Dorothy Olivarez of Stege, Calif. identified the postcard’s recipient as the wife of Absalom Francis Bray, a well-respected judge whose name is preserved on the Justice A.F. Bray Courts Building in Martinez.
Throughout the week, Raul Munoz, Jr., Darlene Fray, Sue Firman, Sonia Arredondo, Sherill Hecock, Lorraine Williams and Lorelei Rockwell offered up other tidbits about the Bray family. Bray’s wife was named Lielia and went by the nickname Lula. She was born in California in 1890 and died in 1983. At the time the postcard was sent, A.F. Bray was only an attorney but would go on to become a judge for many years.
The Pittsburg Historical Museum’s archive library holds information about the Brays’ community involvement, plus newspaper clippings about the family. Judge Bray is believed to be the founder of the Contra Costa History Center in Martinez and might have lent a hand in the creation of the East Contra Costa History Museum.
This month’s prize, a one-year membership to the California Farm Bureau, goes to Olivarez – the first person to identify the wife of Judge Bray. However, historian Carol Jensen is still looking for answers.
“No one has identified either the woman in the photograph or the home,” Jensen wrote in an e-mail. “The signature of the correspondent has also eluded our greatest handwriting cryptographers, too. Keep up the good work, amateur historians! Our mystery woman and home may yet be identified as one of our grandmothers!”
If you have any details about this month’s History Mystery, contact Jensen at Historian@byronhotsprings.com.