Open main menu

History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Gilbert B. Pray

Gilbert B. Pray - History of Iowa.jpg
[G B Pray]


GILBERT B. PRAY was born at Michigan City, Indiana, April 27, 1847. His father located at Webster City, Iowa, in 1856, where the son received his education in the public schools. He enlisted in the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry in 1864, participated in the Battle of Nashville and in General Sherman's campaigns. At the close of the war he entered the law office of Judge D. D. Chase, pursuing his studies three years and was admitted to the bar in 1868, then entering upon the practice of his profession. In 1882 he was elected Clerk of the Supreme Court, holding the position for twelve years by successive reëlections. He served many years on the Republican State Central Committee, and was twice chairman, conducting important political campaigns successfully. In 1886 in association with Ex-Governor Frank D. Jackson and Sidney A. Foster and other gentlemen, he assisted in organizing the Royal Mutual Union Life Insurance Company at Des Moines, of which he was chosen treasurer. In 1897 he was appointed by President McKinley Surveyor-General of Alaska, but declined. He was soon after appointed a special agent of the Indian Bureau and entered upon the duties of the office.