Bio: Prior, Ray (90th Birthday - 1973)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Prior, Colby, Giese, Ewert

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 10/18/1973

Prior, Ray (90th - 8 October 1973)

Ray Prior was honored by close friends and relatives with a birthday dinner served at the education building of the Loyal United Methodist Church Sunday. Although Monday was his 90th birthday anniversary, he was somewhat reluctant to consider it exceptional.

Ray Prior was born October 8, 1863, in a log house along what is now the ‘98’ road in the Town of Sherman. In front of the house was a water tank for horses making the journey between Loyal and Spencer. His father, Albert (AK) Prior, drove the stage for traveling men, mail and freight.

Later the family moved to Loyal where he began full time work for $15 a month after completing grade school. He worked six days a week, including evenings, in the Wiric and Mulligan general store. Upstairs in the building was a dance hall and roller skating rink. Later, O. C. Colby and Son owned the store. It was Addie Colby who became his bride on June 5, 1907. At that time they rented a big house for $8 per month.

In 1913 the Priors moved to Wauconda, Il., where he operated a general store for 13 years to the day before returning to Loyal. He became an agent for the Continental Insurance Company in 1917 and was agent for the American Eagle for more than 50 years. He is still active as an insurance agent, making calls on policy holders. In his words, ‘I am not retired!’

Although they have a later model automobile, he likes the ’57 Chev to take Addie riding in the country.

In the past as a member of the Loyal board of education, he served as board president for 25 years. Among his other organizations are Rotary, Eastern Star and the Masonic Lodge, from which he has received a 50-year certificate. He is also a member of the Loyal United Methodist Church and its men’s club.

The Priors have three sons, Calvin, Greenwood; Norman, Marshfield; and Robert, Loyal; and two daughters, Mrs. Edward (Ora Lee) Giese, Rice Lake; and Mrs. Raymond (Muriel) Ewert, Crystal Lake, Il. There are 16 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.



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