Martin M. Ray
Holding worthy prestige among the enterprising
farmers and substantial citizens of Sugar Creek township, is Martin M. Ray, whose life-long residence
in Shelby county has made him widely and favorably known and whose reputable standing in his own community long
since gained for him the confidence and esteem of his neighbors and friends. Mr. Ray was born October 26,
1856, in Addison township, and is a son of Zebiah and Martha (Pierce) Ray, to whose sketch elsewhere
in these pages the reader is respectfully referred for facts concerning the early history of the family.
His father dying when Martin was about twelve years old, threw the lad upon his own resources, and from that time until attaining his majority, he remained with his mother on the home farm and contributed very materially to her comfort and support. Meanwhile, he worked by the month as a farm hand, and while thus engaged saved his wages with the greatest care, with the object in view of ultimately rising superior to his condition and becoming something more in the world than a mere passive agent, whose chief aim consists of obeying the commands and behests of others; so he addressed himself resolutely to his duties until he was enabled in due time to obtain a substantial start, choosing farming for his vocation.
On December 25, 1882, Mr. Ray was united in the bonds of wedlock with Mary Eliza Ewing, and immediately thereafter set up his domestic establishment on a part of the Ewing farm, where he lived and prospered until 1897, when he sold out and purchased the farm in Sugar Creek township, on which he now resides and which, under his industry and management, has been brought to a high state of cultivation and otherwise well improved. On taking possession of his present place, Mr. Ray at once inaugurated a series of substantial improvements, including the remodeling of the residence and converting it into a neat, commodious and comfortable modern home, the overhauling of the buildings, reconstructing of the fences, besides enhancing the fertility of the soil by ample fertilizing, judicious rotation of crops and better methods of tillage. By carrying out these and other equally meritorious projects he has added greatly to the productiveness of the place, besides rendering it more beautiful and attractive, his farm at this time being one of the best cultivated in the township and fully meeting every requirement of a comfortable and desirable country home.
In his political affiliation Mr. Ray is a zealous supporter of the Democratic party, but has never aspired to office or leadership. In matters religious the Methodist Protestant church represents his creed, his wife being a member of that body, also, and an earnest and sincere worker in the congregation to which they both belong. Mr. Ray is identified with the Improved Order of Red Men, holding membership with Saqua Tribe, No. 263, in which he has been honored with important official positions from time to time, but his charitable and humanitarian efforts are by no means confined to the behests of lodge or formal organization, as he is always ready to respond to the calls of the needy and distressed, no worthy sufferer ever appealing in vain for his assistance when he is able to relieve their necessities. Mr. Ray’s relations with his fellow men have always been candid and honorable.
Mr. and Mrs. Ray have two children, a daughter by the name of Ethel May, who was born October 17, 1887, and a son, Clifford Allen, whose birth occurred on the 8th day of August, 1899.
Excerpt from Chadwick’s History of Shelby Co., Ind.
Contributed by Cindy Jones.