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Biographies



Source:
Portrait & Biographical Records
of Marion & Hardin Counties, Ohio
Containing Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent
and Representative Citizens of the Counties
 Together with Biographies and Portraits of all the Presidents
of the United States
Chicago:
Chapman Publishing Co.
1895

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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JOHN F. GRAY.  This gentleman, who is one of the well-to-do agriculturists of Big Island Township, Marion County, has been a resident of this section since his marriage, which occurred in 1866.  He has always followed the occupation of a farmer, and since his marriage, which occurred in 1866.  He has always followed the occupation of the farmer, and since his early years has had a knowledge of that industry.  He was born Oct. 28, 1834, in Marion County, to George and Mary Jane (Barr) Gray.
     The father of our subject was born May 18, 1806, in Sussex County, Del.  He was fairly well educated, and upon commencing in life for himself chose the occupation of carpentering, which he followed with success.  He died Dec. 29, 1880, at Scott Town, Ohio, aged seventy-four years.  He was very prominent in the Buckeye State, and in politics was an old-time Democrat.  In 1835 he was chosen Associate Judge by the Legislature of Ohio, and afterward filled the office of Justice of the Peace acceptably in Grand Township, this county.  In 1858 he was appointed Postmaster of Cochranton, and two years thereafter was elected Probate Judge of Marion County, being re-elected to the latter office at the expiration of his term.  His great popularity is shown by the fact that he was called upon to serve the people of the city of Marion as Mayor, but shortly after being installed in the office resigned and retired to private life.
     Mrs. Mary Jane Gray was born in Sussex County, Del., Oct. 29, 1809, and married George Gray February 13, 1827.  To them were born seven children, namely: William Henry, born Jan. 31, 1828; David B.., Oct. 15, 1829; James K. Apr. 16, 1831; John F., Oct. 28, 1834; Sarah E., July 29, 1838; Amos, Apr. 23, 1841; and May A., July 25, 1843.  Of these only four besides our subject are living, James, Amos, Sarah, and Mary.
     Grandfather Frazer Gray
was born in the state of New Jersey, July 26, 1761.  When young he was taken by his parents on their removal into Sussex County, Del., where his boyhood days were spent on a farm.  Upon attaining his eighteenth year he volunteered as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, serving as one of the "Blue Hen's Chickens" until the close of the conflict.  Although a private during his army life, he was associated with one event of particular note in the history of that period, and one personal incident of ore than ordinary interest.  He was with his regiment on the Hudson River at the time Major Andre was captured, and to him was assigned the duty of aiding in guarding that noted man, and when he was hung he stood near the gallows.  The following is a statement of the occurrence:  Andre was well and neatly dressed, was polite and courteous in his manner, never betraying the least emotion.  When on the scaffold he made a thrilling speech, full of loyalty to his king, and denying all intention of acting the role of spy.  He claimed that under the circumstances he ought not to be hung.  A soldier's death by shooting should be ordered, and as this, his last appeal, met with no response, he turned to the officer nearest him with a smile on his face, and signified his readiness to die in any away for his king and country.
     The grandfather of our subject was personally acquainted with General Washington.  The following incident in this connection is related by him: "A few of the 'Blue Hen's Chickens,' myself among the number, had been given leave of absence to go out of the lines chestnutting one Sunday.  While thus engaged, Washington and his orderly rode near us, and the General called me to him.  'What are you doing here?' he asked.  'Gathering some nuts by permission,' I replied.  The General answered, 'It is right then, but remember that green nuts are very unwholesome; so be careful not to eat too many of them, for we cannot spare any Delaware men,' and with a military salute he rode away."  Frazer Gray departed this life Oct. 9, 1849, at the age of eighty-eight years.  But little is known of the early history of our subject's mother, other than that her parents died when she was quite young, and that she was reared by her grandparents.
     The original of this sketch was married in Marion County, Ohio, May 31, 1866.  The maiden name of his wife was Almedid Ellen Riley  Her parents were of Irish descent, and were classed among the substantial residents of Marion County, in which section they owned a valuable tract of land.
     To our subject and his estimable wife were born six children, of whom those living are, David, Robert, Cora A. and Edmund L.  David married Miss Flora Heiner.   The sons and daughter of our subject are all well educated,  Robert and Cora having attended school at Ada, Ohio, and Valparaiso, Ind.
     Mrs. Gray departed this life Feb. 24, 1888.  She was a woman greatly esteemed, and was a valued member of the Swedenborgian Church, to which body her husband also belonged.  In politics he is a stanch supporter of Democratic principles.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Marion and Hardin Counties, Ohio - 1895 - Page 136

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