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An Esteemed Citizen Gone

An Esteemed Citizen Gone image
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Died at bis home iu Northfleld, jnst south of Whitmore Lake, ou Suuday morniug, Sept. 13, Mr. Joseph Pray, aged 73 years, 5 rnonths and 18 daye. Mr. Pray was a wellknown and bigbly respected resident of Washtenaw oounty, and was one of its oldest settlers. He was born in Alleghany couuty, New ï"ork, March 25, 1823 but moved with his parents, Esek aud Sally Ann Pray, to Michigan territory in 1825 and resided in Washtenaw county seventy-one years. The Hou. Esek Pray looated on section three of wbat was afterwards nanied Superior township. He built a log house aud, for many yeai's, kept the flrst hotel in that portion of the connty, replitcing it in 1839 with the brick house now owned by JMary J. Geer, which was also for many years used as hotel. He was a weil known and respected citizen of this county and a rnember of the first legislature. Ou this farm Joseph Pray was reared, his only playmates being his brothers and sisters and ludian boys who were eucamped about half a mile from his father's house. July 4, 1849, Mr. Pray was married to Miss Elizabeth Finton, who with six childreu - three sous and three daughters - survive him. When first starting out in life for himself, Mr. Pray located in Salem township, where he improved 160 aores of land. Subsequeutly lie sold his farm aud moved ODto the old bomestead iu Superior. In 1854 he removed to the farm on which he died, where he has lived ever siui;e. He was engaged in mercan tile pursuits for a short time at Whitmore Lake, bnt most of bis life was devoted to agricultural pursuits. In coniunetion with Joseph Whitlock he was instiurnental in getting the "Drain Law" passed by the Michigan legislatura and acted as couuty drain coinrnissioner for tbree years until his poor state of health compelled him to give it up. He had held many positionss of trust in the towoship, haviug been supervisor in 1859 and 1865, and justice of the peace from 1857 to 18(31, and agaiu trom 1868 to 1870, filling the offiucs with great acceptability. April 2(3, 1H43, he was appoiuted by Governor Johu S. Barry captain of D. coinpauy, flfth regiment, thiid brigade, secoud división of the state militia. Though he did not serve the Union in the late vnr, he showed his patriotism by drilling a compauy and enlisting for service, bat was rejeoted on cal exarnination. Afterward be was drafted into the army but employed a snbstitute and coutr;buted iu personal efïorts.and fnuds to the aid of the boys iu the field. His resideuoe in the home in which he died extended over a period of 42 years, during which time he g'ained the respect of a large nuinber of acquaintances in the couuty. He was the last of the boys of his father's faraily, Nathau Pray, the oldest, and Dr. George Pray having died a uumber of years ago and ouly twp uieiubers of the farnily, Mrs. Mar y J. Geer aud Mrs. Louisa McKimui, uow remain. His other sisters were : Eliza, who married Elijah B. Murray; Alm ira D., late wife of Preeruan P. Galpiu, of Suprior, and Cathariue, wife of the late George Sutton. The funeral, oonducted from his late home by the Rev. H. W. Hicks Tuesday afternoon, was oue of the largest ever held in the township. Bnrial was iü the family uemetery in Superior township. snip, He leaves besides the widow, six childreD, three having preceded him to the other shore. Those living ;ire Mrs. E. U. Stiles, of Denver, Coló., Mrs. G. W. McCorruick, of Northfield; Charles A. Pray, Mrs. H. P. Uodge and Jay G. Pray, of VVhitiuore Lake, and Dwight A. Pray, of Grand Rapids. Mr. Pray was a constant reader of the Argus and it was his favorite uewspaper. He bad received every copy of tlie paper from its first issrïe up to the time of his death, a period of uearly (3 years.