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Gilbert L. Pray (1870-1939)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 4/6/2022 at 14:50:21

Gilbert Leroy Pray, M. D.
(December 8, 1870 August 19, 1939)

Successfully engaged in the practice of medicine in Lake City, Dr. Pray has gained a leading position among the members of the medical fraternity, although he is one of the younger representatives of the calling in Calhoun County. He was born in Webster City, Hamilton County, Iowa, December 8, 1870, and is the son of Gilbert and Mary (Beauchaine) Pray, the former a native of New York, and the latter of Canada, while both were of French extraction. In the year 1859 the father came to Iowa and the mother's people arrived two years later. The former accompanied William Pray, the doctor's grandfather, who came with his family and for many years remained an honored resident of the state, spending the latter part of his life in Hamilton County, passing away, however, about fifteen years ago. When the family went to Webster City, the country round about was wild and unbroken, and the Doctor's grandfather killed a buffalo upon his present farm there. In January, 1901, Gilbert Pray removed to Des Moines, where he is now treasurer of the Royal Union Insurance Company. For many years he was a successful lawyer of Webster City and is a gentleman of splendid business ability and strong character. In his family were four children: Carl B., a resident of Des Moines; Harry, who is living in Arkansas; Caro, of Des Moines; and G. E. In the common schools Doctor Pray pursued his preliminary education and entered the Iowa State College, at Ames, where he was graduated with the class of 1893. Determining to make the practice of medicine his life work he matriculated in the State Medical College at Iowa City, where he was graduated in 1897. He then established an office in Webster City, where he remained until April 23, 1898, when he became assistant surgeon of the Fiftieth Iowa Infantry, and at the time the Spanish-American war was inaugurated he went with his regiment to one of the camps of the country, holding the rank of first lieutenant. The regiment was stationed at Jacksonville, Florida, and on the 30th of November, 1898, was mustered out. In December of the same year the Doctor was appointed surgeon of the United States regular army and was detailed for service in the Twelfth United States Infantry in the general hospital at San Francisco, California, where he continued until February, 1899. On the expiration of that period he was sent to the Philippine Islands with his regiment and was there engaged in field service, being on the firing line at Culunipit, San Fernando, Angeles, Barnabas, Dagalpa Bridge and Tarlac, also in numerous skirmishes and bushwhacking warfare. Doctor Pray remained in the Philippines until November 28, 1899. He was the surgeon in charge of the army hospital on the ship Rio Janeiro. Proceeding to San Francisco he arrived there on the 22d of December, and on the following day resigned his commission. Dr. Pray then came to Lake City and entered upon the general practice of medicine. He has won success here and has gained an enviable reputation which places him in the ranks of the leading physicians of the community. He keeps in touch with the most advanced thought in his profession and is a member of the Central District, the Northwestern Medical and the Iowa State Medical societies. Socially he is connected with Acacia Lodge, No. 176, F. & A. M., of Webster City, and in his political affiliations is a Republican. His experience in the Philippines has added to his interesting fund of information concerning the various countries in which he has traveled. Doctor Pray is a young man of strong character, of laudable ambition and of earnest purpose, and has attained a position as representative of the medical profession that has insured to him a very liberal patronage and gained for him the respect of his fellow practitioners. [Source Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S. J. Clarke, 1902, p.310]


Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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