John Bray was born on February 20, 1880 in Tennessee, but appears to have moved to Ozark County, Missouri with his family before 1900. His parents were Frank Mitchell Bray and Lizabeth Bray. He married Carrie Yocum on November 29, 1904, and the couple had three children before their divorce in Greene County on May 13, 1920. John was awarded custody of their minor son, Dale. In 1930, John was living alone in Ash Grove, and working as a laborer at the lime quarry. Father Moses Berry remembers John, circa 1950, as a shy old man who lived in a shack on Mill Street, Ash Grove. In March of 1958, John was admitted to Handley Hospital in Springfield with heart complications. He died there on April 25, 1958 (Russel 2012).