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Historical Honors Award Recipient

Ray Hugh Garvey

1993
Entrepreneur Extraordinary Agribusiness, Oil, Real Estate

Born January 3, 1893 in Phillips County, Kansas, Ray Garvey earned money for college by planting wheat each winter on a rented quarter of land. He bought and ran two paper routes while attending college at Washburn University in Topeka. He left Topeka in 1914 with an AB degree and in 1915 with an LL.B. degree. His life was fueled by an energetic outlook and a natural curiosity. Garvey was killed in a car accident June 29, 1959.

Garvey served as County Attorney in Thomas County, Kansas, and also worked briefly with fee work on land deals before he became a partner in Judge A.A. Kendall's land business in 1918. In order to sell the land and to run it effectively, Garvey went to work himself. He innovated by running large acreages like a business, and asking the farmers to account for every penny of expense. Eventually his farms operated over 100,000 acres, and on them, Garvey harvested a 1,000,000 bushel wheat crop in 1947 - the largest harvest for an individual known in American history.

Garvey was known by those who knew him as "a Good Story." He dressed down and drove a Ford to avoid "putting on airs" as well as to show his employees an example of a low cost operation. He was known as a strict but ethical negotiator who always followed through on his deals.

Aside from farming, Garvey went into the businesses of fuel, low-costing housing, and grain elevators. He also created Amortibanc, to deal with installment securities, and Petroleum, Inc., to deal with the need to invest income from the farming operation.
 
Click here for more on Garvey Industries today.

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