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TAYLOR BRAY. The Bray family is of Irish extraction and the family tree took root on American soil at an early date. Our subject’s grandfather, William Bray, was a native of North Carolina, in which State he passed his entire life. His son, Mark Bray, father of our subject, was also a native of the Old North State, born December 21 796, and died December 19, 869. The latter was married in his native State to Miss Margaret Patterson, also a native of North Carolina, and there their nine children were born. About 1840 or 1841 they, in company with about sixty of their friends, among whom were the McDaniel and Marley families and others, emigrated to Christian County, Missouri, and settled near Sparta. The McDaniels and Marleys settled near Ozark. Mr. Bray, who settled near Sparta also, bought a tract of land, which was afterward known as the Bray settlement, and subsequently became the owner of a large tract of land and one of the wealthiest men in the county. The Bray family became very prominent in this section and were highly esteemed by all. Mr. Bray was an excellent shot and killed many deer and turkeys, for the woods abounded in game at that time. Mrs. Bray did her own spinning and weaving. In political matters Mr. Bray was a Democrat and previous to the Civil War he voted against secession. In connection with farming he carried on the Old Linden Mill, but the principal part of his time was given to farming and stockraising. The mother died in July, 1887. They were the parents of nine children as follows: Loesa, deceased, was the wife of T. Tillman Patterson; Arren; Cadmus, single, was killed in the Confederate Army; Merrica, died young; Lynn, a soldier, was killed at the close of the war; William, resides in Greene County, north of Springfield; Taylor (subject); Isaac, Who is living on the old home place. William was also a soldier, enlisting in Company H, Sixteenth Missouri Cavalry.
Taylor Bray, the original of this notice, was born in the neighborhood where he now lives, near Sparta, March 31, 1844. His early life was spent amid the rude surroundings of pioneer life and he attended the district school until the breaking out of the war, being at that time seventeen years of age. In 1864, when twenty years of age, he enlisted in Company H, Sixteenth Missouri Cavalry, and served until the close of the war. He was in Gen. Price’s raid and was in the battle at Booneville and in many skirmishes. He was never wounded or taken prisoner and was discharged at Springfield in July, 1865. After the war Mr. Bray came home and engaged in farming.
In 1867 he was married to Miss M. J. Marley, daughter of Eli Marley and Tennessee (Wisener) Marley. Eli Marley was born in North Carolina and is a son of Benjamin Marley:, who came to this county with the company in 1840 or 1841 and took up a home west of Ozark. He was in the Southern Army during the Civil War and died of wounds received at Vicksburg. He had sons in Gen. Price’s army. Mrs. Bray was born on the old home place in this county August 22, 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Bray have had ten children, five of whom are living: William A., Mettie E., Della A., Howard M. and Jessie E. Those deceased are: James C.,Samuel E. and three who died in infancy.
Our subject moved to the place where he now lives soon after the war. He has 158 acres of good farming land and in connection with agricultural pursuits in actively engaged in stockraising. He has made a complete success of his chosen occupation. In political matters he was formerly with the Democratic party, but is now with the Labor party. Mr. and Mrs. Bray are both members of the Baptist Church and the family is well respected in the community.