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Special Thanks to Collette Steele and Margaret Cline Harmon for their extensive research on these families. Please see the Rawlins Family and the Price Family of Illinois.

And more recently, our heart felt appreciation to Garry Brown for his extensive research in Weakley Co., Tennessee involving the 1836 murder of John Stunston in that county, allegedly by George McClain and William Price, the grandfather of David Z. Price. I have included several pages of his research on this site.

Please follow the links on this page, they are scanned copies of census records, marriage licenses, civil war pension affidavits and various reports on this site.

William Price of Weakley Co., Tennessee

I recently received the Civil War pension file of David R. Price which has opened many doors in the search for David's parents and has verified that he is the brother of Loftin Price and James Price. David and his brothers were born in Weakley Co., Tennessee and he had only one sister as yet unidentified but I believe to be Elizabeth Lynn as based on the following documentation.

The following record is from Saline Co Probate records

Box 64-9 Guardianship- Lettie Price 10 years, 14 April 1860 Minor heir at law of Elizabeth Lynn. Mother is dead. David Price, petitioner, is uncle of Lettie by blood relationship and child will be entitled to part of its grandmothers estate, viz Letty Stunson, about $80.00.

Guardian David Price
Bondsman Eli M. Gulledge, David P. Coker
Date admin began 22 Oct 1859

It appears that her mother is Elizabeth Lynn. I know that David's full sister died before 1884 and it is apparent that Letty Summers Stunson is the minor Lettys grandmother and that her grandmother has also died.

 John and Elizabeth Stunston are listed in the Saline Co 1850 census two doors from the Levy and Letty Stunston house. John and Elizabeth Stunston have a 1 yr old daughter named Letty. I believe this Elizabeth is the "unnamed sister" mentioned in David's pension and that she married John Stunston a relative of Levy. They were both born in Tennessee.

I need to find a marriage between John Stunston and Elizabeth Price to proof this hypothesis. A marriage between Elizabeth Price and unnamed Lynn is listed in Illinois marriage archives, 1857 in Saline Co. Ill. The child is a "minor heir at law of Elizabeth Lynn".  Perhaps Letty is her daughter from her 1st marriage (10 yrs old in 1860), and Elizabeth remarried Lynn shortly before her death.
The William Price family, is the only Price family in Weakley Co. Tennessee in 1830 that did not have more than one daughter. Loftin Price states in his deposition of 1884 for David's pension, that his father, William Price was shot an killed 48-50 years ago. Other sources state he was killed in Tennessee before the family relocated to Gallatin Co., Illinois.

The identity of their mother has proven to be just as illusive but with a few more clues to work on. In David's Civil War Pension file,  Alexander Stunston states that he is the half brother of David Price, "same mother, different fathers".  In the 1850 Saline Co., Illinois Census,  Alexander Stunston, and is half brother, James Price, who is the younger brother of David Price, are living in the home of Levy Stunston. His wife is Letty Stunston. She is four years older than her husband and just barely old enough to be the mother of David Price. Also living in the home is Priscilla Summers who is 24 years old and possibly the younger sister of Letty.

Illinois Marriages from the Illinois State Archives, lists a Levy Stunston and Letty Summers marriage in Gallatin Co., Illinois on August 9, 1838. (Gallatin Co. is the parent county of Saline Co. and a common destination of many Weakley Co., residents.)
It is unusual for Letty Summers Price to use her maiden name for her marriage to Levi Stunston, but not unheard of considering there are also special circumstances regarding this union.  The murder of Levy's father, John Stunston and the deceased husband of Letty, William Price, along with George McClain, standing trail for Stunston's murder in 1836 in Tennessee. (Levy Stunston is listed as John's son in John Stunston's will.)
"I do also give and bequeath unto my son Levi STUNSTON, one boy named Jamie, one hundred acres of land, a part of the above named tract, and one half of the occupant adjoining to it; also one sorrel cot at my death.....Dated April 1836."
It is my understanding that George McClain escaped after his conviction in the Stunston murder and William Price was acquitted. When William Price was murdered (presumably before Letty 's marriage in 1838) and whether it was related to this case is unknown. However, an article that appeared in the Saline County Republic in 1912 which was sent to me by Stunston descendant states :
"Stunston came to this state from that part of Kentucky which was then designated as the Kentucky purchase. Laying in the southwest part of the state: before coming here it was said that Stunson killed the first husband of his wife and fled to this state with her, this may or may not be true in detail but as to his killing Price and marrying his widow, there can be no doubt as the writer heard the story corroborated by statement's from the lips of Price's sons...."
To my knowledge, Stunson (Stuntson) was never tried for the murder of William Price but if he is guilty, the killing of Stuntson's  father would have been an additional motive. I have posted the entire article here.

 Please follow this link to Garry Brown's history of the events leading to the murder of John Stunston and what is known about the trail of William Price and George McClain.  My Deepest appreciation to P.J. Thompson and Garry Brown for allowing me to include their research taking several years on my site.

In the summary of the Civil War pension application for David Price, it states that Levy Stunston was also shot and killed while drunk. The Benjamin Rice deposition, states he was appointed executor of "old man Stunston's estate" ( David's step father) in October 1857. Rice later says he was the administrator of  Levy Stunston's estate.  He gives a deposition on the family, stating that David Price was almost always there, supporting the hypothesis that David is the step son of Levy Stunston and the son of Letty.

Loftin Price states his mother was living with him when she died of heart disease but no date is given and I have not been able to locate her in the census with him.

David R. Price of Weakley Co., Tennessee and Saline Co., Illinois

DAVID R. PRICE  was born December 25, 1821 in Weakley Co., Tennessee and believed to be the son of  William Price. According to David's pension file, his father was shot and killed before he left Tennessee in the 1830s. His mother remarried Levy Stunston in 1838. He was also shot and killed in 1857. This transcript of  David's life was provided in David's pension file by the examiner. (See notes on William Price).

Levi Stunston is listed in the 1840 Gallatin Co Illinois census 2 years after his marriage to Letty Summers Price with the following family members:

1 male 20-30 presumed to be Levy
2 males 10-15 presumed to be David and Loftin though they were older than this
1 male 5-10 presumed to be James Price
1 male under 5 presumed to be

1 female 20-30 presumed to be Letty Summers
1 female 5-10 Could either be Priscilla Summers listed in 1850 census or Eliza Summers future wife of David
David Price married Eliza Summers on July 11, 1847 in Gallatin Co, Illinois. This is a copy of their marriage license. She was born Abt. 1835, and died December 25, 1873. Permission for her marriage is given by Levi Stunston.  Was she living in home of Letty and Levi in 1840? I have not been able to locate David and Eliza Price in the 1850 census.
1860 Harrisburg, Saline Co., Illinois Census
David Price 34 yrs
Eliza 25 yrs
Sarah  8 yrs (marries Stephen Bush in 1867)
James 4 yrs ( marries Matilda Dillion in 1873)
William 3 yrs ( marries Letha E. Grindstaff 1876)
Missouri Margaret  3mos. ( marries Wilson Faezel 1874)
Also living in the home is Mary Price 17 yrs born in Tennessee
N. Storm 19 yrs from Germany

1870 Harrisburg, Saline Co., Illinois Census
David Price 57 yrs
Lonzia 40 yrs
James 17 yrs
William 15 yrs
Missouri M. 11 yrs
Nancy J. 7 yrs (marries David Feazel in 1878)
Priscilla 5 yrs
Eliza J. 5 mos. (marries Thomas Feazel in 1886)
(*age of David is totally off according to all other records as is the age of Eliza. Since she is referred to Lonzia , I had to consider whether this was the correct family. However, the location of the family and all of the children convinced me that it is. )

David Price was a Farrier and Sergeant in the 6th Cavalry Company F from Harrisburg, IL in the Civil War. I have received his pension papers which has answered many questions about his life.

Though David R. Price did not lead the life of "violence" attributed to his father and step father, his history of philandering is well documented in the courts and in the tangled web of relationships in the Saline County community.

In 1851, David Price was named on a subpoena in regard to the divorce of John and Sarah Thomas. They are the parents of Rueben Thomas, the future first husband of Mary Jane Rawlins, David's third wife. Collette Steele states "it does seem strange that David is subpoenaed to testify for his future wife's x in-laws when his future wife is only 7 years old."

The subpoena shows that David Price and William Feazel were in Williamson Co. 20 Feb 1851. (In 1886, 35 years later, the youngest daughter of David R. Price and Eliza Summer, Eliza Price, would marry Thomas Feazel. Two of his other daughters would also marry Feazel men. Their relationship to William is undetermined.)
Subpeona for David Price and Wm Feazell in Williamson Co., IL to appear in court the fourth Monday of May on behalf of Sarah Thomas- Served by reading 20 Feb 1851
The subpoena had the two names on the one subpoena. The suit was that Sarah Thomas (Rueben's Mom) was divorcing John Thomas (Rueben's dad). The divorce papers say that John was committing adultery and abandoned Sarah and the children. The divorce papers do not say what David had to say.

Notes from Margaret Cline Harmon gggradaughter of Loftin Price:

In the Saline Co. Illinois Chancery Records, Vol. I, 1847 - 1886, Misc.Box, File #16, William Bush vs. Nancy Jackson Bush filed 9 March 1854, Wm. Bush sued for divorce on the grounds of adultery. He claimed that she was guilty of the crime of adultery since their marriage in 1852.
Summoned as witnesses were David Price, James Price, Lofton Price, Nancy Price, Furny Bush, Rebecca Bush and Levi Stunson

The Saline Co. Illinois Chancery Records, Vol. I, 1847 - 1886, Box#_, June 1858, File #88 - Samuel Rawlins vs. Charlote (Miller) Rawlins, Samuel Rawlins filed for a divorce on 15 Sep. 1865 for adultery. He claimed that she committed adultery with David Price; James Price is a witness confirming her relationship with David Price. She denied all charges.
Eliza Summers Price died young, on December 25, 1872, Christmas Day and apparently David Price's birthday. She was buried in Big Ridge Cemetery in Saline Co.
Saline County Cemeteries Vol. VIII page 13 Big Ridge Cemetery, Row 22
Price, David 25 Dec 1821-16 April 1900
Price, Eliza wife of David, d. 25 Dec 1872
Years later, David is buried next to Eliza by his third wife, Mary Jane Rawlins.

Five months after the death of Eliza, David Price married Mary A. Baker on 3 May 1873.  On 24 Oct. 1874, she filed for divorce. She claimed that David Price was guilty of adultery with Elizabeth Dillon and Phoebe Nolen in the county of Saline. This is a copy of their divorce papers.

Notes for MaryJane Rawlings 2nd Wife of David R. Price

Mary Jane Rawlins married Rueben M. Thomas September 14, 1865 in Saline County, Illinois.
The direct descendant of their only child, Collette Steele, told me Rueben deserted her before their child was born.
EARLY SALINE COUNTY, ILLINOIS, COURT RECORDS
DIVORCE ABSTRACTS 1847 - 1886 VOL I
pg. 25
MARY J. THOMAS vs REUBEN M. THOMAS
Box # Oct. 1868 File # 76
Cause of divorce: desertion
Case filed 20 Feb 1868 Case disposed of: Oct. 1868
Date of marriage: 14 Sep 1865
Children from this marriage: Emily L. Thomas, aged 18 months. She claims that on 22 Feb 1866, he deserted her. She wants sole custody of the child until the age of 18 years as well as her marriage dissolved. Witness was William Rawlins.
David Price married  Mary Jane Rawlings on February 17, 1875 in Harrisburg, Saline County, Illinois, daughter of William Rawlins and Leatha Harper. She was born in 1845 in Ohio and died before 1933-1938. This is a copy of the marriage license for Mary Jane Rawlins Thomas and David Price
Saline county, Illinois Census 1880 Cottage Grove page 163 Household 222
David Price 56
Mary J 39 wife
Pressa A. 13 daughter of Eliza and David
Eliza Jane 11 daughter of Eliza and David
David Z 4 son of David and Mary Jane
Louis E 2 son of David and Mary Jane
Charles A 1 son of David Mary Jane
Emma Thomas 13 step daughter of Mary Jane and Rueben Thomas
Pension papers indicate David R. Price born 25 Dec 1821 and died 16 April 1900. He is buried in Big Ridge Cemetery in Cottage Township near Cottage Grove, Illinois, next to his first wife Eliza Summers Price.

In June of 1900 Mary Jane Price is listed with four sons, Walter, John, Joseph and Harley on the 1900 Saline Co., Illinois census. David and Louis have married and left the home and Charles has apparently died as he is not listed on Mary Jane's pension affidavit which lists her surviving children.

Marriage records on the Illinois state archive list are only through 1900 so determining the spouses of each of the sons has been more difficult. Some information has been gained from the World War I registration records by comparing the birth dates to the dates listed on Mary's affidavit. Several of them list the first names of their wives.

Mary Jane Price is living alone in the 1910 Saline Co. census and in 1920 Saline Co census she is living with her youngest son Harley and his wife Catherine. They have four children, Bessie, Leo, Cleo and Mary. In 1930 Saline Co census she is still living  with Harley who is now married to Ida Keith. His son Leo is with him as well and his mother in law and step children; Sidney, Walter and John Snyder.

In 1938 Harley and his wife Ida died in a house fire. The story goes that he died tried to save his mother. This a letter to the pension office by Mary Price.  Mary died the following year August 1, 1939. She is buried in Eldorado Cemetery in Saline Co., Illinois.

Due to the length of this page, the available history of the children of David R. Price will be on their own pages which I will link  here when they are compiled. If you are related to any of these children, please provide a family history to be included.

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