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