Overton Bray is the junior partner in the firm of Wood & Bray, automobile dealers at Ashton, and is taking an active part in the development of a business that has now reached large and gratifying proportions. Mr. Bray is a native of Missouri; his birth having occurred in Christian county, near Springfield, on the 7th of September, 1883. He is a son of Aaron and Ann (Wrightsman) Bray, the former a native of Chatham county, North Carolina, and the latter of West Virginia. In early life the father followed the milling business and about 1846 removed to Christian county, Missouri, where he operated a flour mill for several years. During the period of the Civil war he went to Illinois, where he engaged in the manufacture of flour. Later he returned to Missouri and purchased a part of the old homestead property there, which his father had entered as a claim from the government in pioneer times. Aaron Bray also homesteaded in that locality and improved his property, continuing its cultivation until he had attained the age of sixty-five years, when he retired from active business life and removed to Ozark, Missouri, where he resided for several years. He next came to Idaho and made his home with his children until his death on the 2d of May, 1916, he having then reached the advanced age of seventy-nine years. The mother survives and is now living at Ashton, Idaho, at the age of seventy-five.
Overton Bray spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his parents' home in Christian county, Missouri, but at the age of thirteen began earning his own living. He learned the business of steam engineering and followed that pursuit for about eleven years in Missouri, after which he came to Idaho. On the 23d of December, 1910, he arrived in Teton county, then a part of Fremont county, and took up land which he improved and cultivated for four years, after which he sold out and bought an interest in a billiard and pool hall at Ashton. He conducted this for two years and in 1915 he entered into partnership with B.M. Wood for the conduct of an automobile business. They handle the Dodge, Nash and Hudson cars and have built up a business of extensive proportions, now conducted under the firm style of Wood & Bray. In the spring of 1919 they erected one of the most modern garages in the state at a cost of twenty thousand dollars. Mr. Bray is well qualified to speak concerning mechanical devices and the operation of anything along mechanical lines. There are few indeed who are better informed concerning steam engines, for Mr. Bray has even built such. He has been very successful in everything that he has undertaken and his entire career has been characterized by a steady progress.
On the 24th of January, 1904, Mr. Bray was married to Miss Goldie Boyd. He and his wife are well known in Ashton, where they have many friends. Politically Mr. Bray is a republican and his religious faith is that of the Baptist church. His entire life has been actuated by a spirit of progress that has led him continuously forward. Step by step he has advanced, each forward step bringing him a broader outlook and wider opportunities. Not only is he now at the head of an excellent garage business but is also a stockholder and director of the American Asbestos Mining & Milling Company, of which he was formerly the treasurer. He never allows obstacles or difficulties to bar his path if they can be overcome by renewed and persistent effort and his perseverance has ever been one of his marked characteristics.

Source: History of Idaho The Gem of the Mountains 1920 Vol. 3
Submitted by Shauna Williams

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