Centennial History of Mason County
By Joseph Cochrane
Springfield, Ill., 1876

 

WALTER DRAY
Page 222

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 business.

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

 


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