Raymond Dondanville, the fourth of nine children of Daniel Dondanville and Mary Ellen DeBolt, was born in Serena Township, LaSalle County, Illinois on February 25, 1877. He attended local schools in Serena and entered Aurora College.
Ray worked for a brief time for a railroad in Indiana after finishing school and moved to Kansas City, Missouri around 1900. He was interested in medicine and in Kansas City he worked as a male nurse. He eventually established a practice in chiropractory although he had no record of formal training in this field.
Ray met Gladys Swartzel from Caldwell, Kansas and they were married around 1910. In 1911 they followed the rest of the family to Lonepine, Montana to homestead. They returned to Kansas City where Ray worked for a time in a clothing store and continued to practice chiropractory. In the 1920s he claimed to have known Harry Truman and "Big Tom" Pendergast, the Democratic party boss of Kansas City.
Ray died in Kansas City on July 9, 1956. Following his death, Gladys returned to Caldwell to live with her sister. Gladys died on March 27, 1958. Both are buried in the Caldwell Kansas Cemetery.