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Lunch With Books Begins Its ‘Lesser Known Legends Of Wheeling’ Series

Joseph Ray

WHEELING– The first entry in the new series, “Archiving Wheeling Presents: Lesser Known Legends of Wheeling,” will feature Joseph Ray. Dr. Christina Fisanick at the Ohio County Public Library’s weekly Lunch With Books virtual program.

This first program in the series will take place at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and will be live streamed on the library’s official Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as on the library’s website under the Archiving Wheeling section.

Fisanick will discuss the unusual life, times and family of Valley Grove-born (1807) Joseph Ray, who grew up in a Quaker family on a farm near West Liberty. Always most interested in “ciphering,” Ray went on to a brilliant teaching career and the authorship of the most popular series of math texts in the country during the 19th century, “Ray’s Arithmetic.”

The main series consisted of six core books: “Primary Arithmetic,” “Intellectual Arithmetic,” “Practical Arithmetic,” “Higher Arithmetic,” “Elementary Algebra” and “Higher Algebra.”

Ray’s teaching methods were so widely popular because they took difficult theories and concepts and applied them to everyday problems, such as how to determine the weight and cost of tea, coffee and butter.

Though his books faded in use in the 1920s, they have experienced a resurgence in popularity among homeschooling groups.

Dr. Fisanick is an English professor and published author.

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