and knee.

    The chauffeur told Carter, the patrolman stated, that he was driving about 40 to 50 miles per hour and that Price was in the front seat and Broadhurst and Harrill in the back seat.

    The party left Greensboro Friday about noon, bound for Blowing rock, where Price and Broadhurst were to have spent the week end. Harrill, an agent for Jefferson Standard, had been in Greensboro on business and was on his way back to Elizabethton.

    The insurance executive's death last night brought expressions of sorrow from throughout the region. Gov. R. Gregg Cherry and two of his predecessors, J.C.B. Eringhaus and J. Melville Broughton, issued statement lamenting the state's loss.

    Local leaders also expressed their sorrow at Price's death. J.Spencer Love, president of Burlington Mills Corporation; Bernard Cone, official of Cone Mills interests; Mayor C.M. Vanstory and others stated that the South lost one of its greatest leaders.

    The insurance executive is survived by one son, Ralph C. Price, and one daughter, Mrs. Joseph McKinley Bryan, both of Greensboro; one sister, Mrs. T.S. Neal, Orlando, Fla., and six grandchildren.

    A half-sister, Mrs. S.A. Harding, Ontario, Va., also survives.

    Death comes to him just one
    (Continued on Page 10, Column 4)

    Official Inquiry Finds Defect In Car Caused Price Death


    (Continued From Page 1)
    month from his 79th birthday. He was born near Richmond, Va., November 25, 1867, son of Joseph J. and Margaret Hill Price, and spent his boyhood days in Meherrin, Va.

    Price began business life as a telegraph operator and dispatcher for Southern Railway at Meherrin. He served as a billing clerk, ticket agent, and chief dispatcher. He was transferred to Richmond, and then to Durham. Leaving the railroad, he was traveling representative of American Tobacco Company for 1903 to 1905.

    In 1905, at the age of 38, Julian Price became an agent for Greensboro Life Insurance Company. He became general agent for the company, and in 1909, was called in from the field and made secretary and agency manager.

    When Jefferson Standard and Greensboro Life were consolidated in 1912, Price became vice-president and agency manager. In 1919, he was elected president of the company, an office he held until January 28 of this year, when he became chairman of the board and his son, Ralph C. Price, became president.

    Offices Closed Today
    Offices of Jefferson Standard normally are closed on Saturdays; therefore, no official closing of the business was made as a tribute. A wreath was placed in the lobby of the 17-story building which bears the insurance firm's name. Jefferson Country Club, recreation center for company employees, will be closed this week-end.

    In 1920 Price was elected to Greensboro City Council, and served six years, coing back two years later for another term. In 1924-28 he was head of the state Salary and Wage Commission. He was financial advisor to Gov. Angus W. McLean, and after that governor's term, Price was mentioned for governor on the Democratic ticket. He would not allow his nomination.

    Shortly after World War I, he bought a majority interest in The Greensboro Record, which he sold nine years later. In 1930 he aided in financing the merger of the Record and The Greensboro Dialy News. He became president of Atlantic and Yadkin Railway about this time and held that office until his death.

    Given Honorary Degree
    He was made an honorary doctor of laws at University of North Carolina sesquicentennial April 13 of this year. He was one of the business and professional leaders who Chartered the Business Foundation at Chapel Hill last July. Last July 28 it was announced that he had given $400,000 for a Catholic church and rectory here, to be dedicated to the memory of his late wife, who was a member of the Catholic church.

    In 1930 Jefferson Standard acquired control of Pilot Life Insurance Company and affiliated companies. He was chairman of the board at Pilot.

    He was a member of Rotary Club, Merchants and Manufacturers Club, Greensboro and Sedgefield Country Clubs and Southern Society of New York, a life member of the Elks, and 33rd degree Mason, a knight commander of the Court of Honor, a member emeritus of Imperial Council of Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a past potentate and life member of Oasis Temple, past commander of Knights Templar and past master of the Blue Lodge.

    Other Actvities
    Price was a member of the National Harbors and Waterways Congress, executive committeeman of Elon College Foundation, Inc., of Greensboro Council of Catholics,Jews, and Protestants; trustee of A.and T. College; executive committeeman of American Life Convention; director of Institute of Life Insurance and Mooresville Mills and Southeastern Cottons, Inc., and a member of Life Insurance Association of America. He was a former president of Federal Home Loan Bank, Winston-Salem; member of Association of Life Insurance Presidents; honorary member of Patriotic Sons of America and International Acquaintance League; member of National Council of National Economic League, and Sons of Confederate Veterans.

    He has been charcterized as an "insurance executive and community builder who has had a creative part in many business enterprises and philanthropic causes, and who has developed one of the largest life insurance companies in the southern states."

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    1997 Kerryck@aol.com


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