Luther Judson Price - The Man
Luther Judson Price was born April 24, 1856, in Sunnyside, Georgia, on the Tye Plantation of his owner-father, seven years prior to the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863. His mother, Angeline Price was of English, American-Indian, and Negro descent.
Following the end of the Civil War in 1865, Luther spent his boyhood on a farm in Sunnyside, Georgia with his mother, one older sister, and stepfather. Education was very important to young Luther and he knew he was not destined to be a farmer. He left the farm in his early teens, and without funds came to Atlanta on his own. He worked and paid his way through Clark University majoring in business and was one of the first graduates of the institution. The site where Mr. Price attended Clark University is now Carver High School.
He purchased a store at the corner of Gammon Street and Jonesboro very close to where he graduated from college. He maintained a store and remained in business for over 50 years. The building can be seen although it is in need of repair.
On October 3, 1889, at the Gammon Theological Seminary which was located on the current Carver High School campus, he married Minnie Georgiana Wright who was born in Ashville, North Carolina on February 2, 1867. W. P. Thirkield DD, President of the Theological Seminary married them. Luther and Minnie lived above the store and raised several children until they built a house at 75 Gammon Street. The home was on the opposite end of the block where his business stood. Within the home, they raised five children: two boys, Luther Jerome and William Harold, and three daughters, Minnie Helen Price, Annie Mae Price O’Hara, and Miriam Eloise Price Allen.
June 18, 1889, Mr. Price was appointed Post Master of South Atlanta by John Wanamaker, Post Master General of the United States. Mr. Price was sworn in and served for twenty-five years under the Presidency of Cleveland, Harrison, McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and William H. Taft. The post office was located within his business. The office served both the white and Negro community of South Atlanta. Mr. Price supervised workers of both races while Post Master General.
Mr. Price was a well-liked man who was highly ethical, stern but fair and who expected and demanded a great deal of himself and others. He took his rights and responsibilities very seriously by giving and demanding respect of those in which he interacts.
Mr. Price’s business was successful for over 50 years. Mr. Price and his wife were very active within the South Atlanta community and throughout Atlanta within his church, civic and community activities. He served as the treasurer and Chairman of the Steward board for many years at the South Atlanta Methodist Episcopal Church. He was the Superintendent of the National Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, traveling throughout the country to its National Conferences. He acted as the national Treasurer of the masons and was well known throughout the United States. He was a Republican who actively encouraged greater civil rights opportunities for Negroes. Mr. and Mrs. Price were instrumental in working with people to register to vote to be able to exercise their point of view and voting privileges.
During the Race Riot of September 1906, Mr. Price was accused by white mob instigators of selling ammunition to Negroes of South Atlanta who defended themselves when attacked in their neighborhood. The mob had intentions of harming Mr. Price. His many friends who were wholesale jobbers heard of the threat on his life and petitioned the governor for protection. The police were almost too late to save Mr. Price, but as the mob was coming around the corner, the police car with Mr. Price in it sped away to the Fulton Tower. It was within the Fulton Tower that Mr. Price was held safe until the riots ended several days later.
Mr. Price died July 3, 1936 in his home at the age of 80. He is buried in the family plot at Southview Cemetery on Jonesboro Road several miles away from where he lived.