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Rev. John Wason Ray

Male 1814 - 1901  (86 years)


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  • Name John Wason Ray 
    Title Rev. 
    Born 23 Dec 1814  Chester (now Auburn), New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Biography The subject of this sketch was born in Chester, now Auburn, New Hampshire. His father was Stark Ray, of Manchester, New Hampshire, and his mother was Hannah C. Wason, of Candia, New Hampshire. His grandfather Ray was from England, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, under the renowned Gen. Stark, whose wife's sister he married. His mother was of Scotch-Irish descent. Her father was also in the Revolutionary War.

    He spent his early life on a farm, enjoying the educational advantages of a common school, and of an academy. He fitted for college at Pinkerton Academy, in Derry, New Hampshire, and entered Dartmouth College in 1839, graduating in 1843. After graduation, he engaged in teaching, following this profession for about thirteen years.

    He spent one year at Atkinson, New Hampshire, in the academy in that town. He was then invited to the principal school in Manchester, New Hampshire. At the end of one year this was constituted the high school of the city.

    From Manchester he went to Eastport, in Maine, as principal of the high school. Sickness compelled him to resign before the end of one year. He returned to New Hampshire, and on recovery became associate principal with Prof. William Russell, in charge of the Merrimac Normal Institute of New Hampshire.

    On leaving this position, he was elected principal of Pembroke Academy, and soon after was elected principal of Pinkerton Academy, in Derry, New Hampshire, where he continued until he resigned to enter the ministry.

    Although finding the profession of teaching an agreeable work, he could not feel satisfied to relinquish the purpose he had in securing an education, and after taking a private course of theological study, he was licensed to preach in the autumn of 1856.

    While teaching he was active in temperance work, going through the long and laborious struggle for a prohibitory temperance law in his native state. This was finally secured in 1855. He was also somewhat active in political life, holding several offices, and representing the town of Derry in the state legislature.

    But on entering the ministry, he felt called upon to retire from active political life, and devote his energies to the one work on which he had entered. In April, 1857, he was called to the Congregational Church in Goffstown, New Hampshire, and remained there till he came to Minnesota, in May, 1867. During this period he kept alive his interest in education by superintending schools, and in teaching in the institutes of the state.

    In 1867 he was called to the Presbyterian church in Hastings, Minnesota, and labored there till 1872, when he accepted a call to the Congregational Church of Lake City, having felt obliged to decline a previous call to the same church in 1867. While at Hastings he kept alive his interest in education by superintending the schools of the city and in some other forms of education work. But on coming to Lake City, he felt that he ought to give up such work, and so held himself aloof from it.

    At Lake City he continued in the pastorate of the church, till December, 1866, when he resigned, and was dismissed by council in the spring of 1867. At the time of the resignation, he had a severe affection of the eyes, so that his physician assured him that he must abstain from all mental labor, or lose his sight. He yielded to this advice. About this time a foreign tour was decided upon, and he with his wife visited Europe, Egypt and the Holy Land. They were accompanied as far as Geneva by their daughter and her husband, E. P. Gates, Esq. This trip had the desired effect of restoring his eyes to about their former condition.

    On his return he supplied the Congregation Church at Wabasha, continuing his residence in Lake City. He pursued this course until the last Sabbath in 1882, and then accepted an invitation to supply the pulpit of the Presbyterian church of Lake City, in which work he is still engaged.

    He grew up from childhood in the Presbyterian church, of which he became a member when about seventeen years of age. He was married in July, 1844, to Miss Lucy Lee Sargent, daughter of Rev. Benjamin Sargent, of Chester, New Hampshire. She died July 17, 1845.

    He was married again on December 28, 1848, to Miss Georgeanna Babb, daughter of Dr. James Babb, of Manchester, New Hampshire.

    His children were James Stark, Lucy Helen, and George Wason. Both boys died in childhood. Lucy Helen was married December 28, 1875, to E. P. Gates, Esq., of Lake City, formerly of Warsaw, New York. Mr. Ray is a faithful laborer in the cause he has espoused, and is content with the prospect that faith will reward, not only in this world, but more abundantly in that which is to come.  [1
    Died 12 Apr 1901 
    Buried Valley Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I513983386  Walsh - Wilson Family Tree | Carolyn
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2009 

    Father Stark Ray,   b. 18 Aug 1784, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Feb 1866, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Mother Hannah Caldwell Wason,   b. 29 Sep 1791, Candia, Rockingham, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Jan 1877, Auburn, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 14 Jun 1810  Chester, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Documents
    Marriage Record - Stark Ray and Miss Hannah Wason
    Marriage Record - Stark Ray and Miss Hannah Wason
    Both residents of Chester, New Hampshire. Married by Rev. Nathan Bradstreet on 14 Jun 1810. Recorded at NH Vitals on 5 Feb 1907.
    Headstones
    Monument at Valley Cemetery - Manchester, New Hampshire - Stark Ray and his wife Hannah C[aldwell Watson] Ray
    Monument at Valley Cemetery - Manchester, New Hampshire - Stark Ray and his wife Hannah C[aldwell Watson] Ray
    Photo courtesy of Jack Stanton
    Family ID F505780887  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Lucy Lee Sargent,   b. 08 Oct 1813,   d. 17 Jul 1845  (Age 31 years) 
    Married Jul 1844  [3
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2009 
    Family ID F505780916  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Georgeanna B. Babb,   b. 04 Mar 1831,   d. 30 Jan 1910  (Age 78 years) 
    Married 28 Dec 1848  Manchester, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Children 
     1. James Stark Ray,   b. 10 Nov 1851, Manchester, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. George Wason Ray,   b. 25 Apr 1860,   d. 07 Nov 1865, Manchester, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 5 years)
     3. Lucy Helen Ray
    Documents
    John W. Ray - Georgeanna Babb Marriage Record
    John W. Ray - Georgeanna Babb Marriage Record
    Photographed by Jack Stanton at NH Vitals
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2009 
    Family ID F505780917  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 28 Dec 1848 - Manchester, New Hampshire Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Documents
    1860 United States Census - Rev. John W. Ray and Stark Ray and families - Ward 3, Manchester, New Hampshire
    1860 United States Census - Rev. John W. Ray and Stark Ray and families - Ward 3, Manchester, New Hampshire
    The 1860 census report shows John W. Ray, a Congregational Clergyman (age 44), living with Grace Ray (age 29), Lucy H. Ray (7), George W. Ray (3 months), Emerline A. Babb (age 31, a domestic), and James Bussell (19, a labourer).

    Also on the census report are Stark Ray (age 75, a farmer), Hannah C. Ray (68), Ann C. Garland (46), Lucy A. Garland (13), and David Garland (11).

    Year: 1860; Census Place: Manchester Ward 3, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; Roll: M653_674; Page: 693; Image: 494. Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls.

    Headstones
    Rev. John W. Ray and his wives Lucy L. Sargent and Georgeanna B. Babb
    Rev. John W. Ray and his wives Lucy L. Sargent and Georgeanna B. Babb
    Valley Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo courtesy of Jack Stanton (cw3jack_stan@mindspring.com)

  • Sources 
    1. [S4979] History of Wabasha County (Minnesota), Page 1177 (Reliability: 2), 1884.

    2. [S4974] New Hampshire Div. of Vital Records Admin., Chester, N.H. Vol. 1, Page 344 (Reliability: 2), 05 Feb 1907.
      Married by Rev. Nathan Bradstreet.

    3. [S4979] History of Wabasha County (Minnesota), Page 1177 (Reliability: 2), 1844.

    4. [S4974] New Hampshire Div. of Vital Records Admin. (Reliability: 3).
      Marriage by J. L. Seymore, City Missionary