Walter S. Dray was born in Alleghany City, September 20, 1838, and with his
parents removed to the territory of Iowa in 1839, and in 1845 to Pike County,
Missouri, and in 1848 to Vermont, Fulton County, Illinois, the mother having
died in Iowa, and his father being at that time in California, he was in the
care of a grandmother.
From Vermont they removed to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1857, and in 1859 returned to
Illinois, and settled in Canton, Fulton County, and engaged in the jewelry
On the 27th of July, 1861, he located in Havana, where he has since resided, and
engaged in the business of jewelry, watches, clocks, musical instruments, etc.
In 1864 he took into his employ Mr. O. C. Town, of Pekin, Illinois, a workman of
rare abilities and good business tact, and after four years of successful trade
they became partners, or in the year 1868. For eleven years a successful
partnership continued, and in 1875, Mr. Dray desiring to look more especially
after his important real estate interests, sold out to Mr. Town the business so
long and so successfully prosecuted by that well known firm.
In 1864 Mr. Dray was married to Miss Louisa F., daughter of Hon. William Allen,
of Havana. The result of this union was three children, only one of whom
survives. He is a member of the Board of Alderman of the city of Havana this
centennial year, a body that is profited by his influence and business
abilities. For fifteen years Mr. Dray has been largely identified with the
interests of the city in which he resides, and the success attending the long
partnership of "Dray & Town" is simply another addition to the thousands of
cases that an observer may notice, in which fair dealing, business integrity and
an honorable sense of justice, meet their reward.
Transcribed by Mandy Reiley