Sidney Bray was born August 22, 1899 on a ranch near Bowie, Texas to Thomas William and Martha Winkler Bray. His father was a postmaster, and the town of Bray in Stephens County is named after him. The Bray family moved from Texas to Oklahoma in 1899 when Sidney was 5 years old. Sidney died Tuesday, February 6, 1996, at the age of 96. He married Allene Patterson on Dec. 25, 1920. Allene died in 1978 after 50 years of marriage. They had one daughter Mrs. Virginia Stephenson of Ponca City, and three grandchildren Kent, Pattie, and Randy. Bray’s second wife Ruth Womack Bray had a son Jerry Womack. Ruth died in 1986.
Bray joined the army in 1918. The same year he moved to Oklahoma City. After a short stateside duty assignment, his Army division was transported to France. After serving frontline duty, he returned to the United States the following year. After military service, he returned to Oklahoma and was an employee in a meat-packing company, was an oilfield tool dresser, and a hardware sales clerk. Finally he was a motor car company employee in Oklahoma City. Through hard work and innovation, Bray worked his way up to national sales promotion manager for the Pontiac division of General Motors. In 1941, he became advertising manager for Packard Corporation in New York City.
He brought his family back to Oklahoma in 1942 when he was appointed State Director of War Bonds Division of the U.S. Treasury Department after returning from World War II.
Serving as regional director of the bond division for seven south central states, he led award-winning savings bond campaigns for the Treasury. A resident of Edmond before moving to Ponca City, he was active in civic affairs and was selected as “Edmond’s Outstanding Citizen and was named a lifetime member of Kiwanis. In Ponca City, he involved himself in community life by becoming a member of the City of Ponca City Cultural Affairs Commission where he served from many years. In October of 1987 Bray was honored for 70 years as a continuous member of the Edmond War Veterans organization.
In 1983, Bray was inducted into Edmond’s Hall of Fame. The highest award bestowed upon Bray for accomplishments before his retirement with the government was the Albert Gallatin Award presented by the U.S. Treasury Department when he retired in 1965. Bray directed nearly a billion and half dollars’ worth of sales in the WW II Bond Drives.
The materials were given to the Oklahoma Collection, Central State University, Archives & Special Collections, May 14, 1986, by Edmond citizen Sidney C. Bray.
The University of Central Oklahoma recognizes the university's main campus is located on the traditional lands of the Caddo and Wichita people.
Visit the UCO Land Acknowledgement website to learn more.