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BRAY, Sanford - 1912 Bio (1851-1936)


Posted By: Debbie Nash (email)
Date: 12/17/2003 at 18:39:26

History of Jefferson County - 1912, Volume II, Pages 393-395


Sanford BRAY is one of the representative citizens of Black Hawk township, where he owns and successfully operates a farm of eighty acres, located on section 12. He was born on the township line between Penn and Black Hawk townships, one mile south of, where Keokuk, Washington and Jefferson counties join, on the 24th of January, 1851. His parents were Jerry and Emma (HADLEY) BRAY, the former a native of North Carolina and of Scotch-Irish (sic) extraction. The first eleven years of his life Jerry BRAY spent in his native state, going from there to Indiana, where he lived until 1848, when with his wife and family he removed to Iowa. Upon his arrival in Jefferson county he bought a farm in Black Hawk township, living in Penn township until he could obtain possession of his homestead. There he lived for forty-six years, passing away on the 24th of January, 1894, the forty-third anniversary of the birth of his son Sanford. The mother died during the infancy of our subject, and the father later remarried Miss Tempy GREESON, a daughter of George GREESON, a pioneer farmer of Keokuk county. Mr. BRAY was called upon to mourn the loss of his second wife in 1891 (sic - December 1, 1890), her death occurring on their homestead.

Black Hawk township has always been the home of Sanford BRAY, who began his education in the district schools of Penn township, which he attended until the first district school in Black Hawk township was completed. He later supplemented the course received there by four terms of study in Central College at Wapello, in which institution he taught between terms. Returning home at the end of that period he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, remaining on the farm with his father until his marriage. Subsequent to this event he located on a farm in Penn township that he operated as a renter for five years. This proved to be a very profitable undertaking and in 1881 he bought the place where he now lives, but did not remove there until February, 1882. Here he has ever since resided, and during the twenty-nine years of his occupancy has wrought many changes in the property. He is a capable agriculturist and gives the closest supervision to everything about his place, the general appearance of which is highly suggestive of thrift and prosperity. Good barns and outbuilding, a comfortable residence, well graded stock and fertile fields, that annually yield abundant harvests, are all to be found here, bespeaking capable management and intelligently directed effort. Mr. BRAY is most enterprising and his farm is operated in accordance with modern agricultural methods and is yielding good returns.

On the 25th of March, 1875, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. BRAY and Miss Ruth PICKARD of Pleasant Plains and a daughter of William and Mary (BELL) PICKARD. The father was one of the successful farmers of Penn township, where he passed away more than twenty years ago. His death was the result of injuries sustained when he was thrown from a horse a few months previously. He fell on his head and spine and broke one leg, and although he suffered intensely he lingered for a hundred days before death relieve him of his pain. The mother survived him and during the last five years of her life she made her home with her daughter, Mrs. BRAY. The family of Mr. and Mrs. BRAY numbered five children: Elbert, who for twelve years was employed in the Woolson store, but is now located at Boulder, Colorado, married Eva MORGAN of Black Hawk township and they have one daughter, Freda. Nellie, who is the second in order of birth, died when she was twelve years of age. Hattie married T. L. STEWART, a farmer of Keokuk county. William Ralph, who is engaged in farming in this township, married Hattie ORR. Mary Ethel is a sophomore at Central College, Wapello. She graduated from the district school at the age of thirteen years, then entered the academy at Pleasant Plain and for six years after her graduation from this institution engaged in teaching.

Both Mr. and Mrs. BRAY are members of the Baptist church of Penn township, and fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, having belonged to the Richland camp since its organization, eighteen years ago. In politics Mr. BRAY is a republican, but he is bitterly opposed to the liquor traffic, so does not indorse this party’s attitude on that question. He has several times been called to public office, having served for a year as trustee, two as assessor and three as clerk. For fourteen years he was secretary of the township school board, and was a member of the local board of school directors for several terms and president for one year. Mr. BRAY is widely and favorably known in Jefferson county, where he has met with a fair degree of prosperity and has a large circle of friends, who appreciate his many substantial qualities and high principles.

I am copying this for genealogical purposes and am not related to the said individuals.


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