The late Henry Gray and his family were among the early settlers of Grant township. They came in the spring of 1872 when there were but few settlers and not many remain at the present time who were there then. The Gray homestead was first settled by a man who when he had broke out a few furrows of ground received word of an accident that had befallen his wife in the east, and left without filing on the land.
Mr. Gray was born in Germany, but when four years of age came with his parents to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania. He was a soldier of the Civil war in the Third Battalion, Company G, Eighteenth Regiment of United States Regulars. He experienced the horrors of a southern prison for six months ere he was paroled. He was a valiant soldier and under General Sherman and General Rosecrans participated in many battles. Mr. Gray died in 1899 at the age of fifty-seven years. By his death the community lost one of the best men in the township - an industrious, honorable citizen. He accumulated land until with his children he owned five hundred and thirty acres, which has since been divided between his wife, daughter and son who survive him.
Mrs. Gray was born in Montreal, Canada, but reared in Pennsylvania, having removed there with her parents when but one year of age. Through the glowing description as depicted by the two brothers who preceded him, Mr. Gray became enthused over the prospect of gaining a home in the west, and with their capital of about one thousand dollars came on a boat down the Monongahela into the Ohio river, and thence up the Mississippi and Missouri to Atchison. From this point they traveled overland to their destination in a spring wagon. Upon their arrival improvements began. Mr. Gray erected a stone house about Sox16 feet in dimensions, covered with boards for a roof. For several years they experienced all the hardships of the early settlers, brought about by grasshopper raids, drouths, etc. It was three or four years before they raised a crop but managed to keep out of debt. Mr. Gray was a hard working man and gained his estate by hard labor.
To Mr. and Mrs. Gray three children have been born, namely: Ophellia, the eldest child, is the wife of Frank Spear, who has been a resident of Grant township almost a dozen years and is a prosperous farmer. He owns two hundred and forty acres of land. They are the parents of two little sons, Vernon Theodore and Hubert Paul. Theodore Charles, their second child, and first son, died at the age of twenty-one years.
The second son, Frank Gray, is one of the successful farmers and stockmen of that vicinity. He owns two hundred acres of fine bottom land that raises more corn perhaps than any other farm of the same magnitude in the community. He has a fine orchard that yielded about one hundred bushels of apples the past season (1902). He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Julia Eichinger, who died six years after their marriage, leaving three children, Nellie, Frank Earl and Earnest Wilbur. His second wife was Miss Nettie Williams. Her parents were old settlers of Jewell county, where she was born and reared. To their union one child has been born, a little daughter, Alice, aged seventeen months.
Frank Gray is a public-spirited citizen and one of the leading men of the community. Socially he is a member of the Order of Woodmen and of the independent Order of Odd Fellows. Politically he is a Republican. With his mother he keeps a herd of about sixty head of well graded cattle and also raises hogs quite extensively.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project