OWENSBORO, Ky. (04/08/13) – Author and teacher Eddie Price has always loved history, and has always loved to read. He is quick to give credit for this to his high school history teacher, Floyd Hooks, who taught in the Daviess County School system for more than 31 years, and also was named Outstanding Teacher at Daviess County High School three different times. Price fosters a particular affection for the time period around 1811-1825, in which the War of 1812 took place. According to Price, a lot of people don’t really know about the War of 1812, nor do they realize that it lasted until 1815.
As much as Price loves to talk about the War of 1812, he is quick to share that his love for the Commonwealth of Kentucky is first and foremost in his mind. Price shared that 64 percent of the casualties in the conflict between 1811 and 1815 were from Kentucky . Seventeen other states sent troops, but Kentucky suffered the greatest number of casualties.
Eddie Price is a lifelong native of Kentucky. After graduating from Kentucky Wesleyan College (BA) and Western Kentucky University (MA and Rank 1), Price went on to teach high school history for 36 years, with 31 being at Hancock County High School, as well as teaching for 21 years, part time for the Owensboro Community and Technical College. In his time as an educator, Price received numerous awards, including the Outstanding American History Teacher Award from KATH (Kentucky Association for the Teachers of History) and the KCSS (Kentucky Council for Social Studies). In 2000, Murray state University named him Outstanding High School History Teacher Kentucky, and Campbellsville awarded him the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012. His students voted him “Teacher of the Year” numerous times. Price is an avid world traveler, who also enjoys bicycling, horseback riding, and swimming.
Among all of his other achievements, world travels, and hobbies, one of Price’s shining moments was when his new book, “Widder’s Landing”, first hit bookstore shelves in September of 2012. In just six short months, it has sold more than 1,500 copies, and is about to be released in its third printing.
“Widder’s Landing,” of course, is a war story.
“This is the story about a gunsmith who comes to Kentucky . He tries his hand at farming, and he has a lot of crazy experiences in that. When the war comes, he tries to avoid going. He doesn’t go with the groups to Canada or up North, but when one of his brothers-in-law falls at Fort Meigs , he decides he is going to go to war,” Price said of the book.
“Widder’s Landing” took Price five years to fully research and write, while at the same time he continued teaching high school and college history.
“I sort of knew what I wanted to do, and I had a sketch,” said Price. “You had to think about things like the language that was used back then. I read a lot of deeds, bills of sale, letters, and newspapers from the time period to kind of get an idea of how they talked, and I tried to put that in the book.”
Price also drew inspiration from his own life.
“All of the characters are me or they’re people that I have observed,” Price said. Of course, the stories focus, Craig Ridgeway, is an extension of Price, himself. According to Price, “I was the type that always wanted to bash my head against the wall before somebody showed me there was a door I could walk through, as well as the restlessness, to want of adventure… that’s me.”
“Widder’s Landing” has received nationwide attention from many history organizations. In January, 2012, the Michigan State Society Daughters of 1812 participated in the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of River Raisin at Monroe, Mich. This year, a Spirit of 1812 Award was presented to Price for his work on “Widder’s Landing.” After seeing copies of his book presented to the governor of Kentucky, the State Senate and the State House of Representatives, Price has seen “Widder’s Landing” gain much more statewide attention. According to Price, the Kentucky Historical Society has now endorsed it as part of their role in the Kentucky Bicentennial Commission on the War of 1812. Price has also mentioned that two separate movie companies are in possession of his book, and that it is being considered for a possible screenplay.
“Widder’s Landing” can be found for purchase locally at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History and Books-A-Million. It is also available online at www.booksamillion.com, www.amazon.com, www.acclaimpress.com, and www.barnesandnoble.com.
Photos provided by Eddie Price
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