Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gone Too Soon

Another young married couple is the focus for today.  The photographer was Sproul of Taylor, Texas, which dates the photograph to the general time frame of 1896 to 1900, the period of time that Sproul was definitely in operation in Taylor.

The identification is "Uncle Ernest & Aunt Jessie" and "Churchill Price's mother & father" and a third notation of "Mayme Williams Brother".

Information available was scant, but I did identify this couple as Ernest Churchill Price and his wife Jessie R. (Williamson), who had a son Churchill Price, born February 27, 1913 and died February 14, 1995, in Hays County, Texas.  I was also able to find a marriage date of April 17, 1894, in Hays County, Texas.

The only census I could find for the couple was 1920, Bexar County, Texas, with 6 year old son Churchill.  By 1930 Churchill was living with an aunt and uncle, George and Willie Rogers, in San Marcos.  My first question was immediately "Where are his parents?".  Churchill was 17 at the time of the census and I recognized that he might be living with them as work help of some kind, but no occupation was given for him.  My immediate hunch following that was that perhaps he was an orphan, and that hunch proved correct.

Ernest Churchill Price's death certificate does not give a birthdate but instead an estimate of his age at death as 55 years.  He died on September 24, 1922, in San Antonio, Texas, of a perforated ulcer and was shown as widowed.  His parents are named as Churchill Price and Mary V.  Carley. Searching the death index again, I found Jessie Williamson Price's death certificate.  She had died earlier in the same year on April 15, 1922, of encephalitis and influenza.  She was 49 years old, with a birth date given of February 7, 1873, her parents named as John R. Williamson and Carrie Harris.

I was not able to determine where Mayme Williams fit into the picture.  From the identification I could not be certain whether she was the sister of Ernest Price or the sister of Churchill Price.  There was no pubic family tree available on Ancestry that gave any information of possible siblings of either and the usual searches for census and marriage matches were not fruitful.  It is worth noting, however, that Ernest and Jessie were rather advanced in years when son Churchill was born.  Jessie would have given birth around the age of 40.  The couple would have been married closed to 20 years at the time of  Churchill's birth, so it seems likely there might have been younger children who were already gone from home at the time of the 1920 census.

What we do know is that the lives of this couple were tragically cut short before their son entered his teens.


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