THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   MRS. MARY A. RAY is the widow of James L. Ray, who was a prosperous farmer and a worthy and highly esteemed citizen of his community. She was born in East Hamilton, June 5, 1831, and is a daughter of Huron Foot. Her grandfather, Reuben Foot, came from Colchester, Conn., to Hamilton, making the journey through the boundless woods with ox-teams. He bought a tract of heavily timbered land, and at once began its improvement. After clearing a space, he erected a log cabin, which was for some years the home of himself and family. When he first settled here, matches were an unknown quantity; and they brought fire in an iron teakettle from Payne's Settlement (now the village of Hamilton). Here he lived the remainder of his life, dying on the old homestead in 1849. Huron Foot was reared to agricultural pursuits on the farm of his father, and, when old enough, assisted in its management. In due course of time he married Miss Mary Comstock, and brought his bride to the homestead, which was their permanent home thereafter. They reared three children--Phama L., Mary A., and Seneca H. The latter enlisted for nine months in the Union army during the late war, as a member of Company A, One Hundred and Seventy-sixth Regiment, serving under General Banks in the South. He served one year, and was honorably discharged, but died in New York City while on his return home, aged twenty-six years.
   The subject of this brief biography was reared and educated in the place of her nativity, attending the district school, and receiving from her mother a practical training in household duties that well fitted her for the helpmate of her future husband. In 1863 she was united in marriage to James L. Ray, a son of William and Eunice Ray. James L. Ray was born in the town of Middlefield, Otsego County, N. Y. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, chose farming as his life occupation, and for many years was identified with the agricultural and business interests of this section of the county. He was a man of sterling worth, respected for his many excellent traits of character; and his death, which occurred December 27, 1884, was deeply regretted. Since his decease Mrs. Ray has superintended the management of the farm, which she inherited from her father, with ability and success. She is a woman of much force of character and energy, and is held in universal regard throughout the community. In religious matters she is a firm believer in the doctrines of the Universalist church, having been reared in that faith from early childhood. In her home Mrs. Ray has the companionship of her sister Phama, who has resided with her since the death of her husband, the late Henry Farnsworth, who passed away September 2, 1891. He was a native of Bellville, Canada, born June 3, 1828, being a son of Abram and Sarah Farnsworth.

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