From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Price, Julius Elliott, Sr.

(born: December 19, 1937  -  died: April 24, 1983) 

In 1955, Julius E. Price, Sr. was the second African American from Kentucky to be nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the first nominated by a Kentucky Congressman. Price, from Louisville, KY, had just graduated from Central High School when he received the appointment from Senator Earle C. Clements. Price received a $6,000 scholarship to attend West Point. 

He attended West Point for one year, then married and transferred to Wabash College where he was the second African American student at Wabash and second to graduate. After graduation, Price returned to Louisville where he became an assistant to the executive officer of the Mammoth Life Insurance Company. His grandfather, Henry E. Hall, had been a founding member and former president of the company. Julius Price's return to Louisville was also the beginning of his political career.

In 1961 he was named president of the Joe Ray Young Republican Club. The organization had previously been named the Jefferson County Young Republican Club: The name was changed to honor Joseph R. Ray, Sr., an assistant to the national housing administrator. In 1965 Louisville Mayor William O. Cowger appointed Price to the Anti-discrimination Division of the Louisville Human Relations Commission on which he served for almost three years. 

In 1968 Price and W. W. Butler developed the Ken Carla Vista Subdivision on Highway 42 at Harrods Creek Bridge. The following year at age 31, Price became the first African American appointed to the Louisville and Jefferson County Board of Health. The board operated Louisville General Hospital and the Louisville-Jefferson County Health Department. The Louisville Branch of the NAACP had recommended Price’s appointment. He was reappointed to the board in 1971.

Price was a Republican candidate for 10th Ward Alderman in 1968. He was successful in the May primary, defeating Martha Beasley, but lost the November election with 38,969 votes to Democrat Chester Terry's 44,911. Following the election, Price was named to an 18-member steering committee established to study proposals for broadening geographic and ethnic representation in local GOP decision-making and to open primary elections where no candidate is endorsed by the Republican organization.   

In 1970, Price was promoted from Vice President to President of Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company. He replaced Junius E. Hankins, who resigned due to health reasons. Hankins had been with the company for 43 years, president 14 of those years. He was elected vice president in 1945 and became president in 1956. Mammoth was the largest Negro-owned business in Louisville, and also had offices in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Missouri. 

Julius Price continued to serve on various boards and was associate director of the Louisville Urban League. In 1972, he was one of the nine organizers of the Continental National Bank of Kentucky; the main office of the bank was located in the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance building. The other organizers were Howard C. Curtis, Joe B. Hammond, Monroe Boller, Kenneth H. Clay, Jerome Hutchinson, Stuart A. Handmaker, Rev. Charles A. Tachau, and Rev. Ralph M. Gray.

In 1981, Julius Price became the first African American named to the board of regents at Western Kentucky University, and he served on the University of Louisville Board of Overseers. The Julius E. Price Scholastic Achievement Award at Western Kentucky University was named in his honor.

Julius E. Price, Sr. died in 1983. He was the son of George I. Price and Hilda H. Butler. His mother Hilda Hall Butler was the daughter of Henry H. Hall, a founder of the Mammoth Life Insurance Company, established July 12, 1915. She had served as the company secretary and vice president.

SOURCES: see "Kentucky Boy, 17, appointed to West Point," Jet, 6/02/1955, p. 4 [available at Google Books]; "Clements names Louisville Negro to United States Military Academy," The Courier-Journal, 5/19/1955, p. 20; "Central High School graduates record class of 297," The Courier-Journal, 6/4/1955, p.15; R. Wedgeworth, "Contradictions in American life: the inaugural John W. Evans Lecture," at Wabash College, 10/1/2008 [available online]; "Julius Price heads Joe Ray G.O.P. Club," The Courier-Journal, 8/25/1961, p. 5; 2 Named to rights division," The Courier-Journal, 5/13/1965, p. 19; "Schmied appoints four to Rights Commission," The Courier-Journal, 1/9/1968, pp. 1 & A16; "King Carla Vista," The Courier-Journal, 12/12/1968, p. B18; "J. E. Price, Sr. 1st Negro named to health board," The Courier-Journal, 2/11/1969, p. 11; Price learns new role: health board consumer," The Courier-Journal, 2/17/1969, p. 17; "Full list of Republicans, Democrats running in city, county primary," The Courier-Journal, 4/14/1969, p. 14; "Aldermanic constable races," 5/29/1969, p. D1; "How county voting went," The Courier-Journal, 11/6/1969, p. 12; "Steering committee named to study Jefferson GOP," The Courier-Journal, 12/13/1969, p. 4; "Price is named," Messenger-Inquirer, 3/13/1970, p. 4; "Mammoth Life picks J. E. Price as President," The Courier-Journal, 3/13/1970, p. B13; "Group hopes to start black-controlled bank," The Courier-Journal, 10/31/1972, p. 27; "Julius Price named to WKU Board of Regents," The Dawson Springs Progress, 6/11/1981, p. 11; "Insurance firm president, Julius E. Price, Sr. dies," The Courier-Journal, 4/26/1983, p. 16; and "Paducah coed to land WKU scholastic honor," The Paducah Sun, 4/22/1984, p. 16. 

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“Price, Julius Elliott, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 17, 2024, https://ukscrc001.net/nkaa/items/show/2131.

Last modified: 2023-09-02 14:55:03