WWI Profile: Francis Dillard Price 1894-1971

NC WWI Service Card
Francis Dillard “Dillard” Price was born in Southport, son of William Ayers “Willie” Price and Carrie Geanette (or Jeanette) Tharp. The 1900 Census, and 1910 Census shows the family continued to live in Southport. His father was a farmer. There were a total of 13 children.

Dillard’s nephew, Bill Price, shared the following information about the family, as well as these photos of Dillard and wife Evie, and Dillard’s parents, aunt, uncle, and grandparents.

“Dillard’s father, Willie Price, operated a large farm near what is now the Athletic Park.

“Dillard’s grandfather’s name is Francis Dawson Price, III. He enlisted in the Confederate Navy, serving as a landsman (novice seaman) on the ironclad sloop CSS North Carolina. He was injured in the Civil War. Dillard’s grandmother’s name was Julia Ann Swain Price.

“Dillard’s aunt and uncle were Edney V.”Lillian” Price Swain and McDermit D Price. His uncle worked on his father’s farm and she was a school teacher. The four of them are buried in the Price Family Cemetery located at the Athletic Park. Another aunt was Florence Catherine Price Swain.”

These two photos are Dillard and wife Evie. The remaining photos are identified by filename.

Dillard was eligible for the first draft on June 5, 1917. His draft registration shows that he was farming for his father.

Francis Dillard Price’s signature on his draft registration:

On July 13, 1918, Dillard was ordered to report for duty. His training began at Clemson, SC.
Source: Ancestry.com. U.S., Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

The official documents for the Students’ Army Training Corps (SATC), shared in a previous post, seem to indicate that drafted soldiers may apply for the Corps. But what’s curious is that Pvt Price’s NC WWI Service Card at top shows he transferred from the SATC to the CAC (Coastal Artillery Corps) at Fort Moultrie on September 13, 1918. The SATC did not officially begin until October 1918.

His VA Index, shown here, indicates he served in the CAC, as well as the military marker at his grave which is shown below. Typically, both the index and marker show the last assignment during the war.

There’s no reason to doubt he served in the SATC for a time, but the sequence of events cannot be determined from the available documents. As his 1940 Census information shows, he had not completed high school, which is typically a condition of the Collegiate Section of the SATC. However, Clemson did have a Vocational Section and Dillard seemed qualified for it.

All of this is relevant only to determine whether to include Pvt Price in the SATC list. He served until his honorable discharge on December 6, 1918.

Dillard returned home to live with his parents, according to the 1920 Census. He married Evie Ann McDowell in 1926. The 1930 Census and 1940 Census show they continued living in Southport while farming and had one son.

Source: Findagrave
Francis Dillard Price passed away on October 10, 1971 at age 77. He was laid to rest in Northwood Cemetery in Southport.

His son, Dillard Hugh Price, served his country in the US Navy during WWII, then as a civil servant for 30 years. He passed away in 2015 and was also laid to rest in Northwood Cemetery. His obituary is printed on his findagrave page.

To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor Francis Dillard Price or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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