Macomb County MI


HISTORY
of
RAY TOWNSHIP

Contributed by Patti Wulff
From Leeson's History of Macomb County, Michigan, pp.858

Joseph Chubb, in his paper on the early settlement of Ray, states that among the first settlers was Joseph Chubb, in the year 1825. His patent of one section of land was signed by John Q. Adams. At about this time, Zelottes Stone, John Gass, Duncan Gass, Nathaniel Thompson, Benjamin Freeman, J.T. Robinson and Samuel Butterfield --with the largest family in Ray for many years-- also settled there. The first schoolhouse was erected near what is now known as Ray Center in 1834. The first church building erected in Ray was in 1839, for the Close Communion Baptist society. Their first settled minister was William Tuttle, and among its first members were Andrew Sutherland, Russell Roberts, Hiram Roberts and Josiah Parks. The Baptist Church proper was organized in 1837. The first Congregational Church in Ray was organized on the 13th of February, 1838, by the Rev. Philander Barber, of Romeo. The meeting was held at the house of David Stone, who was elected Clerk. The members who joined at that time were David Stone and wife, William Stone, Theophilus Stone, Zelottes Stone, Orrilla Welton, Orsamus Lathrup and wife, Thomas E. Dryer, Carlos W. Brown. As we understand it, both churches still exist. Joseph Chubb buried his wife --the first adult person buried in Ray-- January 9, 1827. Edgar Freeman was the first male child born in Ray, and Lucinda Chubb the first female. Among the first settlers who were heads of families now living are John Gass, Zelottes Stone, John Dicken, J.T. Robinson, Moroiah Chubb (widow of Joseph Chubb), Electa Louck (widow of William Louck) and John Goodell.

In addition to this statement, John E. Day relates that, at the time of its organization, the township included Armada and Lenox in its boundaries. It was named by Noah Webster, and the name was spelled Rhea, after the Latin name of a river in Europe. After two or three years, the spelling was changed to Ray. On the 9th of July, 1827, John Biddle was elected Delegate to Congress, received from this township sixteen votes. November 5, 1827, William A. Burt was elected a member of the Territorial Legislature, receiving sixteen votes. There were only two road districts, Job Howell presiding over the work in one, and Joseph Chubb in the other. Joseph Chubb and Chauncy Bailey held the responsible officer of Fence Viewers.

The township of Ray, erected April 12, 1827, comprised all the county of Macomb north of the third townships, and in the 13th range, and the first meeting was held at the house of Noah Webster, the last Monday in May, 1827. The act of March 7, 1834, directed that surveyed Township 4 north, Range 14, be attached to and form a part of the town of Ray; and that the division between the townships of Clinton and Harrison should thereafter be the line dividing the 13th and 14th ranges. The act of June 22, 1832, attached Township 5, Range 14 east, and the east half of Township 5, in Range 13 east, to Macomb County, and directed that the country so annexed should form a portion of the town of Ray.

The first town meeting was held at the house of Noah Webster May 28, 1827. Reuben R. Smith was chosen Moderator; Edmund Steward, Clerk. The election resulted in the choice of Reuben R. Smith, Supervisor; Edmund Steward, Clerk; Chauncey Bailey, William Stephens and John Proctor, Assessors; Norman Perry, Job Howell, Nathaniel Thompson, Commissioners; Moses Freeman, Constable and Collector; Joseph Chubb, Sr., William Hall and Josiah Hamblin, Overseers of the Poor; Joseph Chubb, Chauncey Bailey, Fence Viewers; Job Howell and Joseph Chubb, Pathmasters.

Ray Center is situated near the center of Ray Township, as its name implies. It is a place of no growth now, even compared with what it was years ago. It is five miles northwest of New Baltimore Station, or Milton, twelve north of Mt. Clemens, and forty-two above Detroit. The hamlet is situated on the North Branch of the Clinton River, in a level and fertile grain-producing region. There is a post office at Ray Center; also a Congregational Church and a common school. The population of the place is about one hundred. Rev. John Gillam combines the dual office of Methodist Pastor and village physician. F.W. Miller operates a saw and flour mill. The water-power of the North Branch of the Clinton is utilized at this point. H. Freeman is owner of a lumber manufacturing concern.

Davis contains about twenty-five buildings, one general store, two blacksmith shops, a hotel, one saw-mill, one cider-mill, one cooper-shop. There is a Methodist Episcopal Church and a district school. The hamlet is located at the southwest corner of the township, within half a mile of the corner of the four townships of Shelby, Macomb, Washington and Ray. It contains about one hundred and fifty inhabitants, with good prospects of a rapid increase. This place has been alternately known as Brooklyn and Davis. The post office is administered by B.R. Davis.