CHARLES H. McBRAYER is manager of the Mackey-McBrayer Lumber Company of Kiowa, Hazelton and Houltner, and for the last eighteen years he has been actively identified with affairs in that section of Kansas.
He was born in Rowan County, Kentucky, May 11, 1876, and represents an American Scotch family of colonial settlement in North Carolina. His remote ancestor was Ichahod McBrayer, his great-grandfather, who came from Scotland about 1756 and located on a plantation in Buncombe County, North Carolina. This ancestor spent the rest of his life as a farmer and planter, and his descendants own the old homestead still.
The McBrayers were of that rugged, courageous Scotch-Irish people who were always well to the front in pioneer days, and to whose strength and perseverance this country greatly owes its rapid development.
From its earliest days the name of McBrayer has been closely connected with the history of Kentucky. The McBrayers furnished their quota of the brave men who served their country in every war since the great American Revolution; and in times of peace they held positions of trust and honor in their community. Mr. John M. McBrayer, father of Charles H., was born in Boyd County, Kentucky, in 1852, and died in Roman[sic] County, that state, in 1897. He was a lawyer by profession, was a stanch advocate of the republican party, was a Baptist in religion and a member of the Masonic fraternity. He married Mary Proctor, who was born in Lewis County, Kentucky, in 1854 and is now living at Hazleton, Kansas.
Charles H. McBrayer spent his early life in Rowan County, Kentucky. He attended rural schools there and in 1899 graduated from the Normal Training School, a state institution, at Morehead. In the meantime he had taught five terms of school in his native county. He came to Kansas in 1900, first locating at Hazleton. For six months he farmed in Ford County and in 1901 located at Kiowa. For about a year he gave his services here as an accountant for several different concerns, being bookkeeper for a grain company, for the Wells Fargo Express Company, for the Standard Oil Company and several wholesale grocery houses. For one year he was grain buyer for the H. L. Strong Grain Company, and for fourteen months was bookkeeper in the Commercial Bank, now the First National Bank. For one season he was in the grain business for a company at Anthony, Kansas, and in 1905 became manager of the W. D. Mackey Lumber Company. He resigned there in 1909, and for two years was in the bakery and confectionery business.
Upon the death of Mr. Mackey in 1911 he assumed the management of the lumber business, which is the Mackey-McBrayer Lumber Company, the owners being Mr. and Mrs. McBrayer and her mother. The company also has added a hardware and implement business at Hazleton and Hardtner and have branch lumber yards there. Mr. and Mrs. McBrayer have 320 acres of farm lands in Oklahoma, and their modern home was built at Kiowa in 1905.
Mr. McBrayer is one of the most prominent Odd Fellows in Kansas. He is past grand and is treasurer of Kiowa Encampment No. 129, and secretary of Kiowa Lodge No. 388. He is also past grand patriarch of Kansas, and was grand patriarch of the Grand Encampment of the state in 1912 and 1913. He represented Kansas three terms in the Sovereign Grand Lodge in their sessions at Atlantic City, San Francisco and Chattanooga. He is a member of the Canton of Kiowa No. 19, being its clerk, and holds the rank of colonel and is one of the seven men in Kansas who have received the Grand Decoration of Chivalry, Grand Decoration at Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1916, the higest decoration conferred by the Odd Fellows. He is also a member of the Rebekahs and in 1906 was worshipful master of Cosmos Lodge No. 278, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He is consul of Kiowa Camp No. 976, Modern Woodmen of America, and is president of the Fraternal Hall Association of Kiowa and has been active in the company since it was organized for the purpose of building a fine hall on Main Street for the various fraternal organizations.
In politics Mr. McBrayer is a republican. He served as city clerk ten years, and has also been a member of the city council, and at present is city councilman. He is a director in the People's Cash Store at Hardtner, Kansas.
In 1903, at Kiowa, Mr. McBrayer married Miss Rena M. Mackey. Her father, the late W. D. Mackey, was born at Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1853, came to Kansas about 1888, first locating at Olathe, and afterwards, until 1892, was in the lumber business at Cimarron. In that year he established the lumber business at Kiowa now continued by his family. He died at Excelsior Springs, Missouri, in 1911, and his widow, formerly Mary E. McQuiston, a native of Pennsylvania, still resides at Kiowa. Mr. and Mrs. McBrayer have three children: Mary, born January 28, 1905; Jean, born December 9, 1908; and Charles Derrough, born January 7, 1911.
Mr. McBrayer was a member of the associate legal advisory of the Selective Service Board, and he was chairman of this district for Young Men's Christian Association war work. He was likewise one of the Four Minute Men here.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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