The farm of Lewis Gray, one of the old settlers of Grant township, is situated about three miles northwest of Jamestown. Mr. Gray came to Kansas in January, 1872, without capital and located the farm where he now lives. He crossed the salt marsh the first Sunday in January and after homesteading his land had one hundred dollars in cash. He built a little dugout on the banks of Buffalo creek, where he was drowned out after "baching" one year. He then removed his dwelling place about forty rods back and was again drowned out, the ground being covered with three feet of water. He had a stone crib 12 by 40 feet in the clear and six feet in height filled with corn, much of which was spoiled by the flood, involving a great loss. In 1892 he erected a stone house 30 by 17 feet in dimenisions, one and one-half stories high. In 1900 added a frame part 25 by 18 feet, making a commodious and comfortable home.
His farm, with its freshly painted residence, latticed porches. good out buildings, including a new and modern poultry house, is an ideal one. His land is beautifully situated on both sides of Buffalo creek which gives him plenty of water and sometimes too much. Timber for fuel in the early days being quite an item prompted Mr. Gray to locate on Buffalo creek. His land is best adapted to wheat and alfalfa, his chief products. He gives considerable attention to poultry, raising from three to five hundred chickens annually.
Mr. Gray was born in the western part of Pennsylvania, in 1842, where the earlier part of his life was spent in the on region of Venango and Allegheny counties. He had never farmed until coming to Kansas but worked in the oil fields of his native state. His parents were William and Elizabeth Gray, natives of Prussia. His father died when our subject was eleven years of age and his mother about a quarter of a century ago. Mr. Gray was thrown upon his own resources by the death of his father and contributed to the support of his mother who lived and died in his home. It was not easy for a man to obtain a start by his own labors in the state where he was reared and this prompted Mr. Gray to come west. He is the only living member of a family of five children, four brothers and one sister, the latter dying when an infant. William, the eldest brother died several years ago. He had lived in Kansas but left during the grasshopper year; like many others, he could not see his way out and lost faith in the future of Kansas. Henry was a resident of Grant township and died in 1899, leaving a widow and two children, a son and a daughter, who reside on the farm. John, died at the age of twenty years from injuries received in an accident.
Mr. Gray was married in 1880 to Maggie Grayburn, of Pennsylvania, a sister of Mrs. Henry Gray. She came to Kansas with her mother and brother (now deceased) in 1878. To and Mrs. Gray four children have been born. The eldest died at three and a half years. Those living are, Clarence, aged twenty, Guy and Willie, aged sixteen and twelve years respectively. They are promising boys: the eldest practically operates the farm. Politically Mr. Gray is a Prohibitionist. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of Jamestown congregation.
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.
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