George W. Pray Papers: 1844-1890
Summary Information
Title: George W. Pray Papers
Creator: Pray, George Washington, 1825-1890
Inclusive dates: 1844-1890
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
Extent: 1 oversize volume
Extent: 1 microfilms
Physician; member of the first graduating class of the University of Michigan in 1845; papers include journals, correspondence, physician's records.
Call number: 852080 Aa 2 mf235c
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid prepared by: Thomas E. Powers

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of the Pray family (Donor no. 4444), December 1993. A small addition to the collection came in 1998.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research. Researchers are required to use either the photocopy or microfilm copy of the Pray student journals.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Alternate Format:

Microfilm copies of the Pray student journals are available.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., George W. Pray Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


George W. Pray was born August 27, 1825 in Angelica, New York. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1845 as a member of the first graduating class. He then enrolled at Western Reserve College where he received his medical degree in 1849. He practiced medicine first in Salem in Washtenaw County, Michigan (1849-1856), in Ronald Township in Ionia County (1856-1863), in Ann Arbor (1863-1867), and then back to Ionia County to his home near Woodard Lake. George Pray, in addition to his practice, also engaged in politics, serving his community as a Supervisor and as a member of the state House of Representatives (1879-1880). He died January 27, 1890.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Pray collection includes journals, 1844-1849, covering his years as a student at the University of Michigan and in the Medical Department of Western Reserve College, Cleveland, Ohio. In addition, there is correspondence exchanged with his wife, Adele, primarily during the year 1879 when they were separated due to his service in the Michigan House. Other materials of interest include various personal and business account books and record books from his medical practice.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Ann Arbor (Mich.)
  • Cleveland (Ohio)
  • Ionia County (Mich.)
  • Literature -- Societies, etc.
  • Northfield (Mich. : Township)
  • Physicians -- Michigan -- Northfield (Township)
  • Washtenaw County (Mich.)
  • Physicians -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Physicians -- Michigan -- Ionia County.
  • Michigan -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
  • Pray, George Washington, 1825-1890.
  • Pray, Adele.
  • Michigan. Legislature. House of Representatives.
  • University of Michigan -- Class of 1845.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1841-1850.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Sexual behavior.
  • Western Reserve University.
  • Woodard Lake Literary and Dramatic Association.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Education: University of Michigan and Western Reserve College [series]
Journals June 1844-November 1849
Box   1  
Photocopies of Journals (5 folders)
Roll   1  
Microfilm of Journals (1 reels)
Box   2  
Original journals (5 volumes)  [Restricted, for preservation reasons, researchers must use either the photocopies or microfilm.]
Box   1  
Loose page from journal
Box   1  
Partial typescript of journals (2 folders)
Box   1  
Western Reserve College student notebooks and printed material (2 folders)
Box   1  
Student essay
Box   1  
Expense log 1849
Professional career [series]
Box   1  
Various account books and physician's visiting log books (1 folder)
Oversize Volume   1  
Financial daybook 1849-1859
Personal and estate material [series]
Box   1  
Letters of George Pray to Adele Pray 1879, 1881, 1889
Box   1  
Letters of Adele Pray to George Pray 1879
Box   1  
Record book of the Woodard Lake Literary and Dramatic Association 1879-1882
Box   1  
Clippings about Pray family
Box   1  
Political advertisements and miscellaneous
Box   1  
Inventory of library 1906
Box   1  
Pray estate agreements 1863-1887
Box   1  
Pray estate receipts circa 1887
Box   1  
Pray estate receipts circa 1885-1899
Box   1  
Pray estate receipts circa 1895
Box   1  
Receipts circa 1896
Box   1  
Registry circa 1890
Box   1  
Miscellaneous correspondence, ephemera, receipts, etc
Box   2  
Published materials

(cataloged copies available in printed collection)