Rev. Jacob Price

An active Baptist minister and leader in Covington’s African American Community. Jacob Price was born in April 1839 in Woodford County, Kentucky. He was married to Mary Singer Price (1848-1924). The couple had four children: John, Charles, and Anna Price Hood. Anna Price Hood was a long time teacher in Covington’s African American public schools. Sources indicate that Jacob Price moved to Covington, Kentucky in 1859. In the 1860 Census, he is listed as a free man of color. By 1864, he was named pastor of the Black Baptist Church on Bremen Street (eventually, the congregation re-located to E. 9th Street).

Price was an early advocate in providing educational opportunities for Covington’s African American population. On April 17, 1866, a group of concerned citizens met in the Covington City Hall to establish a school for African American Children. Among those present was Jacob Price. The first classes at the new school were held in the home of Jacob Price at 61 Bremen Street. With a few years, this school was absorbed by the Covington Public School System. In 1886, Price worked diligently to establish a high school for African Americans in Covington. That year, William Grant High School opened its doors. Prices’ daughter, Ann, was in the first graduating class of William Grant High School in 1889.

Jacob Price was a well know lumber dealer in the region. He established his business in 1881. A decade later, sales had increased to $15,000 per year, and the firm was employing two delivery teams and two yardmen. The business was located at 426 and 428 Madison Avenue. Price operated the business until about 1914. Jacob and Mary Singer Price lived in several homes in Covington over the years. Their first known home was at 61 Bremen Street (now Pershing Street). By 1886, they were living at the northwest corner of 10th and Prospect Streets. In 1914, Price and his wife narrowly escaped death. Their home caught fire and the 74 year old was forced to jump to safety from a second story window. The blaze caused $1,200 in damages.

Jacob Price died on March 1, 1923 in Covington. His widow and two children survived him. Services were conducted at the First Baptist Church (African American) on E. 9th Street. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate, Kentucky. His small obituary in the Kentucky Post stated, “He was held in high esteem by both races.” Mary Singer Price, Jacob’s wife, died on April 20, 1924. The Price home at the corner of Prospect and 10th Streets was demolished in 1967. Price worked energetically to build up the African American community in Covington. He took an active role in the relocation of the First Baptist (African American) Church to E. Ninth Street. He also supported the establishment of the Ninth Street Methodist Episcopal Church. Price was honored for his work in 1939, when the new government-housing unit for African Americans was dedicated to his memory. The new Jacob Price homes were located on Greenup Street in the heart of Covington’s African American community.

Cincinnati Daily Gazette, April 19, 1866; Illustrated Cincinnati: The Queen City of the West, 1891, (New York: Acme Publishing and Engraving); Kentucky Post, February 21, 1913, p. 8, March 2, 1923, p. 1, January 19, 1987, p. 4k; Kentucky Times-Star, January 26, 1939.

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