John R. BRAY was born in North Carolina in 1839, 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, was reared in his native State, and received a fair English education. He was married at the age of twenty-one, and in 1837 removed to Middle Tennessee; settled near Lewisburg, where he remained 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 1884 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 C. BRAY, 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 1863 he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-first Tennessee Cavalry, 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 1853. He and wife are active members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Transcribed by David Donahue