21 September 2016

Father & Son Ray: Railroad Engineer & Conductor

John Henry Ray was born 1831-1835 in Greene County, Georgia.  He married Sarah Barksdale about 1855, and by 1870 was a railroad engineer based out of Milledgeville, Baldwin County.  John Henry moved his family to Macon, Bibb County about 1873, and that is where he died in the summer of 1895.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
27 June 1895, pg. 6 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]


He Was the Oldest Engineer on the Central Railroad.

Mr. J. H. Ray died at his home, 715 Pine street, last night at 7 o'clock, after an illness of one year, the last four months of which he was confined to his bed.

Mr. Ray was the oldest engineer on the Central railroad and remained on the active list up to the time of the beginning of his last illness.  He was 60 years of age and had been a resident of Macon for the past twenty-two years, having moved here from Milledgeville.  He was one of the best known and most popular locomotive engineers in the state, and was a noble, generous, conscientious man.  For many years he was an active Mason and a member of Macon Lodge No. 5.

Mr. Ray leaves an aged wife to mourn his loss.  He also leaves a brother, Mr. Doc. Ray, and two children -- Mrs. E. J. Wylie and Mr. Walter Ray.  He will be buried from his late residence this afternoon at 4 o'clock.


John Henry Ray and Sarah had two children:  Mary and John Walter.  Mary married a Mr. Wylie, and John Walter followed in his father's footsteps.

According to his obituary, available at GenealogyBank, and information gleaned from his death certificate, John Walter Ray was occupied as a railway conductor.  When he was employed by Southern Railway, John Walter and family moved to St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.  That city is where he died, 18 October 1938.  His body was returned to Macon and laid to rest near that of his father in Rose Hill Cemetery. 

John Walter Ray and his wife, Sarah Smith, had two children:  Mervin and Orville.

John Henry and John Walter had another thing in common – they were both Masons.

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