A self-made man of the land: Ray Gill has triumphed



Ray Gill

Ray Gill amassed wealth through his success in farming, oil-gas leases and bond investments, but his proudest moment was receiving an honorary doctorate – despite only having an eighth-grade education. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

David Knopf/News Editor

Ray Gill’s accomplished more in his 90 years than anyone with an eighth-grade education could expect.

Born to a family of tenant farmers, he accumulated as much or more wealth than anyone in the county. He owns and has farmed hundreds and hundreds of acres on both sides of Highway 13 in the fertile Henrietta river bottoms. He researched, purchased and personally monitored lucrative interests in oil and gas wells, earned money investing in the municipal-bond market, served on the board of a bank, wrote a book, studied the science of hydrology, helped develop Richmond’s first public swimming pool, learned piano late in life and shared his wealth with both William Jewell College and the Mayo Clinic. There’s more, but space is limited.

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