Charles M. Price (’26) of Ninety Six, SC, came up the hard way and is proud of it. He visited our campus recently with his son, Charles, Jr. (’59) and was so happy with the many changes that he saw at the college.
He will be 88 years old in February and says that he can still remember vividly the day he first came to North Greenville Baptist Academy. During those days he said there were few cars around. He rode the train to Greenville from Ninety Six. When he arrived in Greenville he had no means of transportation to the Tigerville campus. He walked the 20 miles up dirt roads. When kidded that young people today wouldn’t make it five miles, he committed, “I was pretty whipped when I got here.” He said that he only went home during Christmas holidays and that trip was on the train where he again had to walk back to the campus upon his return to Greenville.
Mr. Price attended North Greenville with a brother, and they both competed in a debate. He was named the winner over his brother and won a beautiful gold “F.A. Literary Society Award” in 1924. He has treasured this award and the memories of the debates he participated in.
He also has fond memories of Harlee Cooper and her diligence and patience in the classroom and of Essie Taylor who meant so much to the college. Mr. Price worked in the dairy milking and feeding the cows in mornings and later would go to the fields to work. He told how his brother used a 24 lb. bag of flour to make biscuits every time he had to make them. As he told the story, he said, “now you have to remember, we didn’t have mixers and such back then, you had to mix them with your hands.” Other luxuries not available were electricity and hot water. Students used kerosene lamps and took cold showers. Mr. Price spoke of taking a shower in cold water and looking at snow on the window sills.
While at North Greenville he participated on the football team and proudly displayed his letter which he had framed and kept all these years. He played the right guard position.
When asked what business he was in before his retirement, he responded, “I’ve done a little bit of everything, pulpwood, dairy farming, bought and sold real estate, antiques, served as a volunteer fireman in Ninety Six, then fire chief, served on the Ninety Six City Council and in 1949 was Mayor of Ninety Six. I’ve never been out of a job. I have always been self-employed and can remember when I cut wood for 40 cents per cord, bought land for $100 an acre (timber and all) and sold it for $200 an acre.
Mr. Price is a true family man with strong family values. He and his wife, Irene (deceased to two years ago) had seven children, sixteen grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. In speaking of his wife, Mr. Price said, “You know a woman should be appreciated for all the hard work she does in making a home. If you have a good wife, you better appreciate her.”
In talking with this dear man, one story that made a real impression on me was of his riding to school on a mule for six miles. He related how the temperatures would be freezing with rain and his clothes would be frozen to his body by the time he arrived at school. Still he persevered and continues to this day with a strong Christian commitment and thankfulness for the Lord’s blessings.
Written by Beverly Carlton for the September 1994 issue of the North Greenville College Alumni Newsletter.