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Hannibal educator Martha R. Ray (12 Oct 1851 – 1941)

In the photo of the Hannibal Central School teachers 1911 that I posted yesterday, I made mention of Martha R. Ray, school principal. This is the image I believe is of Miss Ray, who was 60 at the time of the photo.

She was an educator in Hannibal, offering a positive educational influence on generations of children.

Following a little "poking around" online, I found that she was born Oct. 12, 1851 at Hydesburg, Mo., daughter of John Murray Ray (1818-1902) and Eliza McCord Summers Ray (1824 – 1916) .

In the 1860 census, John Murray Ray was a school teacher in Hannibal.

She is the sister of J. Thad Ray, and aunt of his daughter, Kate Ray Kuhn.

Terry Coons, who graduated with me from Hannibal High School in 1969, told me that she donated land for the J. Thad Ray (her father) wildlife area west of Hannibal on 61.

Terry and his family lived near Mrs. Kuhn, with nearby farms, when he grew up near Hannibal.

He believes that Kuhn was quite a horse lady and was one of the first, if not the first, woman to show a horse at the American Royal Horse Show.

According to "Story of Hannibal" by J. Hurley and Roberta Roland Hagood, Martha R. Ray was honored by the Hannibal school board in 1923, presumably in recognition of her retirement.

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION was copied from “Rays in Hannibal Missouri,” Posted on “” by William Balmer in 2010.

John Murray Ray (1818 – 1902) and Eliza McCord Summers Ray (1824 – 1916) moved from Kentucky (I believe Marion County) to Ralls County, MO, near Hannibal, after being married in 1844. Over the next 20 years they moved back and forth from Hannibal to Fountain County, Indiana a couple of times. Unless otherwise noted their children were born in Hannibal. Those children are:

1) John Summers Ray (24 May 1845 – 18 Jan 1890)

2) William Jefferson Ray (1847 – 1871)

3) Andrew Murray Ray (1849 – 1891)

4) Martha R. Ray (12 Oct 1851 – 1941)

5) James Thad Ray (Dec 1853 – 1946)

6) Robert Emmett Ray (1856 – 1917) – born in Indiana

7) Edgar Everett Ray1858 – 1900

8) Arch E. (Archie) Ray (1862 – 1942)

9) Nancy A. Ray (1866 – 1893) – born in Indiana

John Murray Ray died in Indiana in 1902, and Eliza then moved back to Hannibal to be with her children, most of whom had stayed there.

I have a copy of the 1880 census of Hannibal showing three brothers – Andrew Murray Ray (age 31, druggist), J. Thad Ray (age 27, constable), and John Summers Ray (age 34 “Fires on RR Engine”), all living together.

I also have a 1910 census of Hannibal showing Eliza M. Ray, age 85, widowed, living with her daughter Martha R. Ray, age 51, single, school teacher.

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