John Gray

JOHN GRAY, one of the prosperous and highly respected farmers of Mineral township, where he owns a well cultivated farm of 160 acres, was born in 1845, at Tewksbury, Massachusetts. He is a son of Jonathan and Phoebe (Batchelder) Gray.

Jonathan Gray died August 15, 1854, when his son, John, the youngest of the family of nine children, now the only surviving member of the family, was less than a year old. The mother was born at Reading, Massachusetts, and died at Tewksbury, aged 52 years. After the death of Jonathan Gray, the State of Massachusetts bought his property, which was advantageously located for public purposes, and thereon erected the State Alms House, where it still stands.

John Gray continued to farm in his native locality until 1863, when he enlisted for service in the Civil War, entering the 15th Massachusetts Battery. He was mustered out when the war closed, in 1865, at Readville, Massachusetts. In 1867 he went to Illinois, and there rented land for seven years, during which period he married. In 1873 he made a visit to Kansas, and finally purchased his present farm of 160 acres, in section 28, township 32, range 24, in Mineral township. In the following year he brought his family and has resided here ever since. He is engaged successfully in general farming, raises considerable stock, has fine orchards and excellent buildings and, in fact, has all the pleasant and convenient surroundings which years of industry and good management have naturally procured. Many and great have been the changes wrought in Mineral township since his settlement here, and he has done his full share in bringing about some of the most desirable of them. The children of Mineral township have, to-day, as good educational opportunities and business chances, as have those of any other section of the country. For seven years Mr. Gray served on the School Board, and he has taken an interest in all public measures which have been of substantial benefit to this locality.

At Chebanse, Illinois, in 1870, Mr. Gray married Ellen Radley, who was born in Indiana. They have had nine children, viz: Martha, born in Illinois, who married Rev. J. H. Carter, a minister of the Methodist Church, in Washington, and has three children,—Beulah, Caroll and Forest; Lizzie, born in Illinois, who married Roy Duncan, and lives in Pleasant View township: Nellie, born in Kansas, who married D. C. Eakin, and has twin children,—Ralph and Ray; John G., born in Kansas, who married Alta Johnston; Edith, who died in infancy; and Lucy, William E., Tressa and Harry, all of whom were born in Kansas, and live at home.

In politics, Mr. Gray is a stanch Republican. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, and was a charter member of the post in Chebanse, Illinois. He is one of the substantial farmers of this section, and one of its enterprising, progressive and representative citizens. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Gray accompany this sketch.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Judy Hartman, staff from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, February 19, 1997.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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