Ohio History Journal

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Joseph Ray was born in Ohio County, Virginia, now Ohio

County, West Virginia, on November 25, 1807. His ancestry was

of English origin and can be traced back to John Ray, the natur-

alist. William Ray, his father, was born in Ireland in 1782 and

had settled with his parents near West Liberty, Virginia, in 1789.

On February 25, 1807, William married Margaret Graham, a

native of Westchester County, Pennsylvania. They were among

the early pioneers of the Upper Ohio Valley. The original Ray

farm consisted of one hundred and sixty acres located near the

source of Battle Run and about two miles from the old National

Road. The double log house in which the Rays lived, set about

five miles south of West Liberty, remained standing until 1916

when it was razed. William and Margaret Ray are buried in the

Dement Cemetery, near the old home, and their graves are marked

by stone slabs, on one of which is the inscription: "William Ray,

born June 17, 1782, died May 24, 1857."

Joseph Ray was a self-educated man, receiving his early

training in the school of poverty. He attended the rural schools.

in the neighborhood of his home and later went to West Alex-

andria Academy at West Alexandria, Pennsylvania. When quite

young he removed to Cincinnati, where he began teaching school

at the age of sixteen years. With savings from his meager salary

as a teacher he was enabled to enter the Ohio University at

Athens, but because of insufficient funds was compelled to suspend

1 Since no biographies of Joseph Ray, eminent mathematician and educator of the

nineteenth century, are to be found in the Encyclopedia Americana; The New Inter-

national Encyclopaedia; The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th edition; the Dictionary of

American Biography; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography; and only a brief

note is given in the National Cyclopcedia of American Biography (New York, 1898-), I,

849, this article is designed to meet a special need. Information for it was secured

through personal investigation by the author; from the newspapers mentioned; and

from The Biographical Cyclopadia and Portrait Gallery (Cincinnati, 1883-1895), III,

611.2.--Editor's note.