Franklin E. Ray
well known physician and surgeon whose name appears above has not only achieved marked success in his profession
and attained high standing among the leading medical men of Shelby county, but to him belongs the distinction of
being a representative of two old and well known families who figured prominently in the pioneer history of this
part of the state. As early as the year 1821, Hutson
Ray, the subject's great-grandfather,
and his brother James Ray, together with Henry Nail, the doctor's paternal [?] great-grandfather, and their respective families, moved
to Shelby county from North Carolina, and settled near Wray church in the townships of Brandywine and Addison,
the last named locating in the valley from which he was frequently obliged to move to the higher land during the
prevalence of spring freshets and other high waters.
The Doctor's grandfather was Bryant Ray, son of Hutson Ray, and was thirteen years old when the family came to this county.
Martha Nail, whom he subsequently married, being twelve years
of age at that time.
After their marriage, Bryant Ray, son of Hutson Ray,
and was thirteen years old when the family came to this county. Martha Nail, whom he subsequently married, being
twelve years of age at that time.
After their marriage Bryant and Martha Ray settled
in Brandywine township, and in due time the former cleared and improved a good farm and became one of the substantial
citizens of his community. He died in 1853, aged forty-five, his widow surviving him until October 15, 1907, when
she departed this life within a few days of the one hundredth anniversary of her birth. Mrs. Ray was a woman of
extraordinary physical vigor, which, with her strong mental powers she retained to a marked degree until her death.
In her ninety-first year she could walk with ease a distance of ten miles with but few intervals of rest, and her
portrait, taken when she was ninety-eight, with a family group, shows every feature clear and distinct, and would
impress a stranger as one at least twenty years younger. Bryant and Martha Ray reared four children, among whom
was a son by the name of James, the father of our subject. He married a daughter of Jacob and Rebecca Booher, natives of Pennsylvania, and among the early settlers
of Marion township, Shelby county. Mrs. Ray had three brothers who served in the Civil war, one of whom was killed
at the battle of Chancellorsville.
The family of
James and Minerva Ray
consisted of six children, four of whom are living, two dying in childhood. Charles B.
lives at Fairland, and is a carpenter by occupation, in addition to which he devotes some
consideration to teaching; he is a married man, the father of two children,
lives in Shelbyville and holds a position with the I. and C. Traction Railroad. He, too, is married. Walter Scott
, the fourth of the surviving children, lives in Shelbyville and has a wife and one
son by the name of Burke.
Franklin E. Ray
, the oldest member of the family, was born October 16, 1865, on the homestead in
Brandywine township, and spent the years of his childhood and youth in close touch with the scenes of rural life.
Attending the public schools at intervals, he subsequently studied the higher branches of learning at Fairland
and St. Paul, and after finishing the high school course at the latter place, he turned his attention to teaching,
which he followed with gratifying success for a period of four years, in his native township. Having decided upon
the medical profession as best suited to his tastes and inclinations he began preparing himself for the same in
the spring of 1885, by a course of reading in the office of Doctor J. K. Stewart, of Fairland, after three years
under the direction of that able physician, he entered in October, 1888, the Medical College of Indianapolis, from
which he was graduated two years later.
While attending the institution he spent all of his
leisure with Dr. J. W. Marsee, one of the most distinguished surgeons of Indianapolis, from whom he received
much valuable instruction and to whom he attributes not a little of his success since engaging in the practice
of his profession.
Immediately after receiving his degree Doctor Ray spent
one year in the City Hospital of Indianapolis, where he acquired much practical experience by coming in contact
with many of the diseases to which humanity is heir, besides gaining a valuable knowledge of surgery which rendered
him proficient in that branch of the profession when he opened an office of his own. In August, 1891, he
was appointed assistant physician of the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane, at Indianapolis, which important
position he worthily filled during six years ensuing, and in which he made rapid advancement, discharging his duties
with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of his superiors. Severing his connection with that
institution in September, 1897, Doctor Ray located at Fairland, where he practiced for a period of four years,
when he chose a larger and more inviting field for the exercise of his talents in the city of Shelbyville, where
since 1901 he has devoted his attention very closely to his profession with the result that he now has a large
and lucrative business which is steadily growing in magnitude and importance. He is held in high esteem, not only
by his professional contemporaries but also by the general public, being regarded as an excellent family physician.
Doctor Ray was elected Coroner of Shelby county in
1900, and filled the position to the satisfaction of all concerned for two terms, having been re-elected in the
year 1902. He is a member of the Shelby County Medical Society, the Medical Association of Indiana, and for
several years has been medical examiner of the New York Life Insurance Company, to say nothing of his connection
with various other organizations for the advancement of medical science. His fraternal relations include
membership with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen and the Order
of Ben Hur, in all of which he is an active and influential worker, besides holding positions of honor and trust
from time to time. The Doctor's office, No. 17-1/2 on the public square, contains three commodious apartments
equipped with every modern implement and appliance known to the profession, and his residence at No. 256 South
Pike street, is one of the beautiful and attractive homes in the city.
In politics Doctor Ray is a Democrat, though somewhat
conservative in his views, and in religion he subscribes to the Methodist church, of Shelbyville, but believes
in the good work and beneficial influence of all churches, irrespective of name or creed. The Doctor's domestic
life dates from September 30, 1897, when he was united in marriage at Columbus, Indiana, with Allie Davis
, daughter of William
and Sarah J. (Duncan) Davis
, formerly of Bartholomew county, but now residents of Indianapolis, the union being
without issue. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are of staunch Eastern Quaker stock; they are the parents of five children.
Besides the wife of our subject, they are:
of Chicago; Nettie, wife of
of Indianapolis; Mrs. Hattie
Heagey, of Dexter, Mo.,
and Mrs. Bessie Moore, of Columbus, Indiana.
Doctor Ray is a self-made man, and as such ranks among
the ablest of his contemporaries. While in college he paid his way by teaching, and in obtaining his professional
education he was obliged to rely entirely upon his own efforts. His progress has been eminently satisfactory.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County,
Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick,
B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 410-412.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming