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Stop 30: The Alfred Francis Price and Mildred Huckabay Price Park

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AUDIO NARRATION*
Copyright © 2024
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The Alfred Francis “Frank Price and Mildred Butts Huckabay Price Park was named for two extraordinary public servants, Frank Price who served in leadership positions across many civic and professional roles. (His official name was Alfred Francis Price and his wife. A native of Gainesville.

Price moved to Dade City with his family in 1885.) He witnessed and contributed to the development of the fledgling city and county. His work started early at Greer’s Mill, a lively lumber yard near Zephyrhills, where he served as bookkeeper and soon after he was active with the Bank of Pasco. Price was president of Bank of Pasco when he died in 1961. He founded the Kiwanis Club and served in the city’s national guard unit. Not surprising he was president of the Dade City Council as well and Mayor of Dade City from 1915 to 1916. He served on the board of Jackson Memorial Hospital and was also a trustee of the school system. The Chamber of Commerce, and the Committee of 100 passed a resolution recognizing Price’s dedication.  

 

    The historical marker at the park placed in 2019, states: 

 

Price Park is part of the W.T. Anderson’s addition (platted in 1888) and the Chas. H. Robinson’s addition (platted in 1906). The park is the former site of the A.F. Price home purchased in 1917 from W.I. Porter. Alfred Francis “Frank” Price (1885-1961) served as Mayor of Dade City from 1915-1916. 

 

He was the fifth President of the Bank of Pasco County from 1930 until his passing, having begun his career there in 1908 as assistant cashier and later cashier. Also, active in the citrus industry, Mr. Price was one of the primary organizers of Pasco Packing Association in 1936.  Remaining today from that earlier ownership are the tennis courts (originally a single clay court) rumored to be the oldest courts still in use in Pasco County. Part of the property was bound by a distinctive brick and poured concrete wall, which was constructed by local contractor, James Knox Ward (also an earlier mayor). The City of Dade City acquired the land from the Price-Huckaby family in 1967. The park was designated as Price Park in recognition of Mr. Price’s contributions to the community.

 

      Price married Mildred Butts Huckabay, a young widow and they settled in a house that had been moved from Zellwood in Lake County, Florida which was renovated by a previous president of the bank, Washington Irving Porter. Contractor Glen Boring worked on the set up of the house. The exemplary property possessed the only tennis court in the area with a scoring/judge tower. Mildred was a reading teacher and librarian at Pasco High School and served many years in education. The house dated to 1887, and was noteworthy in that the tower structure which was taken down a few years ago as rumor was that it was a look-out tower for World War II planes, etc. Granddaughter Susan Peterson however, explained that the wooden structure was a tennis structure for scoring the tennis matches. At the time of the Price household, the tennis court at what is now Price Park was one of the only ones available and locals played there regularly. Obviously, Dade City’s famous son, Jim Courier, a world-wide tennis champion, hit a few tennis balls there over time. Susan also provided an array of historical photos of James Price that are endearing family photos as well as a display of the original five founders of Pasco Packing of which Price was one. 

 

     Price Park has been in existence for over fifty years and has experienced change with handball courts built by the Jaycees, additional tennis courts, beautiful landscaping. Challenges came as trees were sometimes fought for and other times razed. Festivals and events dot the history. In 2013, a dog park was added. The park evolves with the times and the memories of Frank and Mildred endure.

  • 1885

    Alfred Francis “Frank” Price moved to Dade City from Gainesville, Florida with his family.

  • 1905

    Glen Boring, contractor set up the 1887 Washington Irving Porter house after moving it from Zellwood of Lake County on what is now Price Park.

  • 1907

    Mildred O. Butts moved to Dade City with her parents, the late Dr. and Mrs. Elwyn Butts.

  • 1908

    Alfred Francis “Frank” Price becomes assistant cashier at Bank of Pasco County and is later cashier.

  • 1917

    Alfred Francis “Frank” Price purchases house from Washington Irving Porter.

  • 1922

    Alfred Francis “Frank” Price became president of the Bank of Pasco County.

  • 1924

    Alfred Francis “Frank” Price founded Kiwanis Club as Charter member and first president.

  • 1934

    Mildred Butts Huckabay was one of ten teachers at Pasco High School.

  • 1936

    Alfred Francis “Frank” Price serves as an organizer of Pasco Packing Association.

  • 1940

    Mildred Butts Huckabay was the librarian at Pasco High School.

  • 1947

    Alfred Francis Price and Mildred O. Butts Huckabay married.

  • 1961

    Alfred Francis “Frank” Price died.

  • 1966

    Mildred Butts Price died at age 72.

  • 1967

    City of Dade City acquires land from Price family for Price Park for the sum of $32,500.

  • 1967

    86-year-old Martin Lekarcyk volunteered seven days a week at park.

  • 1968

    Razed clay tennis court, the only one in Dade City, and prepared to build to new tennis courts.

  • 1970

    Officially named the city block park on Meridian Avenue as Price Park in memory of former owners, the late, Alfred Francis Price and Mildred O. Butts Price.

  • 1971

    Controversy over trees being removed on Price Park; Chamber member Marie Huff advocated for trees to remain.

  • 1972

    Handball courts were constructed by the Jaycees.

  • 2009

    Received Department of Environmental Protection Grant for park.

  • 2013

    Dog Park added.

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