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Barry County

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The state of Missouri is to be congratulated upon having a set of most efficient officials in charge of the various departments of the government. Among these is Charles Means Ray, who at the age of but twenty-eight years, holds the important position of chief clerk of the state insurance department. Charles M. Ray was born in Cassville, Barry county, Missouri, January 23, 1886, and is a son of Charles and Jennie (Pharis) Ray, both natives of Barry county, this state. The grandfather of Charles M. Ray, Dr. John Ray, came to Missouri about 1850 as a young man. He subsequently returned to Kentucky, his native state, for his wife. He was a graduate physician and upon coming to Missouri located in the town of Gadfly, Barry county. He subsequently removed to Cassville. Dr. Ray served throughout the Civil war as a surgeon in the Federal army and had charge of the federal hospital in Cassville. In 1875 he was a member of the state constitutional convention and in many ways was one of the most prominent men of his day in the state. The maternal grandfather, Patrick Pharis, also came from Kentucky to Missouri, making his way to this state with an aunt in 1832. He was then but two years of age, both parents having died previous to that time. He was one of the band of forty-niners who crossed the plains to California and subsequently made two more trips across the Continent. He later engaged in merchandising in Cassville and was so engaged in that city until he retired from active labor in 1893.
It was in 1871 that Dr. John Ray established the Cassville Democrat, to the ownership of which his son Charles, the father of our subject, succeeded in 1889, and with which he is still identified. Charles Ray served two terms as county treasurer of Barry county and was postmaster of Cassville in Cleveland's administration.
Charles Means Ray, of this review, was reared under the parental roof and in the acquirement of his education attended the public school in Cassville. Following the completion of his studies, he took up newspaper work and for about five years was associated with the editorial department of several of the leading journals of the southwest. Returning to Cassville, he became associated with his father as a partner in the Cassville Democrat and was a dominant factor in the editorial department of the paper. Not only did he clearly set forth his views on all public questions in the editorial column, but made it a feature of educational value in political matters and other affairs of general interest. Mr. Ray still retains his interest in the paper. In April, 1913, he was appointed to his present position of ch1ef clerk of the state insurance department and^ has since given all of his time to his important duties. Particularly during the last year a number of important issues came up before this department and Mr. Ray has had his hand in deciding upon various matters that have been disposed of largely to the interest of the general public.
On June 19, 1912, Mr. Ray was united in marriage to Miss Jewette LeCompte, of Cassville, the latter being a member of the Methodist Episcopal church South, taking a deep interest in its affairs and its allied societies. Fraternally Mr. Ray is a member of Pythagoras Lodge, No. 381, A. F. & A. M. and is also a member of the Ozark Press Association, of which he is president, and a member of the Missouri Press Association. Mr. Ray is one of those efficient officers of the state who are aware of the needs of the general public and exert their capacities to the utmost to meet public needs.
(Source: Missouri the Center State 1821 – 1915, Vol 3, by Walter Stevens, Publ 1915. Submitted by Linda Rodriguez)


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