RICHARD D. WRAY, senior member of the firm of McClister, Wray & Co., who have been engaged in the grocery business in Kittanning since 1911, is one of the progressive young citizens of that place.  He was born May 7, 1884, in Rockville, Armstrong county, Pa., son of Robert and Sara (Neale) Wray.

            Robert Wray was a native of Ireland, where he was reared and educated.  Coming to America alone when a young man of twenty-one years, he stayed a short time in New York where he had found employment, but soon came to Armstrong county, Pa., after his marriage settling at Rockville, where he engaged in farming.  He had a tract of forty-three acres, where he died when fifty-three years old, and he is buried in the Heilman cemetery.  He was married at Manorville, Armstrong county, to Sara Neale, a native of that place, daughter of Michael and Martha (Heilman) Neale, who died before her marriage.  She was brought up in Manorville and received all her schooling there.  Seven children were born to Mr. And Mrs. Wray:  Robert S., who lives in Kittanning township; James, married and living at Manorville; William, of Pittsburgh, Frank, of Kittanning, employed as a clerk by L. E. Biehl; Richard D., Charles, deceased; and Ross, deceased.  The mother of this family died at Rockville when fifty-nine years old, and is also buried in the Heilman cemetery.  She was a member of the Heilman Lutheran Church, while the father was a member of the Manor Presbyterian Church.  He was a Republican in political connection and served four years as road supervisor.

            Richard D. Wray grew to manhood at Rockville, and there received his education.  When a young man he went to West Virginia and later was in Pittsburgh for a time, working as a carpenter.  He then came to Kittanning to engage in the store business, in February, 1911, becoming a member of McClister, Wray & Co., who succeeded to the business of S. R. Hews & Co.  The trade has more than developed under their energetic management, and the firm is one of the leaders of its line in the town.

            On May 7, 1912, Mr. Wray was married in Indiana, Pa., to Josephine McConnell, daughter of John and Fannie McConnell, of Indiana, Pa., and they have one child, Sara Eugenia.  The family reside at No. 128 Allegheny avenue, Applewold, Kittanning.  Mr. Wray holds membership in the Order of Independent Americans and the Presbyterian Church of Kittanning.  Politically he is a Republican.

            Through his mother, Mrs. Sara (Neale) Wray, Mr. Wray is related to the Heilmans, an old and numerous family of Armstrong county whose earliest progenitor here was Peter Heilman, who settled with his wife and family in Kittanning township in 1795-96, coming from Northampton county.  Mr. Wray�s line of descent is through Frederick Heilman, son of Peter, who came to Armstrong from Dauphin county, married Margaret Ehinger (Echinger or Eighinger), and had a large family, one of the sons, Peter, becoming a prominent man; he served as county commissioner.  Martha, one of the daughters of Frederick, married Michael Neale, and they were the maternal grandparents of Mr. Wray.  A full account of the Heilmans will be found elsewhere in this work.

Source: Page 859, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed May 2002 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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