Tuesday, March 1, 2011

William Marcus Price Genealogy: Warren Price and Romanus Perry: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

 Warren Price, the son of James Mitchell Price, and Grandson of Rice Price and Mary Mourning Moore (Quaker).



Description:  The sons of James Mitchell Price were described as tall, lanky.  Warren had blue eyes.  At the time of his trial all four brothers had flowing beards.


When I was a young girl, I first heard the hushed stories of James Warren Price and how he fought to protect a daughter and keep his grandson in his home.  The outcome:  a man, son-in-law Romulus Perry, was shot, and James Warren Price was convicted of his murder.    According to the tale, after the death of Romulus Perry and after the conviction of Price, his family members returned to the Price household and "stole" the son from his mother.




WARREN PRICE     (Randolph, Ernest, Marcus (Mark), James Warren)

(Ernest / Earnest died at 27 years of age.)  (James Warren was hanged around age 43.)  Mark Price lived to around age 50.




Warren PriceHunting For Bears, comp.. Georgia Marriages, 1699-1944 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data: Georgia marriage information taken from county courthouse records. 
Spouse:Susan A. Ross
Marriage Date:20 May 1861
County:Johnson
State:Georgia


1900 Census:
Name:Mark Price
Age:32
Birth Date:May 1868
Birthplace:Georgia
Home in 1900:Ivey, JohnsonGeorgia
[Johnson] 
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Millie Price
Marriage Year:1891
Years Married:9
Father's Birthplace:Georgia
Mother's Birthplace:Georgia
Occupation:View on Image
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Mark Price32
Millie Price22
Marcus F Price5
Susan D Price3
Lessie Price1
Not named Price3/12



1910 Census
Earnest Price
Age in 1910:3
Birth Year:abt 1907
[1907] 
Birthplace:Georgia
Home in 1910:Smith, Johnson, Georgia
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Son
Marital Status:Single
Father's Name:William M Price
Father's Birthplace:Georgia
Mother's name:Millie Price
Mother's Birthplace:Georgia
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
William M Price42
Millie Price33
Floid Price15
Loris Price13
Lessie Price11
Alvy Price9
Roosevelt Price7
Velver Price5
Earnest Price3
Gertrude Price1
[1 1/12]


Name:William Mark Price
Birth Date:26 Mar 1866
Age at Death:50
Death Date:22 Apr 1916
Burial Place:Johnson County, Georgia, USA

Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi: accessed 18 January 2013.
Name:Ernest Price
Gender:Male
Birth Year:abt 1912
Birthplace:Georgia
Race:White
Home in 1930:Adrian, Emanuel, Georgia
View Map
Marital Status:Married
Relation to Head of House:Head
Spouse's Name:Lillian Price
Father's Birthplace:Georgia
Mother's name:Miller F Price
Mother's Birthplace:Georgia
Occupation:

Education:

Military service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents' birthplace:
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Ernest Price18
Lillian Price18
Randalph Price0
[9/12] 
Miller F Price50  *

*Miller F Price is Millie Frances Spence Price, mother of Ernest

Name:Ernest Price
Source Citation: Certificate number: 8068.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. Georgia Deaths, 1919-98 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.
Original data: State of Georgia. Indexes of Vital Records for Georgia: Deaths, 1919-1998. Georgia, USA: Georgia Health Department, Office of Vital Records, 1998.
Death Date:27 Mar 1935
County of Death:Richmond
Certificate:8068







Warren Price served in 1st GA Regulars.  (This flag represented the unit.)




Susan Alithia Ross Price and Warren Price


Web finds:



WARREN PRICE TO BE HANGED.


ATLANTA, Ga., Dec. 11.--Warren Price, the Johnson County murderer, has been refused a second reprieve by the Governor, and will be hanged to-morrow.
----------------------------------------
NEW YORK TIMES article:  Hanged for killing his son-in-law:

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F60614FE3A5C15738DDDAA0994DA415B8484F0D3
-------------------------
Supreme Court of Georgia:  pp. 442-459
Georgia. Supreme Court - 1885 - Free Google eBook - Read
The State of Georgia. 6. The charge was full, clear and explicit, and fairly presented the defences to. which the defendant was ... September Term, 1883 Warren Price was indicted for the murder of Romanus F. Perry, alleged to have been ...


http://books.google.com/books?id=WKMDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA442&dq=romanus+perry+georgia&hl=en&ei=XUduTebYBMPngQeLjthA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=romanus%20perry%20georgia&f=false

======================================


16. WARREN5 PRICE (JAMES4, RICE3, JAMES2, RICE1) was born 1841 in Emanuel
Co, Ga, and died November 14, 1884 in Wrightsville, Johnson County, Georgia.
He married SUSAN ALITIA ROSS May 20, 1861 in Johnson Co, Ga. She was born
1840.

Notes for WARREN PRICE:
In the early 1880's Warren Price daughter Virginia was being courted by
Mandol Powell who lived in a neighboring town. Mandol fell sick and stopped
calling on Virginia. Local gossip had it that she had been dumped. Jennie
started seeing Romanus Perry and in 1882 they were married. Soon a
recovered Mandol came to call on Jennie, only to find her wed to another.
While expecting her first child, Romanus and Jennie began having
marital problems. Jennie left him and moved back to her fathers farm.
Romanus continued to try to reconcile her, to no avail. Warren Price
repeatedly told Romanus to clear off his farm. On the night of August 31,
1882 Warren Price heard someone outside, rustling through the corn. He went
out on the porch and fired a warning shot to scare them off. The shot hit
Romanus, who fled to a neighboring farm and died.
Warren Price was tried for Murder in Johnson County in September term
1882. He was found guilty. In September of the next year, a new trial was
set. In November the second trial was moved to Emanuel County. In
september 1884 he was found guilty a second time and sentenced to hang.
Warren was held in the Washington County Jail until the set date.
On the night before the execution it is said that the jail cell was left
open, but Warren refused to flee. The friends and family of Warren Price
appealed to Governor McDaniel to stay the execution. The Governor declined
to intervene. Family lore say that Warren Price walked to the gallows
smoking his pipe. Again it is said that he was given every opportunity to
escape, but refused.
On November 14, 1884, on a gallows on the edge of Wrightsville, on
the Adrian highway, Warren Price became the first person hanged in Johnson
County, Georgia. He was buried near Pringle, Ga.
The child Jennie and Romanus had was a boy, who was named Rufus.
While Jennie and her family were at the hanging ( it is said by Price family
lore ) the family of Romanus Perry came to the Warren Price farm and made
off with baby Rufus. Jennie did not see her son again for sixteen years.
Jennie Price married Mandol Powell and had eight children. She
died February 2, 1946 in Soperton, Georgia.



Source:  http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GAEMANUE/2002-03/1016389058
  • Romanus F. Perry, a promising young man of Johnson County

  • Atlanta Constitution April 12, 1883
    Conviction in Johnson County – An Old Man Found Guilty of the Murder of His Son-In-Law

    From the Dublin, Ga., Gazette

                On the 12th of January, 1882, Romanus F. Perry, a promising young man of Johnson County, led to the bridal altar, Miss Jennie Price, a gladsome, blue-eyed, bonnie bride, of fifteen summers. The parents of the child bride opposed the union, and encouraged the suit of another young man of the same bailiwick, Mandal Powell. The gods favored the suit of Perry much to the displeasure of the bride’s parents and the chagrin of and disappointment of Powell. The nuptials over, the bride was taken to the cottage prepared for her, and for six months, the voyage over life’s sea was a calm and heavenly sail. Not a breath of discord swept over the tranquil household, not a zephyr to ruffle the calm sea. The young husband little dreamed that a traffic storm was brewing, one to sweep away his wife, his happiness, and at last his life. The happy anticipation of an heir within six months was ruthlessly torn from his bosom. On a sultry day in July last, after returning from his labors, tired, weary, and expecting to find a fair form at the gateway, a sweet welcoming smile, those things that make the bitterness of life sweet, the heart of Romanus Perry must have almost burst asunder, when, on entering the house, where everything that met his gaze was associated with pleasant memories, all that greeted him was, a sheet of paper, dumb messenger, that told the awful news. “The wife of his bosom had eloped.” There was but one version, and like instinct, the thought lightening-like, dashed across his mind, his former rival had obtained his treasure. The truant wife then sheltered under the parental roof, was there welcomed. The heart-broken husband the sought her up, but was denied admission by his father-in-law Warren Price. Notwithstanding the deserted husband was denied admission to se his wife, the former lover and paramour now, was welcomed by the father. On the 27th day of August, Perry made is last earthly effort to communicate with the wife he loved, and who proved the curse of his life. It was Sunday evening, the sun had long since gone to rest his head in Thetis’ lap. The pale moon had mounted the heavens, and from her ebon throne looked down with horror upon the scene soon to be enacted, the deserted husband – outraged man – walking quietly, unawares to his awful doom. He little dreamed that soon he would fall at the hands of the father of the women he loved. He neared the house where his heart’s treasure was, and though false still loved. When within twenty-eight paces from the threshold a thundering report rand out upon the still night air, a lurid flash might have been seen, and Warren Price became the murderer of his daughter’s husband.  Wednesday morning of last week [April 4, 1883], the case of the State vs. Warren Price was commenced in Johnson superior court, and within forty minutes counsel for both the state and the defense announced ready. During the introduction of the state’s evidence, Price remained unmoved, and set in a listless, careless manner, occasionally stroking his long, flowing beard. When the clothes, red with blood, the ones Perry wore when shot, were introduced and shown to the jury, a bland sickly smile lit up the murderer’s face, but a troubled expression soon resumed sway. Very little relevant testimony, justifying the killing, was introduced, although his counsel contested every inch of ground and examined eleven witnesses. Three days were consumed by the trial. Two speeches were made on both sides. The principal speeches were those of Judge Twiggs for the prisoner and Colonel Stubbs for the state. The jury retired at dark on the night of the third day, and arrived at a verdict of “guilty without mercy” within an hour from the time they retired, although their verdict was made up in ten minutes. When the verdict of “guilty” fell upon the silence of the court room, the prisoner was perfectly composed and manifested no sign of emotion. Thus ended the first murder trial ever held in Johnson County. 



    Atlanta Constitution May 14, 1884

    The Confidence of Warren Price

    Sandersville , Ga. – May 13 - Mr. Warren Price, who was convicted at the March term, 1884, of Johnson superior court, of the murder of his son-in-law, Romanus Perry, and who is now confined in our jail awaiting the action of the supreme court on his case, seems confident that the court will render a decision favorable to him to-day. He displays little anxiety about  the matter

    Atlanta Constitution May 14, 1884

    Death the Penalty
    The Supreme Court Decides that Warren Price Must be Hung for Murder

                Several interesting cases were decided in the supreme court yesterday that deserve a lengthier report than given in the in the published decisions. The case of Warren F Price was one.
                Price was indicted and tried in the March term, 1883, of Johnson superior court for the murder of R. F. Perry in August 27th, 1882. Perry was a son-in-law of Price. The difficulty arose out of a domestic trouble between Perry and his wife. It seems that the woman was too intimate with a neighbor and finally left the house of her husband, stating that she would return to her father. She rode away mounted on a horse behind her alleged paramour. Perry still desired to have his wife return to him and after sometime received a letter purporting to come from her and notifying him that the matter would be adjusted and requesting him to come to her father’s house. He secured a man to go with him stating that he was willing to forgive and forget, and he was going to have an interview with his wife with a view to getting her to return to his home. They reached the house of Price after dark and approached it through a corn field. The moon was shining brightly and Price was sitting on his front porch. As the two men neared the house and became visible to Price he took up a gun which was sitting near by, and with only a few words, shot and killed Perry.  The jury found him guilty and the supreme court has affirmed the ruling so that Price will now have to be hung.



    Atlanta Constitution September 26, 1884

    Sandersville , Ga. – September 25, - [Special.]  - Warren Price, who was convicted at the March term, 1883, of Johnson superior court, of the murder of his son-in-law, Romanus Perry, and who has been confined in our jail for safe-keeping, was to-day taken to Wrightsville under escort of the sheriff and a large body of heavily armed men. It was rumored that an effort would be made to rescue the prisoner. The death sentence was imposed. 



    Atlanta Constitution September 27, 1884

                Georgia is just now preparing to clean out her jails. The courts of many counties are in session and are doing lively work. Already the death sentences of four murders have been pronounced: Henry Cato in DeKalb, and George Hill  in Cherokee, October 31; Homer Perry in Newton, November 7, and Warren Price in Johnson, on November 14.



    Atlanta Constitution October 1, 1884

    Warren Price’s Crime
    Pretty Miss Jennie and her Rival Suitors
    Her Heart goes with her love, but her parents bring her to shame – The shot in the moon-light – The father sentenced to death – The marriage of the guilty woman and her paramour.

    Savannah , Ga. – September 30, - [Special.]  - Warren Price, who is under sentence of execution  for the 11th of November next is the villain in a tragedy of more than ordinary interest.
                Mr. Price is one of five brothers who live in Johnson county, all highly respected and past the line of fifty years. The five brothers are tall, shapely men, with long whiskers whose whitened coils give them a marked resemblance to the pictures of Moses on Mount Nebo. Warren Price lived in a pleasant little home near Wrightsville, where his daughter Miss Jennie, reigned as queen. Though but fourteen years of age at the time the story begins, she was exceedingly well developed, being a girl of remarkable natural beauty vivacity. This drew to her feet a large number of admirers from among the best young gentleman of the county. Two of these, Mr. Mandal Powell and Mr. Romanus F. Perry, were looked upon as the favorites, and in favor of their claims all other suitors withdrew. Powell met the approbation of the girl’s parents, who used every persuasion to induce her to turn a willing ear to his suit. Miss Jennie, however, gave her affections to Perry, and the day for their marriage was finally set.

    The Young Man’s Happy Home

                On the 12th of January, 1882, the fifteenth birthday of the bride, the couple pledged their vows. From the old folks Perry received the most flattering welcome, but the joy of the wedding day had its sting in the presence of Mandal Powell as an invited guest. “Never mind,” said the child-wife to her husband, and, “it is only for to-day. Tomorrow we will be by ourselves.” The next day the young couple were established in their cosy little home about five miles distant. The young husband had taken every pains to have it fitted up in style of elegance unusual in that county, as a toke of his love for his bride. Among other surprises which met her there was an organ, upon which [unreadable] was an expert performer. For six months the husband enjoyed a dream of happiness such as fall to but few. His lot was an envied one. One day, however, he was told Mandal Powell, his old rival, had been seen entering his house. He indignantly denied the statement and knocked his informant down.  One his way home, however, the thought that kept uppermost in his mind, notwithstanding his efforts to repress it. When he reached home his wife met him at the gate with a warm kiss and all the though of infidelity disappeared. During the evening he mentioned Powell’s name, when, for the first time drew into an unaccountable passion accusing her husband of unreasonable jealousy. A few tears, a few kisses and the pair were happy in each other’s love again.

    Disserted by his Wife

                With a light heart, Mr. Perry set out next morning on a business trip to Wrightsville. About five that evening he returned, but was surprised that his wife did not meet him at the gate. On entering the house all was still and he felt a death chill come over him. On the lid of the organ he saw a note, which, tearing open wildly, he read as follows:
    ”Romanus – I have gone home. You watch me too closely. I will never live with you again. Good-bye forever. Jennie”
    For a moment he stood as one distracted. Why his wife should have treated him thus was a mystery. A colored servant told him that Mrs. Price had come and taken her daughter away. The crazed husband went to the house of his father-in-law, but was ordered away. Subsequently the word came to him that Mandal Powell, his hated rival was living with Jennie with all the privileges of a husband and with the full sanction of the girl’s parents. Indeed, it was for this purpose that they had stolen her from the home of her husband.

    Murdered by his Father-in-law

                The night of the 27th of August, 1882, was bright and clear. Perry walked up and down the road which ran past his deserted home in gloomy meditation. At last muttering to himself that he must see his wife once more, he started out for the Price residence. When he approached the house his father-in-law, as if in waiting for him, was standing at the front door with a shotgun. As soon as he recognized who was coming he commanded him to desist. Parry continued to advance. Quick as thought Mr. Price brought his gun to his shoulder and fired. Perry fell with a groan, and by the time the inmates of the house had rushed to him he was dead. Standing in a loveing attitude, looking at the dead man, was the guilty wife and her paramour. The crime created an unbounded sensation. The position of the families, the scandalous connivance of a father and mother with their daughter’s shame, the age and venerable appearance of the murderer, all conspired to give interest to the tragedy.

    Convicted and Sentenced to Death

                Price was arrested and tried before the March term, 1883, Johnson superior court. He had among his counsel some of the most eminent lawyers of the state. He entered upon his trial surrounded by his four brothers. The appearance of the five men, with their flowing white beards, was most striking. The proof on all points was clear and conclusive. The prisoner sat listing to the evidence with the most indifference. Only once did he change countenance. When the suit of clothes in which his son-in-law was murdered besmeared with blood, was held before the jury, Price looked up for a moment, and then turned away his face with a sickening smile. The case given to the jury, he was speedily found guilty and sentenced to death. An appeal on points of law was taken to the supreme court, where the decision of the court below was affirmed. On the 23rd of September he was taken from Sandersville jail, where he had been confined, to Johnson county to be resentenced. As there has been rumors of a plot to capture Price, whether for the purpose of rescue or lynching was uncertain, a heavy guard accompanied him across the country. He was accordingly sentenced to be executed on Friday the 14th day of November 1884. During the last few days an effort has been inaugurated to induce the governor to commute the sentence of the unfortunate man to imprisonment for life. Petitions to that effect are being numerously signed.

    The Sequel of the Tragedy

                Mrs. Perry, the beautiful child-bride of two years ago, is now a coarse looking woman of large build and unpleasant face. Indictments for unlawful cohabitation were found against her and her paramour, Mandal Powell. No sooner had the judge pronounced sentence of death against the father for the murder of his son-in-law, than the case of the state against Mandal Powell for fornication was called. The guilty wretch whose crime has laid a husband in the grave, dishonored the wife, and brought and old man to the gallows, taking advantage of the provision of the law which permits the settlement of such cases by marriage, announced that Mrs. Perry and he were prepared to become man and wife. They were order to stand up in court, and with the convicted father as the principal witness, the faithless wife of Perry became the wife Powell.        



    Atlanta Constitution November 11, 1884

    Thirty Days of Life

    Warren Price, the Johnson County Murdered Gets a Respite

                Yesterday Governor McDaniel granted a respite of thirty days to Warren Price, the old man sentenced to be executed in Johnson county to-day. The reason of the respite is that an application for commutation was made Wednesday and a very voluminous lot of testimony submitted to the governor which he found it impossible to examine in the short space of time allowed him. The fact that the respite was granted was no indication that the commutation will be given by the governor. The order to the sheriff of Johnson county was as follows.
    Executive Office, State of Georgia, Atlanta, November 13. – To the Sheriff of Johnson County: Whereas Warren Price was convicted of murder at the March term, 1883, of the superior court of Johnson county and sentenced to be hanged  therefor on Friday, November 14 inst. And whereas a petition was presented to me yesterday the 12th instant, asking said death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment in the penitentiary of said state and whereas said matter is of greatest importance and should receive careful consideration before determining the same, and whereas it has been impossible to give proper consideration to the case by reason of the fact that it was not presented until yesterday, and there is a large amount of pressing business in the executive department, the legislature having recently convened.
     Now , in order to duly consider the whole matter, it is ordered that said Warren Price be and he is hereby reprieved until Friday, December 12, 1884, at which time, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. you proceed to execute the said sentence of the court, unless otherwise ordered.
    Given under my hand and seal of the executive department the day and year first above written.
    Henry D McDaniel  Governor.
    J W Warren
    Secretary Ex. Department



    Atlanta Constitution November 20, 1884

    Warren Price. The Murder of his Son-In-Law get a Respite of Thirty Days

    From the Wrightville Herald

                The crowd that was in town yesterday was by far the largest, as well as the worst disappointed, that has ever assembled in Wrightsville. From early Thursday night up to 12 o’clock yesterday, almost a steady stream of men, women, and children poured into town, seemingly anxious to witness the execution of Warren Price, who has been confined in the Sandersville jail for nearly two years and would have been hanged yesterday in Wrightsville for the murder of his son-in-law Romanus Perry, but for the respite of thirty days which was been granted him by the governor on last Thursday. The reason of the respite is that an application for commutation was made last Wednesday, and a very voluminous lot of testimony submitted to the governor which he found it impossible to examine in the short space of time allowed him. The fact that the respite was granted was no indication that the commutation will be given by the governor.
                Last Thursday, Sheriff Burns, with a large body of armed men, went up to Sandersville for the purpose of brining Price to Wrightsville the next morning, and while there late Thursday evening, he received the order from the governor.   



    Atlanta Constitution November 27, 1884

    Warren Price’s Equanimity

    Sandersville , Ga. – November 26 -  [Special] - Warren Price, the Johnson county slayer of his son-in-law, Romanus Perry, is comfortably fixed in our jail. He has a good feather bed on sted. His cell always wears a neat, clean and healthful appearance. A nicely prepared dinner of bacon, cabbage, bread, potatoes, coffee, etc., was brought to him a few days since, when your correspondent was in his cell. He is tall, slightly stooped with long beard and blue eyes – the vision of the right eye having been dim since birth, Wall talking to callers he generally stands with arms enfolded and looks as if his mind’s eye was afar off.




    Atlanta Constitution December 12, 1884

    He Must Hang: The Governor Decides That Warren Price, of Johnson County, Must Hang

                Yesterday afternoon at a late hour Governor McDaniel decided not to interfere with the sentence of the court in the matter of Warren Price, whose execution is set down for to-day in Johnson county. The governor reached the conclusion after the very fullest investigation and after full consultation with Attorney General Anderson as to the law in the case. The governor spent a large part of Tuesday and Wednesday on the case, assisted by Attorney General Anderson, and yesterday several gentlemen, who have interested themselves in behalf of Price, appeared and discussed the application, urging very strongly the plea for commutation. The governor looked at the matter in the light that a jury in the doomed man’s own county had found him guilty without a recommendation of mercy, the judges of the superior court refused to interfere; the case was carried to the supreme court and that tribunal affirmed the judgment of the court below and did not suggested any where that it was a case for clemency. The pressure brought on the governor was not confined to Johnson county but extended to other counties. Governor McDaniel mad a painstaking examination and failing to find any sufficient ground for a commutation refused to interfere. Therefore Price will be hanged to-day.

    Atlanta Constitution December 12, 1884

    Warren Price to Hang: The Old Man Ready to Meet His Fate

    Mr. Jernigan, the Faith Cure Devotee, Praying for him – The story of Keaton’s Pursuit and Capture – The death of a Printer – And other news of the state.

    Sandersville , Ga. – December 11 -  [Special] – Sheriff Burns and posse , of Johnson county, are here for Warren Price, who lies in our jail terribly afflicted with neuralgia*. Rev William Parks and Mrs. Jernigan are now praying with him. He says he is ready to meet God, though the governor’s declination to interfere with the sentence has not been made known to him.

    Neuralgia is defined as an intense burning or stabbing pain caused by irritation of or damage to a nerve. The pain is usually brief but may be severe. It often feels as if it is shooting along the course of the affected nerve.



    Atlanta Constitution December 13, 1884

    The Georgia Gallows

    The Sensational Hanging in Johnson County

    Warren Price pays the penalty for the murder of his son-in-law – The story of the cause and crime. – The last words of hoary-headed murder. – A affecting Soane

    Tenneville , Ga. – December 12 – [Special] – This afternoon at three o’clock, Warren Price was executed in Wrightsville, in the presence of several thousand people, white and black, who commenced early in the morning assembling from many miles around coming on horseback, and very conceivable conveyance. In the large multitude were many women and children, who patiently waited several hours in a hard rain for the appointed hour of execution.

    The Trip to Wrightsville

                Warren Price had been confined in Sandersville jail for safe keeping. Yesterday afternoon Sheriff Burns, of Johnson county, with eleven guards armed with shotguns, left Wrightsville for Sandersville to obtain Price, as it was feared that an attempt release would be made of Price, such plan having be concerted by the prisoner’s friends when he was sentenced to be hanged last month, before the governor respited him.
                Sheriff Burns, guard and Price reached Wrightsville to-day at noon, having encountered no opposition en route. Price came peaceably and calmly. He conversed with the sheriff the entire way from Sandersville, with whom he rode in a buggy.

    Price’s Last Night

                Last night Price slept well in the Sandersville jail, ate a hearty breakfast this morning, and when he reached Wrightsville was placed in jail, where he was visited by several friends, his brothers, and The Constitution reporter, to whom he freely conversed. He said he was satisfied with his future, having rested his soul with God. Price would not directly admit that he killed Perry, but virtually confessed it saying what he did, he felt his conscience and heart approved, and the deed was prompted by self-defense to protect his family from death at Perry’s hands, and his house from destruction by fire. Price said the only dread he had in dying was leaving his helpless wife and five children who are poverty stricken. Price’s aged brothers wept sorely over him in jail to-day, the gray heads making a truly affecting picture. He begged his brothers to decently buried in the old family burial ground – ten miles distant from Wrightsville, and three miles from the late home of Price and the scene of the recent tragedy. Price’s wife constantly visited him in Sandersville, but he had not seen her since Wednesday.

    Wife and Daughter Absent.

                She nor his daughter, about whom the killing of Perry originated, were in Wrightsville for the hanging. Powell, the paramour of Price’s daughter, and the former wife of Perry, whom Powell married at the last September term of Johnson court to escape prosecution for fornication, and which ceremony was performed in open court in the presence of Warren Price, a few minutes before he received his death sentence was not in Wrightsville to-day, although he was present last month when it was expected that Price would hang. Two different preachers prayed with Price in his cell shortly before going to the gallows, where he became very much affected. Price ate dinner in the jail then announced himself.       

    Ready for Execution

                His general manner was calm and his movements steady. He had been suffering several weeks with neuralgia. He said he would rather die than be confined in jail any longer. He did not desire the death sentence commuted to life imprisonment. At 2 o’clock Price was escorted to the buggy by the sheriff and driven to the gallows, situated on the hill near the schoolhouse, a mile from the courthouse. He steadily mounted the steps of the scaffold, where he bade good-bye to his brothers and friends.

    On The Gallows

                The hymn “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood,“ was sung by the crown. Rev. Norris, Primitive Baptist preacher, of which faith Price himself had been a confessed believer for 22 years, offered a feeling prayer on the gallows, which received responsive amens from the spectators. Price then made a rambling talk. He announced his faith in the redemption of his soul, and counseled his hearers to refrain from wickedness and meet him beyond the skies. He made no confession whatever of the murder  

    The Rope Cut

                At three o’clock Sheriff Burns cut the rope, and Price’s soul was launched into eternity. He had a five feet drop. His neck was broken and he died instantly without a struggle. No muscle was seen to move. His body was taken down, placed in a wagon, carried to Price’s late home, and will be buried tomorrow. 

    The Gossip of the Day

                The weather was in keeping with the hanging, a constant drizzling rain. Much sympathy has been expressed for old man Price, and as he stood on the gallows his white locks and long gray beard floating in the wind, many though Mandal Powell, the man who debauched Price’s daughter and drove Romanus H Perry to his doom, should be standing in Warren Price’s, and made to suffer this fate. It is the opinion of all that Powell and Price’s daughter instigated Price to kill his son-in-law Perry. They are morally more guilty than was price.
                Price’s conversation to-day was rambling. Price is the first man ever hanged in Johnson county. Sheriff Burns performed the execution perfectly. Perry’s father, a very old man, sat very near the gallows, intently watching every movement of the man who killed his son. After the drop fell and Price handed ten minutes, Perry got up, walked off, apparently satisfied that his son’s murder had been avenged. Price had his life written while in Sandersville jail and sold it for ten dollars for publication in the Sandersville Mercury after his death.  

    The Story of the Crime

    Warren Price is one of five brothers who live in Johnson county, all highly respected and past the line of fifty years. The five brothers are tall, shapely men, with long whiskers whose whitened coils give them a marked resemblance to the pictures of Moses on Mount Nebo. Warren Price lived in a pleasant little home near Wrightsville, where his daughter Miss Jennie, reigned as queen. Though but fourteen years of age at the time the story begins, she was exceedingly well developed, being a girl of remarkable natural beauty vivacity. This drew to her feet a large number of admirers from among the best young gentleman of the county. Two of these, Mr. Mandal Powell and Mr. Romanus F. Perry, were looked upon as the favorites, and in favor of their claims all other suitors withdrew. Powell met the approbation of the girl’s parents, who used every persuasion to induce her to turn a willing ear to his suit. Miss Jennie, however, gave her affections to Perry, and the day for their marriage was finally set.

    The Young Man’s Happy Home

                On the 12th of January, 1882, the fifteenth birthday of the bride, the couple pledged their vows. From the old folks Perry received the most flattering welcome, but the joy of the wedding day had its sting in the presence of Mandal Powell as an invited guest. “Never mind,” said the child-wife to her husband, and, “it is only for to-day. Tomorrow we will be by ourselves.” The next day the young couple were established in their cosy little home about five miles distant. The young husband had taken every pains to have it fitted up in style of elegance unusual in that county, as a toke of his love for his bride. Among other surprises which met her there was an organ, upon which [unreadable] was an expert performer. For six months the husband enjoyed a dream of happiness such as fall to but few. His lot was an envied one. One day, however, he was told Mandal Powell, his old rival, had been seen entering his house. He indignantly denied the statement and knocked his informant down.  One his way home, however, the thought that kept uppermost in his mind, notwithstanding his efforts to repress it. When he reached home his wife met him at the gate with a warm kiss and all the though of infidelity disappeared. During the evening he mentioned Powell’s name, when, for the first time drew into an unaccountable passion accusing her husband of unreasonable jealousy. A few tears, a few kisses and the pair were happy in each other’s love again.

    Disserted by his Wife

                With a light heart, Mr. Perry set out next morning on a business trip to Wrightsville. About five that evening he returned, but was surprised that his wife did not meet him at the gate. On entering the house all was still and he felt a death chill come over him. On the lid of the organ he saw a note, which, tearing open wildly, he read as follows:
    ”Romanus – I have gone home. You watch me too closely. I will never live with you again. Good-bye forever. Jennie”
    For a moment he stood as one distracted. Why his wife should have treated him thus was a mystery. A colored servant told him that Mrs. Price had come and taken her daughter away. The crazed husband went to the house of his father-in-law, but was ordered away. Subsequently the word came to him that Mandal Powell, his hated rival was living with Jennie with all the privileges of a husband and with the full sanction of the girl’s parents. Indeed, it was for this purpose that they had stolen her from the home of her husband.

    Murdered by his Father-in-law

                The night of the 27th of August, 1882, was bright and clear. Perry walked up and down the road which ran past his deserted home in gloomy meditation. At last muttering to himself that he must see his wife once more, he started out for the Price residence. When he approached the house his father-in-law, as if in waiting for him, was standing at the front door with a shotgun. As soon as he recognized who was coming he commanded him to desist. Parry continued to advance. Quick as thought Mr. Price brought his gun to his shoulder and fired. Perry fell with a groan, and by the time the inmates of the house had rushed to him he was dead. Standing in a loveing attitude, looking at the dead man, was the guilty wife and her paramour. The crime created an unbounded sensation. The position of the families, the scandalous connivance of a father and mother with their daughter’s shame, the age and venerable appearance of the murderer, all conspired to give interest to the tragedy.

    Convicted and Sentenced to Death

                Price was arrested and tried before the March term, 1883, Johnson superior court. He had among his counsel some of the most eminent lawyers of the state. He entered upon his trial surrounded by his four brothers. The appearance of the five men, with their flowing white beards, was most striking. The proof on all points was clear and conclusive. The prisoner sat listing to the evidence with the most indifference. Only once did he change countenance. When the suit of clothes in which his son-in-law was murdered besmeared with blood, was held before the jury, Price looked up for a moment, and then turned away his face with a sickening smile. The case given to the jury, he was speedily found guilty and sentenced to death. An appeal on points of law was taken to the supreme court, where the decision of the court below was affirmed. On the 23rd of September he was taken from Sandersville jail, where he had been confined, to Johnson county to be resentenced. As there has been rumors of a plot to capture Price, whether for the purpose of rescue or lynching was uncertain, a heavy guard accompanied him across the country. He was accordingly sentenced to be executed on Friday the 14th day of November 1884. During the last few days an effort has been inaugurated to induce the governor to commute the sentence of the unfortunate man to imprisonment for life. Petitions to that effect are being numerously signed.

    The Sequel of the Tragedy

                Mrs. Perry, the beautiful child-bride of two years ago, is now a coarse looking woman of large build and unpleasant face. Indictments for unlawful cohabitation were found against her and her paramour, Mandal Powell. No sooner had the judge pronounced sentence of death against the father for the murder of his son-in-law, than the case of the state against Mandal Powell for fornication was called. The guilty wretch whose crime has laid a husband in the grave, dishonored the wife, and brought and old man to the gallows, taking advantage of the provision of the law which permits the settlement of such cases by marriage, announced that Mrs. Perry and he were prepared to become man and wife. They were order to stand up in court, and with the convicted father as the principal witness, the faithless wife of Perry became the wife Powell.        

    Retrieved from tree files of whiteowlising March 1, 2011.

    In 1850: James Warren Price was recorded as being 9 years old (census below shows family members):


    1850 United States Federal Census about James Price, father of James Warren Price, subject of this blog entry.

    Name:James Price
    Age:57
    Estimated Birth Year:abt 1793
    Birth Place:North Carolina
    Gender:Male
    Home in 1850 (City,County,State):District 28, Emanuel, Georgia
    Family Number:155
    Household Members:
    NameAge
    James Price57
    Elizabeth Price50
    Charity Price27
    Marenthy Price23
    Clemon Price18
    Elias Price16
    James Price15
    Kitsey Price13
    Warren Price9



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