"To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunties as you do at conclusions."

                BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 



The Society’s latest project to preserve the community’s heritage is the Procter Cemetery Restoration. Located on 32 Mile Road just west of Romeo Plank Road and north of the Romeo State Airport, the Procter Cemetery is the final resting place for over 500 pioneers, community leaders, farmers, and businessmen, along with many of their families who lived in Ray Township and the surrounding communities. Once maintained by the Ray and Armada Branch Cemetery Society (as the cemetery is located in both townships), the Society’s name was changed to the Procter Cemetery Society on May 12, 1900 in honor of the Procter Family whose patriarch was General John L. Procter. The Cemetery was deeded to the Township of Ray in 1956.

The Procter Cemetery includes 130 family names, 20 veterans from the War of 1812, Civil War, and WWI, 18 Ray Township Officials, one State Representative, and three Masonic Lodge members. The ages of those buried range from one day (Rosannah Sutherland) to 100 years (Lydia Jewell). A history of Procter Cemetery is available on this website.

Over the summer of 2014, the members of the Ray Township Historical Society toured the cemetery and documented 51 broken, partially buried, or fallen tablets and monuments most in need of repair. The dates etched on these markers range from 1840-1882 and include three Ray Township officials, 10 children, and unidentifiable tablets. The first burial recorded in the Procter Cemetery was for Emeline Bailey, the four year old daughter of Asahel and Cynthia Bailey, who died on May 6, 1828. The most recent burial was for Captain Frank F. Zochowski, Jr. who died in 1993.

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SILENT AUCTION in progress...
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The Friends of Ray Township Library and Historical Society are holding a silent auction to benefit the Renovations for Resourceful Spaces project, which involves completing renovations to the Library’s interior, and archival preservation. The auction begins Tuesday, July 5th and ends the day of the Ray Township picnic, on July 17th. The items to be bid on can be viewed at the Ray Township Library during their normal hours of operation. Items are in the form of baskets and gift certificates ranging from wine tastings to car wash certificates, all from local donors, businesses, and artisans. Please head over to library and take a look because there is something for everyone!

If you would like more information about the Society, please visit our website at or contact Terry, President, at 586-784-9221.

Thank you to this year’s generous donors:

Visit our store page for more information.

At the Special Board meeting on December 21, 2015, the Board and Membership unanimously approved the change to the Society’s name and updates to its Bylaws. The formal request has been submitted to the State of Michigan for approval. Once the process has been completed, the Society will begin work on updating its website and documentation as well as looking into ways to support the Library.

The new Society is seeking additional members who are interested in helping the Library and/or preserving the history of Ray Township. Stop by the Library or contact Terry at 586-784-9221 for more information.


A listing of those buried in the Procter Cemetery by last name and plot number is available under the Procter Cemetery heading on the Society’s website. The information provided is as accurate as possible. With any compilations, errors are inevitable. The Society welcomes corrections and comments.

The markers of the individuals whose names are highlighted in green have been identified as needing urgent repair and, as funding allows, will be professionally restored in the fall of 2015 or spring of 2016 based on the company’s availability. The cost to restore these 51 treasured markers is estimated at $16,550.00. A final cost cannot be determined until the company arrives to perform the restoration. As of July 2015, the Society has successfully reached this goal and will be able to complete the entire project. Names highlighted in yellow have been identified as alternate markers to be restored.

The Society thanks the community for its help in reaching our goal!

The cost to restore each marker or monument ranges from $275 to $400. Any additional funds received specifically for the Procter Cemetery Restoration will be used to restore additional markers that are in leaning or need resetting in their bases. Sponsors can request the restoration of a specific marker with their donation to ensure it is included in first phase of the project scheduled for the fall of 2015.

The Ray Township Historical Society is a 501c3 non-profit organization and as such donations may be tax deductible

PROJECT GOAL: $16,575.00

SUCCESSFULLY REACHED as of August 3, 2015

The Society thanks the following donors for the generous contributions to the Society which will be used for the Procter Cemetery Restoration.

Procter Cemetery Restoration Sponsor Levels

PLATINUM - $1,000

GOLD - $500

SILVER - $250
Armada Lions Club
Armada AmVets Post 93
Avon Pryor – in Memory of John M. Crawford
Ray Township Firefighters
Ray Township Lions Club
Romeo Lions Club

BRONZE - $100
William Diener
Mario & Joelle DiNello
Janet Garrett
Richard Pointe
Richmond Lodge Post #187 F & A M
Rusty W. F. Millar

Graham Family
John & Audrey Hemr & Family
Winn & Sharon Renken
Leroy Smith

Click here to view history of the Procter Cemetery.
Click here to view plot documents for the Procter Cemetery.


The Friends of Ray Township Library and Historical Society’s mission is to engage passionate individuals to enrich cultural experiences, enhance literary and educational opportunities, and enliven history.


Whether you are new to Ray Township, or have lived here for generations, you’ll agree that the “jewel of Macomb County” is a unique and wonderful community. It has grown and changed through the years, but unlike so many surrounding areas, Ray Township has retained its rural charm. Many diligent historians have researched our township, and we present a small sampling of their efforts here.  (The following is adapted from Leeson’s
History of Macomb County, Michigan, pp.858ff.) 

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: It includes some background on two of our best known historic buildings, the Township Hall and Library.)

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 community.

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 Avenue.

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.



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