January 18, 1808

William Ray was born on this day. He operated an important blacksmith shop on the Santa Fe Trail in a spot which is today named for him—Raytown.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.