Paths to the Present: Windsor icon Roy Ray
October 1, 2016
Roy Ray was perhaps one of Windsor's most influential citizens.
As owner, editor, and publisher of the Poudre Valley Newspaper, Ray not only recorded the weekly happenings in the area, he participated in the community and had a profound effect on the development of the town.
In the fall of 1901, with the prospect of a sugar beet factory coming to Windsor, Ray persistently published columns encouraging its development. His involvement had a significant impact in securing the factory's construction which led to a thriving sugar beet industry. Windsor's population tripled between 1900 and 1910, thus spurring local businesses and solidifying agricultural expansion.
Ray was also a participant in the community in which he reported. He became a charter member of the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department organized in 1902, served as Grand Master of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows of Colorado from 1929-1931, was a member of Windsor Town Board for 11 years, and also served as mayor and town clerk. Ray shared his love of music with the community by serving as the manager of the Windsor town band for 30 years and playing in the Christian Church orchestra.
In 1940, as part of the 50-year anniversary of Windsor, Ray wrote the first book on Windsor history. Having been witness to 40 of the 50 years, Ray relied on his keen recollection and decades of published newspapers to complete the book.
As a testament to his work ethic and dedication, Ray passed away at his desk in mid-sentence while recounting an interview he conducted that morning. Ray died at the age of 64, on May 9, 1942. Ray's contribution to the Windsor community lives on in his printed accounts, illuminating the path of our past which has led to our present.
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— Caitlin Heusser is the Museum Curator for the Town of Windsor.