ISAAC PRICE 1844 – 1890 – an expert mason

by Annette Edwards

Isaac Price was born 24 December 1844 at Ruabon, he was the son of Elias Price and Harriet Jones who married in Ruabon. Elias was a collier and the son of Hugh Price a sawyer. Harriet’s father was Thomas Jones, a collier.

Elias and Harriet moved down to Hanley Staffordshire as did many Welsh miners but in 1850 Harriet died .

Elias stayed in Hanley lodging with another family from Ruabon, and in 1851 Isaac and his younger sister Mary Anne are living with their aunt Mary Ellis in Ruabon. Her son William is an apprentice stonemason. Elias remarried to Sarah Poulson Davies in 1853 at Northwood Saffordshire.

By 1861 Elias has returned to Ruabon with his new wife Sarah, who was from Staffordshire.

Isaac now has 3 siblings, Joseph 14, sister Emma 13 and John 9.

Elias died on 21 December 1864.  Isaac met Ellen Gabriel and in 1869 they married at St Giles, Wrexham , by 1871 they had moved to Rhosymedre Cottage, Ruabon where they were living with Maria Gabriel aged 72, his mother in law, Isaac was a mason so had taken up a trade rather than becoming a collier.

Apart from being an expert mason, he was very good with the rifle and a perfect marksman.

Two children were born and died before 1881, Mary died 1870 having lived only a few weeks, and William died aged nearly 2 in 1878. He is buried in Wrexham Cemetery.

In 1881 the family were living in 1 Florence Street, Wrexham, Isaac is still a stonemason by this time they have 3 sons, Ellen’s mother Maria is still with them.

By 1887 Isaac had started his own business in Argyle Street, and placed advertisements in the papers for monuments, tombs and headstones.  In February 1890 he is advertising as a monumental and builders mason, and carving done in wood and stone, and has relocated to 6 Earle Street.

Isaac had been given an opportunity, and considered a contract to be a stone cutter in the construction of the Panama Canal. His health and death changed these plans when early in 1890  he badly injured his chest while moving stone at work, he never recovered from the injury and died on the 16 December 1890 aged 46, he was buried next to his son in Wrexham Cemetery. The monument was made and inscribed by Isaac’s son Arthur.

According to his probate his personal estate was worth £111.

Ellen stayed at Earle Street and in 1891 is found with her 5 sons, Henry 19 was a sculptor, Arthur 16 was an architect’s assistant. Alfred 10, Edward 7  and Charles Eton 5 were at school.

After Isaacs’s death the responsibility of the home and the business rested on the two eldest sons Henry and Arthur. Henry ran the business for about 8 years. Alfred was an apprentice to a printing company. Edward and Charles Eton were still at school.

Ellen`s sister Mary suggested that they went to Manchester to be near her so they sold up and moved.  Money soon dwindled away and Ellen had to go to work to support the home. Alfred had worked for quite a while, but now he and Edward decided to go to sea on ships sailing to Egypt and Africa. It`s possible their Uncle John Gabriel, a sea captain had some influence.

Only Ellen and Charles were at home now and Charles did all sorts of jobs to help out while still at school, a milk round, bread delivery from a grocery store where he was allowed to take some bread home. Ellen was a good cook and managed to make ends meet but unfortunately  fell from a stepladder and broke her collar bone, even after three months in plaster, the injury never healed properly and Ellen was in constant pain. Life got better when Arthur – who was in London accepted a position in Loughborough as a superintendent in the Tucker Tile and Terra Cotta Company. He rented a nice house close to Paget Park and Charles moved there first while Ellen sold the goods they didn`t need. Apparently Ellen wasn`t used to riding in a corridor train and couldn`t  find the door to come out so went on to Leicester and had to return back to Loughborough. Life was much better there and Charles found work, one day a young man came to their door and said he was from the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, and soon they were going to local meetings. Alfred, Edward and Henry also visited them in Loughborough and all showed interest.

Ellen and Arthur were both baptised, conditions soon changed and they moved to Liverpool where Charles was  also baptised off New Brighton beach in 1903. During their  time in Liverpool, Henry, Alfred and Edward often visited and attended meetings.

Early in 1905 Arthur journeyed to Salt Lake City, but Charles was able to support his mother himself. Charles was working under indentures for three years, but wanted to leave, eventually his employer agreed.

Ellen was taken to London to stay with Henry, while Charles travelled to Salt Lake City in autumn 1905 to be met by Arthur. Charles found work and rented a little house for Ellen to come and stay. On 6 December 1906 Ellen sailed to join them, she was 59 and a cook, her passage was paid by Arthur. Her health was good; she was 5ft 7 inches tall and had fair grey hair.

They lived there for 3 years before Charles was given a mission, and within 6 weeks he was in Montreal, Canada from where he travelled back to Liverpool.

Ellen died on 2 May 1912 at Salt Lake, Utah her death was announced in The Salt Lake Tribune. Ellen was 65; she died of heart trouble at Arthur’s home.

Arthur was part of the Church Building Department, he was the construction architect on the Arizona Temple at Meza which was started in 1922.

Over the years he worked on many Church buildings. 40 years later when he was in his late 80`s Arthur  worked on site at the construction of Oaklands Temple in California, often climbing up scaffolding to check the quality of the 170-foot central spire.

Ellen never had the chance to see her son`s work and his father Isaac would have been very proud .

Edward died 1909, but it`s not known where.

Henry died in 1926 in Chicago.

Alfred died in 1930 in California

Charles Eton Price died in 1955 at Salt Lake City

Arthur died in 1971 in Los Angeles.

Much of these details came directly from the ancestors of Isaac and Ellen. Other information is from various LDS history sites. Also thanks to Judy Roberts and many other people who have helped.

Annette Edwards.