19. Price Road

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    Price Road was named after a local government official, Arthur Ernest Price. He was the first local Justice of the Peace and drafted the town's first charter. He owned the land near the Chandler Fashion Square Mall. Price Road is located next to the Loop 101 and runs on both side of the freeway.

    Arthur Price was born in Washington in 1889. He graduated from Washington State University in 1909 and then went to Harvard Law School. He met Louise Chandler when he arrived in Chandler, Arizona. Because World War II had begun and Price had enlisted, he was sent to Arkansas to wait for deployment. While he was in Arkansas, Louise and her father, Harry Chandler, went to see him before he left. Louise and Arthur were married before he left for the war. Louise was the niece of Dr. A. J. Chandler, who was the founder of the City of Chandler. He was essential to the town because of his hard work and ingenuity in building a canal system and developing the town.

    Price2.jpgAfter Arthur Price returned from World War I, he worked as attorney and began acquiring land. He owned land primarily in west Chandler where the Intel plants and the Chandler Fashion Mall are located today. Arthur Price, the first local Justice of the Peace, drafted the town's first charter, and in May of 1920, the citizens voted to incorporate and become the Town of Chandler.

    Suzanne Price Propstra the daughter of Arthur and Louise Price describes her father “as a man who played golf, had many friends, owned a lot of land and had horses and cattle.” She also remembers her great uncle Dr. A.J. Chandler, “he would come over to the house all the time and take us places in his car with his chauffeur; he also took me to the World’s Fair. He loved us dearly, and we loved him just like a grandfather.”

    The Prices mainly grew cotton and alfalfa on the farms that they owned. Price owned all the farms and ranches on his land, but had different people managing them. He personally oversaw the planting and the harvesting of the 350 acres of land near his home. This is the house where he lived in his later years and where Price Road is today.Price3.jpg

    The house is currently the Chandler Museum at the McCullough-Price House.  The house was originally built in 1938 by William D. McCullough. Designed by well-known architects Lescher and Mahoney, the home has four bedrooms, maid's quarters, a roof patio, and built-in barbecue in the back yard. The house sat in the middle of 350 acres of alfalfa and cotton fields, set back half a mile from Price Road. The public history program's website further explains:

    "Arthur and Louise Price purchased the home from the Lockheads. The two lived in the home until the early 1970s. Arthur died in 1971 at the age of 82 and Louise lived a few years longer. After 1973 the house passed into the hands of Suzanne Price Propstra, who rented the house and farm. By the late 1970s, some of the farming operations were beginning to fade as electronics manufacturers established plants in West Chandler. The land surrounding the Price House remained agricultural until the 1980s, when the Valley-wide housing boom expanded into Chandler's once rural areas. The house, with its distinctive southwestern flair that contrasted with other traditional farmhouses scattered about Chandler, has remained almost unchanged over time."

    Local historian Jean Reynolds interviewed both Suzanne and Diane Propstra in January 2004. Diane Propstra, the granddaughter of Arthur and Louise Price, described their house and the way that they lived: “It’s important to remember what the city was like before development hit. Nobody thought anything of Chandler. Just as that home was advanced for its day and age, so was he in his thinking…if you think about how he came from Washington, how he got to Arizona at that point in time is just remarkable-to think that people would have foresight to say that this place is really worth developing. I think the home is sort of like an outward and visible symbol of how he thought and how he lived his life and my great grandfather.”

    This family was an essential part of Chandler and it is important to remember the hard work that went into making the town what it is today. The Price family still owns part of West Chandler and left their mark on this growing town.

    By Joshua Fritz

     

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