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May 2012

Dr. Price

May brings us a number of important birthdays for the Koreshans. One intriguing figure is James Russell Price who would be 165 years old. Doctor Price was born in Bedeque, Prince Edward Island, Canada on May 21, 1847. He was the child of Richard and Catherine Price. The Price family moved to the United States in 1855 and settled in Victor Centre, Illinois (DeKalb County).

It is unclear what kind of “Doctor” he was. The article reference below says he was in the ‘medical’ profession. An 1898 obituary for his brother, Charles, just referenced him as “Doctor” Dr. Price and his wife, Adah, who was the postmistress, lived outside the community, along the Estero River. At some point, about 1912, he was traveling around the country giving talks. One such talk was preserved by the University of Iowa (Eugenics Study from 1912). The introduction makes no reference to the Koreshans. It says, in part:

“Dr. James Russell Price, author, teacher, physician, scientist, lecturer, was born on Prince Edward Island. …Dr. Price engaged in educational work for twenty-five years before entering into medical practice.”

Doctor Price had children by an earlier marriage and the Community Current Events column in the Flaming Sword wrote, in 1930, “”Harl Price Cook and Roger Rilleau, of New York City, arrived in Estero on a motorcycle and were guests of the Unity for some days. Harl is a grandson of Doctor J. R. Price, and lived in the Unity for a while. The boys had a wonderful time while here, fishing and swimming. Harl contributes one story a month to the True Story magazine.”

Doctor Price died on September 23, 1932, in Estero. He was buried in the Koreshan Cemetery.

May also brings a number of birthdays. In particular are the 179th anniversary of the birth of A.W. Andrews, one of Dr. Teed’s earliest disciples. Others include Anne Welton Lewis, for whom the “Anna Lewis” house which is now located on Park property is named for. She would be 137.

Annie Ray Andrews, daughter of A.W.K Andrews (mentioned above) and Virginia Harmon Andrews, would have marked her 133rd birthday on May 6th. Annie Ray, was born in Binghampton New York, the family home of the Andrews family. The book, “Folks we knew while in the K.U.”, written by Marie McCready says:

“Dr. Andrews, a physician and surgeon from New York state, and Virginia of southern birth, were among the first converts. Virginia, with her white hair and soft voice, was the typical “southern lady” type. …Annie Ray’s hair turned white while she was still young, which, with her black brows and lashes gave her a distinctive appearance.”

The photograph shows Annie on Memorial Day, 1909. On hundred years ago this month. Annie is on the left, along with her sister Margaret. The caption says: “30 May 1909 – 1911 E. Preston Street, Baltimore. Mr and Mrs. Satterfield, Annie Ray, Margaret and the Cat” Although there is no documentation to verify, it appears that Annie dropped out of the Unity shortly after Dr. Teed’s death. Whether or not she was ever a “believer” could probably be debated. She was a member of that second generation of Koreshans which included the likes of Claude Rahn, Laurie Bubbett, Allen Andrews and others.

Preston Street Today...

Annie lived in several places, including New York City. She apparently stayed away from the Unity for some time as one of the articles in the “Community Current Events” mentioned her visit after a long time away. As far as we know, Annie Ray never married. She died in 1928 at the age of 49 and is buried in the Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia in the cemetery plot of her aunt, Susan Harmon Webb.

Categories: Monthly Feature.

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