History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Hiram Price
HIRAM PRICE was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, January 10, 1810. He worked on his father's farm in boyhood, attending school during the winter months. He was a great reader, borrowing books of neighbors and thus acquiring an education. In 1844 he removed to Iowa, locating in Davenport, where he opened a store. In 1847 he was chosen School Fund Commissioner and a year later was elected recorder and treasurer of Scott County, holding the position eight years. Mr. Price was a radical advocate of temperance and was one of the founders of the order of "The Sons of Temperance." He was one of the framers of the first bill for the prohibition of the liquor traffic in the State, which was enacted into law by the Fifth General Assembly in 1854. He was the editor of the Temperance Organ, a State paper devoted to prohibition. He had been a Democrat in politics up to the time of the attempt to force slavery into Kansas when he left that party and was one of the organizers and founders of the Republican party of Iowa. Upon the enactment of the State Bank Law, Mr. Price was one of the organizers of the Davenport branch and was the second president of the State Bank officers. When the War of the Rebellion began he assisted in raising the money to enable Governor Kirkwood to equip the first two Iowa regiments. He was the first paymaster of Iowa troops and was untiring in his support and assistance to the Governor in raising men and money to meet the calls of the President. In 1862 he was elected by the Republicans of the Second District to Congress and for six years was one of the ablest members of the House. He was an earnest advocate of the most energetic war measures and of legislation to strengthen the credit of the Government. Mr. Price was one of the founders of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home. In 1876 he was again elected to Congress and served until 1880. In 1881 Mr. Price was appointed by the President Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in which position he served with distinguished ability for four years. He made many reforms where abuses had grown up in dealing with the Indians. He was one of the pioneers in railroad building in Iowa. In 1853, when the first railroad was being built from Chicago toward Iowa, Mr. Price was chosen to traverse the counties on the projected line through the State to the Missouri River to create an interest among the people and towns. In 1869 when a railroad was projected from Davenport in a northwesterly direction Hiram Price was elected president of the company which constructed the road. One of his last public acts before removing to Washington was to endow a free reading room in the public library of Davenport, his old home. He was a life-long and prominent member of the Methodist Church. He died in Washington, D. C., May 30, 1901.