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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Price, Gwyn Brantley

By William S. Powell, 1994

2 June 1900–27 May 1992

Gwyn Brantley Price, rural electrification advocate, was born in Clifton community, central Ashe County, the son of Avery Aster and Victoria Graybeal Price. He attended Jefferson High School in Jefferson and in 1919 Trinity College in Durham. After graduation from Emory and Henry College in Emory, Va., in 1924, he was principal of the Jefferson High School from 1924 to 1938, then worked briefly for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and beginning in 1939 with the Farm Security Administration.

A dairy farmer, Price was a member of the Farmers Cooperative Council of North Carolina, the Yadkin Valley Dairy Cooperative, the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, and the Skyline Telephone Membership Corporation. He became chairman of the North Carolina Rural Electrification Authority (REA) in 1941, when only a fourth of the state's farms had electricity; when he left the agency in 1974, 97 percent had power. With Price's assistance, farmers obtained service from private companies or set up cooperatives. At the beginning of World War II Price was able to secure a large grant making it possible for the Jones-Onslow REA group to generate the electricity needed for the Camp LeJeune Marine base.

Once electricity was available, telephone service in rural areas became his next goal. In 1945 the General Assembly took steps to support this objective and placed its implementation under his supervision. He remained on the REA board of directors until 1974.

On 4 June 1925 Price married Pauline Shoaf, and they had two children: Joseph Gwyn, Jr., and Virginia Ruth. A member of the Methodist church and the Democratic party, he was buried in Ashelawn Memorial Gardens, Jefferson.


North Carolina Biography , vol. 4 (1929)

North Carolina Manual (1969)

Raleigh News and Observer , 19 Dec. 1954 [portrait], 29 May 1992

Additional Resources:

Gwyn B. Price Papers, Duke:

Origin - location: