Item - Claxton Ray fonds

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Title proper

Claxton Ray fonds

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  • Textual record

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Physical description

approx. 5 cm textual records, consisting of two bound ledgers

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Name of creator

(14 February 1916 - 31 December 1989)

Biographical history

The son of Secelar Claxton Ray and Maude Ethyl (nee Runyan), Claxton Ray was born on February 14th, 1916 in Ashland, Alabama. In 1940, he was drafted into the United States Army and would serve as Lieutenant of the 360th Engineer Aviation Battalion (EAB) Company D in England and France, during WWII. Following the war, he married his finance, Ola Gay Cotney, on April 20th, 1946 and they would go on to have four children.

During the Korean War, he served as Captain of the 809th Engineer Aviation Battalion. This unit later went to Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, Newfoundland. Claxton was stationed here until about 1965, when he and his family moved to Woodstock, Ontario. By 1966, he and his family were living at 158 Ingersoll Road and he was the proprietor of Dickson’s Flowers located a few doors down at 162 Ingersoll Road. The business specialized in cut flowers, funeral flowers and wedding bouquets, and was a bonded member of the FTD, U.F.C. and Teleflora. By 1970, the business expanded to include a garden centre (Dickson’s Florist & Garden Centre) which sold plants, evergreens and fertilizers. The business also provided worldwide wire service. Sadly, in 1979, the business was destroyed by the tornado that ripped through Woodstock and surrounding area on the evening of August 7th. The family would rebuild, this time naming the business, Goodwill Farms and Nursery, and remained in operations for almost another decade.

Claxton Ray passed away on December 31, 1989 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and is buried in the Lineville City Cemetery, in Alabama, United States.

Custodial history

The ledgers were created and maintained by Claxton Ray, when he owned and operated Dickson’s Flowers and later Goodwill Farms and Nursery, in Woodstock Ontario. Following his death, the records were in the possession of his son, Wayne Ray, before he donated them to Queens Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland as part of a larger donation of records. As per his request, the Accessions Archivist transferred the records to the Oxford County Archives in April 2018.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of two bulb and plant propagation record books spanning the years 1968-1983.

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Physical condition

Both ledgers are in good condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The Oxford County Archives received the ledgers from Joanne Costello, Archives and Special Collections, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University, Newfoundland in April 2018.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

The fonds is open to publish research. However, please contact the archivist responsible for the records regarding access, as some materials may be too fragile to handle. The Archives will make every effort to supply reference copies where feasible.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.

The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition.

Finding aids

A detailed finding aid is available. Please contact Archives staff for further information.

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Accompanying material

Further records and photographs related to the life and military career of Claxton Ray may be found at Memorial University Archives and on the Internet Archive website:

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