Joseph Chubb was among the first white settlers of the area
that became Ray Township. His 1825 patent of one section of land
was signed by John Quincy Adams. Sadly, Joseph Chubb’s wife soon
became the first adult person to be buried in Ray on January 9,
1827. Lucinda Chubb was the first white female child born in
Ray, and Edgar Freeman was the first white male child. At about
this time, other white settlers included the families of
Zelottes Stone, John Gass, Duncan Gass, Nathaniel Thompson,
Benjamin Freeman, J.T. Robinson, and Samuel Butterfield. At the
time of its organization, the area was named “Rhea”, after the
Latin name of a river in Europe. After two or three years, the
name was changed to “Ray”. The community grew as more settlers
came to the area. The first schoolhouse was erected near what is
now known as Ray Center in 1834. The first church building was
erected in Ray in 1839, for the Close Communion Baptist Society.
(The following is adapted from the Ray Township
website: www.raytwp.org. It includes some background on two of
our best known historic buildings, the Township Hall and
When Ray Township was established in 1827, the boundaries
included what is now Armada Township. In 1832 the boundaries
were enlarged to include Lenox, Macomb and Richmond Townships.
Ray Township was later reduced to its present size of 36 square
miles with boundaries as follows-32 Mile as the northern
boundary, 26 Mile as its southern boundary, its eastern boundary
being a line one mile east of North Avenue and to the west a
line one mile west of Romeo Plank.
The current Township Hall is housed in what was originally the
Ray “Union Church” built in 1869. In the 1940’s attendance
lagged at the church and the trustees decided to abandon the
church and to turn the property over to the township to be used
by its residents. On June 6, 1950 a formal agreement was signed
between the church trustees and the trustees of the Township.
The Township Board began holding meetings at the hall in 1968
and in 1973 opened a small office in the back room. In 1996 the
Ray Township Senior Center addition was built on the back of the
hall. The interior of the old hall was renovated in 2001 to
provide much needed office space for the Township Hall.
The Township Library is located in a former one-room schoolhouse
that was built in 1863. The “Mill School” served the community
to educate the children of Ray Township for ninety-one years.
The ownership of the school and property was transferred to Ray
Township in 1953. The building was reconditioned in 1983 and
opened as the Ray Township Library.
(The following is excerpted from the Macomb County
Historical Commission website’s Local History Spotlight page; it
describes the settlements that were a part of Ray Township.)
Davis - This settlement of Ray Township was originally
named Brooklyn. Because this name was already taken in Michigan,
the settlement was renamed Davis in 1876 in honor of Rev.
Jonathan E. Davis. At its peak in the 1940s, Davis had 2 grocery
stores, 2 gas stations, a church, Davis Hardware, a
barber/beauty shop, cleaners, tile factory, grange office,
two-room schoolhouse, insurance and other offices, a Masonic
Temple, and a cemetery. Prior to 1876, there were 2 blacksmiths,
a hotel, general store, sawmill, cooper, church, school and
cemetery. The “Plank Road Mill” manufactured planks for the
Romeo Plank Road. Davis is located at 27 Mile and Romeo Plank
Road in Ray Township, and it is still a viable entity as a
Meade - Stewart Taylor became the first postmaster of
this rural post office in 1838. At that time called “Vienna,” it
was renamed for Civil War general, George Gordon Meade, on
November 28, 1863 and operated until July 31, 1906. During the
1870’s it was also known locally as the “Crawford Settlement.”
At one time near a small airport, as of 2005, Meade still enjoys
a somewhat tenuous existence. There is still a party store
(located in one of the oldest surviving structures) as well as
Meade Cemetery and a few street signs that still mark Meade. It
was/is located at 26 Mile Road between Romeo Plank and North
Ray Center - Located in the southern part of Ray
Township, Ray Center’s post office was opened there on February
13, 1846. The first land purchase in the area was made by Reuben
R. Smith in 1824. First named Rhea, after the Latin name of a
river in Europe, it was later changed to Ray, which is still the
township name. Its location was at the intersection of 29 Mile,
Hartway and Indian Trail Road on the north branch of the Clinton
River. One of the main businesses was the Shafer Mill. It went
into decline when the railroad passed it by, instead going by
Armada and Romeo.
Ray - This rural post office in the center of Ray
Township opened on May 1, 1827 with Reuben R. Smith as the first
postmaster. Not to be confused with the Ray Center post office,
it operated until June 25, 1868.