James Franklin (Polk) BRAY. James F “Polk” Bray born in 1839 died 1925. He is buried Old Pisgah Cemetery in Chester Co TN. “Polk” married Eliza Adeline “Addie” Ewing in 1865 in Madison Co TN. Addie was born 1842 in Madison Co and she died 1928. Children: (1) Lorado Bray born 1863 married a Buchanan (2) Laura Bray born 1868 married a Couch (3) Lela S Bray born July 2 1870 in TX married Alfred J Reid (4) Franklin P “Frank” Bray born 1874 (5) James Bray born 1876 (6) Joe Bray born 1880 died 1917. He is also buried Old Pisgah Cemetery.
Lela S BRAY REID One of Chester Co's most loveable citizens is Mrs A. J. H. (Lela S) Reid of Henderson. Mrs Reid celebrates her 90th birthday on July 2 of this year (1960). The parents of Mrs Reid, Mr & Mrs James Franklin "Polk" Bray were enticed by friends to move to Texas shortly after the town of Henderson was organized. It was while the Brays were in Texas some time later that Mrs Reid was born. However the Brays returned to Henderson when Mrs Reid was 3 1/2 years old and she has made this her home since that time. The father was known in the community as Polk Bray. This name came about due to the fact that Mr Bray was born on the day James K Polk was elected president of the United States. Mrs Reid's mother was before her marriage to Mr Bray, Miss Adeline Ewing. Mr Bray, too was a native son of Henderson. Following the Civil War Mr Bray erected the 1st business house here in Henderson in 1860 on what is now known as Front Row. He was a contractor and following erector of his 1st store building, he erected several other buildings on Front Row and ran a grocery store, a drug store, a dry goods store and a hardware as the 1st business to be operated in Henderson. Mr Bray served 4 years of active duty in the Civil War. The couple had 6 children, 3 boys & 3 girls, Mrs Lorado Buchanan, Mrs Laura Crouch, Mrs Lela Reid, Frank Bray, James Bray & Joe Bray. Mr Bray died in 1927 and Mrs Bray 3 years later. In Sept of 1892 Mr & Mrs A. J. H. Reid were married here in the Baptist Church. Mr Reid was a native Mississippian and following the wedding the couple moved to Heidelberg Miss, but only remained in Miss for one year. Mr Reid returned to Henderson and entered the grocery business. Mrs Reid was engaged in ladies ready to wear & millinery in a building on S Washington St, the location of the present (1960) Reid Building. The Reid's had 3 children, Max Reid, born 1895, Ewing Reid born 1896 & Furlow Reid born 1911. These sons died last year and the early part of this year (1960), all within 8 months time. Max Reid was an attorney in Arkansas. Ewing Reid was a musician & composer - died Oct 1 1959 in Jackson TN. Furlow Reid, successful grocery business before moving to Florida where he was successful in the automobile business. He died this year. Oct 21 1960 issue of Chester Co (TN) Independent
John R. BRAY, 1830. John R Bray was born 1830 in NC, the son of Matthew Bray, 1806 & Nancy McDaniel. John married his 1st cousin, Mary Catherine Bray, 1833. John & Mary had no children but they left a diary and ledger. Parts of the Bray Diary & ledger are quoted in THE BOOK,"PEDDY 270 YEARS" published by Glendel W Peddy. During the Civil War the Forked Deer Company was formed at Mifflin in Henderson Co in May 1861, J. R Bray was 3rd Sgt. The Capt was G. L. Ross. The 1st Lt was B. M. Bray. John had a cotton gin and an apple orchard. The Bray School was on John's farm. John died Dec 29 1905 in Chester Co TN. John and Mary Bray are buried Friendship Cemetery in Chester County TN. His sister, Hulda Bray Rooks inherited the farm on hwy 200 after John died. Hulda sold the farm to Frances “Frant” Bray (grandfather of Hattie Lee Bray Arnold Cone). Frant Bray willed the farm to his grand daughter, Hattie Lee Bray Arnold Cone provided that she had issue.
John R BRAY continued. John R Bray was born in North Carolina in 1830, and is one of nine children born to the union of Matthew and Nancy McDANIEL BRAY. The father was born in North Carolina in 1806, and was reared in his native state, and received a fair English education. He was married at the age of 21 and in 1837 removed to Middle Tennessee; settled near Lewisburg, where he remained for two years. He then came to Henderson county, and followed agricultural pursuits until the time of his death, which occurred in 1848. Mrs Bray was born in North Carolina in 1812 and died about 1844 in Texas. Both father and mother were devout members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Our subject received a good practical education, and November 18 1850, was married to Mary Bray, (his 1st cousin), a native of North Carolina, born in 1833, and the daughter of Samuel and Mary Bray, both natives of North Carolina. Mr Bray, our subject, has a fine farm of 379 acres, all under a good state of cultivation, and six miles northeast from Henderson. In 1862 he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-first Tennessee Calvary, under Capt W. H. Bray, and remained in service until the final surrender, being engaged in the quartermaster's department. He returned home and resumed his farming, after an absence of over three years. Politically Mr Bray is a life long and ardent Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Franklin Pierce in 1852. He and his wife are active members of the Missionary Baptist Church. CHESTER COUNTY History of TENNESSEE, The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887