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Front Page » August 7, 2003 » Local News » Where did the name come from?
Published 4,092 days ago

Where did the name come from?


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Almost everyone thinks they know how the city of Price got its name. In most books and references the story goes that the city got its name from the river that runs through it.

That river was named by William Price, an LDS bishop from Spanish Fork who was one of the first white men to explore Spanish Fork Canyon. When he found the Price River he supposedly named it after himself, and later the town took that name on.

But there are at least two other stories that claim to be correct, that reflect on the beginnings of the community.

The first is about a man name Tom Price. He died in 1945 at the age of 102 while residing in Browning, Mont.

Price was a western wanderer, but a well educated man. A surveyor and engineer by trade, one of the highlights of his career was said to have been doing civil engineering around the Carbon County area (then Emery County), particularly around the new little settlement on the river.

Born in Scotland, he was educated at the University of Edinburgh and traveled around the west helping people set up their towns. But the man didn't stay in the area after he was done. He found that the wide open sky of Montana was more to his liking.

In the 1930's some of Prices town officials invited him back for an anniversary of the founding of the city, but he didn't come because he always seemed to dislike the limelight.

When he was 88 he was elected the county engineer in Glacier County, Mont. and service for four years.

There are indications that because of his work and the surveys he left behind the city was named after him.

One other auspicious story is also told about how the city was named. It was name based on commerce.

When the railroad first came through the area, there weren't many settlers in the Price area, but those who were here, of course, sold goods and produce to the railroad men passing through.

The story goes that the prices the residents asked for everything was extremely high and soon railroaders began to refer to the place in jokes as "high price."

Of course peoples propensity to shorten names soon kicked in, and not long after they began to refer to the city by the small river as "Price."

Which is correct? No one knows for sure, although some will claim to know. It's just another of those small mysteries that may never be solved.


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