Julian Price Was born in Richmond, VA in 1867.
    He relished his reputation as a polite, though scrappy, man of principle and vision. He was admired and respected within his family, community, and industry.
    Shortly before his death, the Greensboro Democrat, devoted almost an entire issue to Price, giving some insight into his unconventional character. For example, Price reportedly didn't own a home until he was 60 years old, choosing instead to rent: "Fools build houses. Wise men live in them," he believed.
    Other bits of Price wisdom were recorded for posterity: "Stay out of debt. If you don't owe any money, you're able to look a man in the eye and tell him to go to Hell," and "I like a fellow with his shoulders back and his head up. A fellow who looks like he is going somewhere, even if he isn't."
   In 1946 Price was killed in an auto accident in North Wilkesboro, NC. He was 79.

History | Connections

How is this locomotive connected to WBT?

Did it deliver the station's transmitter? No. As far as we know, the engine was never nearer than 90 miles to the radio station.

Actually, the engine was one of several that pulled the trains on the Atlantic & Yadkin, one of North Carolina's many short line railroads. Established in 1899, the A&Y was a subsidiary of the Southern Railroad and ran from Mt. Airy to Sanford.

The president of the Atlantic & Yadkin—a former SR telegrapher and ticket agent—from 1919 until his death in 1946, was a man from Greensboro named Julian Price.

Several other A&Y officers and directors called Greensboro home, including the A&Y's treasurer, Joseph M. Bryan—who was also Price's son-in-law.

In addition to his duties at the A&Y, Price simultaneously worked for the Greensboro Life Insurance Company.

Another insurance company, Jefferson Standard, had been founded in Raleigh in 1907 by brothers P. D. and Charles W. Gold, members of a prominent newspaper family from Wilson. It began with half a million dollars in capital, the largest corporation ever to have been established in North Carolina. At the time, only 111 life insurance companies existed in the entire country when it opened its doors (compared to about 2,000 in the early 1990s).

In 1912 Jefferson Standard merged with two other companies, one of which was Greensboro Life, thus acquiring the services of Julian Price. Only seven years later, in 1919, Price was named Jefferson Standard's president. He played a pivotal role in the company's growth and success until his death in 1946.

In 1934 Jefferson formed a subsidiary, Southeastern Broadcasting Co., and named Joseph Bryan its president. As its first acquisition, Southeastern purchased WBIG, which then was Greensboro's only radio station. And in 1935, just a year before Julian Price's accidental death, it bought Charlotte's WBT from the Columbia Broadcasting System. Shortly thereafter, Southeastern was renamed to Jefferson Standard Broadcasting.

In 1949 the broadcasting company brought the first television station to the Carolinas. In the latter half of the 20th century the company expanded its ownership of radio and TV properties across the country.



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Bryan Park

Joseph M. Bryan was born on February 11, 1896 in Elyria, Ohio, the second son of Bart and Caroline Ebert Bryan. When he was young the family moved to Massachusetts.
    After serving with the U.S. Army in France in World War I, Bryan joined a New York City cotton firm, learning the business from riding horseback in Haiti to seal cotton deals to trading cotton in the city. In 1923, he became a member of the New York Cotton Exchange.
   On November 19, 1927, he married Kathleen Price, daughter of Julian Price. In 1931, Bryan, then treasurer of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railroad, joined Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company in Greensboro, whose president was Bryan's father-in-law.
    In 1934, when the company launched a subsidiary broadcasting company, Bryan became its president. Bryan remained president of Jefferson Standard Broadcasting until 1963, when he was succeeded by Charles H. Crutchfield.
   Through Bryan's long career he served as senior vice president of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, chairman of Pilot Life Insurance Company and board member of the holding corporation, Jefferson-Pilot. In 1993, he was named honorary and life time member of the board. He was an important benefactor to the city of Greensboro, serving on many civic boards. He created the Bryan Foundation in the 1950's. Many educational institutions in North Carolina have benefitted from its extensive financial support.
   From the 1960's through the '80's many of us remember seeing Mr. Bryan when he attended the annual Broadcast Company board meetings in Charlotte. He died on April 26, 1995 at 99.