DAVID LIVINGSTON PRICE, JR.
1910 MO – 1998 TN
Cover of Genii magazine (1962)
Nashville, Davidson Co., TN—31 July 1998
David L. Price Jr., 87, 1954 Old Hickory Blvd.,
Brentwood, a certified public accountant for the Internal Revenue Service, died
yesterday [July 30] Mariner Health Care. Cause not disclosed. Private graveside
services 11 a.m. Monday, Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery. Roesch
Patton Austin Bracey & Charlton in charge.
Survivors: wife, Virginia Price; son, David
Price III, Nashville; sister, Martha Kuleg, Florida.
article, same source:
WAVE A WAND AND RECALL A MAN WHO REVERED MAGIC
By Frank Ritter
About six months ago, a teen-age friend of mine
confided that he was interested in becoming a magician, and asked my advice.
I told him, “First we start with David Price.”
Then we drove out to Old Hickory Boulevard, just off Hillsboro Road, to David’s
house and visited in David’s home what is perhaps the greatest museum of magic
and magicians in the United States, if not the world.
David, 87, confined to a wheelchair because of
injuries to his feet from World War II, was a gracious host. He knew everything
there is to about magicians—from Houdini to David Copperfield, who has made
several visits to the private museum.
Copperfield once asked if he could buy the
museum, which is priceless. Or if he could inherit it when David died. David,
such a gentle, soft-spoken man with a great sense of humor, replied with a
chuckle, “No, I think it will go to my son, David Jr.”
David Jr., of Nashville, now has the museum,
because his father died early yesterday morning.... Burial service will be
Private funeral services! I guess that’s because
David Price, a retired auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, was a private
person. He didn’t go looking for attention. You had to draw him out—but, oh,
when you drew him out, the stories he could tell!
Stories about magic, which David fell in love
with at age 6 when he came across a preacher who got youngsters into church by
doing magic tricks. By the time David was 18, he was appearing before civic
clubs and small-town audiences.
David’s favorite magician of all time was
Alexander Herrmann, who played the Egyptian Hall in London—which is why David
called his own museum “The Egyptian Hall.”
.... David went to war with the U.S. Army in the
1940s and served in both Europe and the Pacific. He walked a lot with a
backpack, and when he came out of the war, his feet were in such bad shape that
he could never walk again.
He came home to his wife, Virginia, whom he had
met on a blind date in Nashville and married June 19, 1934. Virginia is herself
quite a character, well-known in Nashville’s political circles because she is a
self-professed “yellow dog Democrat.”
“Yellow-dog Democrat” means that you would vote
for a yellow dog before you would consider voting for a Republican. That’s how
passionate Virginia is about her politics.
David was never that way. His interests were in
other things. Magic!
Walking into David’s museum is an experience of
a lifetime. Look at it: There are magic wands. Magic cards. A pair of handcuffs
used by Houdini. Thousands of posters advertising magic shows....
In the museum, there are clippings describing
the death of the great magician Lafayette, who burned to death trying to save
his horses during a theater fire in Scotland, May 8, 1911. Lafayette was buried
with his dog, which had died a week earlier. He loved the dog, which had been
given to him by Houdini when both of them were once in Nashville.
You never knew before, did you, that Houdini
once visited Nashville? David could have told you that!
David Price (1910-1998), born in St. Louis,
Missouri, was the owner of the Egyptian Hall Museum and author of Magic: A
Pictorial History of Conjurers in the Theater (1985). Price devoted his
life to the study of magic and had a close friendship with magicians worldwide.
An amateur magician, he wrote many historical
articles for Genii and The
Price joined the IBM in 1929 and was a founding
member of the Southeastern Magicians Convention in 1931. He performed as
"DeLivingston" during the 1930s, until a foot injury during World War
II ended his onstage career.
In 1953 he purchased the contents of W.W.
Durbin's Egyptian Hall in Kenton, Ohio, which Durbin had decorated with
photographs of magicians (starting in 1895). That collection became the nucleus
of the Egyptian Hall Museum which was moved to Nashville, Tennessee.
After David's death, his son, Dave Price III, a
circus enthusiast and former magician took over the museum and eventually sold
the contents to Mike Caveney and George Daily. Caveney retained the rights to
the Egyptian Hall Museum name.
from Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, Nashville, Davidson Co., TN—www.findagrave.com
granted by the photographer, HistoryBuff
NOTES: SSDI records show that David L. Price (SS# issued in TX) was
born 15 Dec 1910, last residence Brentwood, Williamson Co., TN.
From Gil Alford:
David Price had a long
association with AAFA. He was inducted into the Alford Hall of Fame in 1995 for
his contributions to Alford genealogy and his support of AAFA. We published an
article about his life and his contributions to the world of magic in “David
Price, Jr., AAFA Hall of Famer,” AAFA ACTION Summer 1996, pp. 39–40.
Dave compiled a large
amount of data on his family and Alford ancestors that he generously shared
with AAFA. We began publishing it in “David Price’s Alford Genealogy,” AAFA ACTION Summer 1997.
David Price III wrote to me
on 22 August 1998 to let AAFA know that his father had died. He enclosed the
articles printed with David’s “In Remembrance,” AAFA ACTION Summer 1999. About the feature
article, he said, “It tells about his interest in magic but says nothing about
the genealogical work that occupied much of his last twenty-five or so years.
He didn’t get started on this until well after he had retired. Once he started
he loved it, as you are aware. Had he not started looking into family
connections he would have missed making friends like you.”
We will miss Dave.
His Alford lineage, from his mother: Bertha Mae
1888 TX2, Francis Marion 1856 AL3, Aretmus Salathiel 1882
GA4, Jacob 1784 VA5, William 1741 VA6, Salvator