Alexander Gray (1856-1940) – His Obituary

Here is a transcription of the obituary for Alexander Gray, date and newspaper unknown. (His mother’s name was Judah Arena, not Irene.)

ALEXANDER GRAY

Our community was saddened to hear of the passing of Alex Gray at his home in Craig, Tuesday, December 31, 1940 at 4pm.
He had a long lingering illness but bore his suffering with patience and fortitude. All that loving hands and hearts and medical skill could do was of no avail.

Alexander Gray was born June 24, 1856, near Gower in Buchanan County, Mo. and attained the age of 84 years, 6 months, and 7 days.

His parents, Franklin and Irene Gray, were pioneers in Buchanan County. Mr. Gray was the fourth child in a family of four boys and one girl. When he was eight years old his parents died, and he and his brother, Simian, were taken into the home of a maternal uncle, Dr. Simian Parrish, then a pioneer physician of Holt County living at his farm home three miles north of Craig.

These little boys were loved and nurtured by their foster parents and given all the advantages they could give their own children.
Mr. Gray grew to manhood in this home, and engaged in farming.

He was married to Rose A. Browning July 18, 1877. His companion passed away Nov. 30, 1938. They established their home on a farm five miles north of Craig and continued to reside in this community until 1912, when they retired from the farm and moved to Craig.

To this union were born four children. Edgar of Craig, Mrs. Allen Bowersox of Reserve, Kans., Miss Erma of the home, and a daughter, Orpha, who died in infancy.

Other survivors are nine grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild, and a number of nieces and nephews.

Mr. Gray and his wife were charter members of Sharp’s Grove Baptist Church. He was ever loyal and true to his faith and to his church, having held office in the capacity of deacon for more than 35 years. By thrift and industry he had accumulated considerable property in houses and lands. He was also a stockholder in the Bank of Craig.

He was a man of high moral character, sterling qualities and steadfast principles. Ever mindful of the right.
He was devoted to his home and his family, loved and respected by his friends and neighbors. With his passing the family loses a devoted father and grandfather and the community an upright citizen.

Funeral services were conducted in the M. E. Church Friday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock by a former pastor of the Sharp’s Grove Church, Rev. G. A. Puckett of Kingston, Mo., who read an impressive and beautiful discourse of which the theme was “The Christian’s Life, the Faith, and the Final Reward – Eternal Life.” The speaker paid a beautiful tribute to the exemplary daily life of the deceased as he trod the milestones along life’s highway with his fellowmen.

A choir composed of Rev. and Mrs. Earl A. Ogle, Mrs. Fred Walkup and Mr. Horn sang the hymns, “Whispering Hope,” “Sunrise Tomorrow,” and “Shall We Gather at the River,” with Miss Lena Lawrence at the piano. The floral offerings, gifts of friends and relatives, were profuse and beautiful.

The body-bearers were grandsons of the deceased: Dean, Carl, Don, Ralph and Harold Gray and W. H. Cooper.

The great granddaughters bore the flowers: Wilma and Dorothy Griffin, Beatrice Cooper and Clarissa Gray.

The remains were laid tenderly to rest in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery , there to await the Master’s call.

The pains of death have ceased,
Labor and sorrow cease.
And life’s long warfare closed at last.
His soul is found in peace.
Soldier of Christ well done.
Praise be the new employ,
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in the Savior’s joy.

Relatives and friends from a distance were:
Mr. Lon Gray and wife, Mr. Norman Gray and wife, Mr. Ben Moore and wife, Mr. Wyman Gray and wife, Mr. Roy Gray, Bryan Weakley and wife all of Gower.

Charles Williams and wife, Carl Gray and wife, Dean Gray and family, W. H. Cooper and family, Miss Minnie Gray, Mrs. Earl Wing, Jewell Gibson and wife, all of St. Joseph.

Fred Krull and wife, Easton, and O. C. Gray of Omaha, Nebr.

A. E. Bowersox and wife, Misses Anna and Martha Stewart and Mrs. S. B. Stewart of Reserve, Kans.; Mrs. Dan Chaney of Falls City, Neb., George Jones and wife of Horton, Kans., H. H. Browning, S. F. Williams and wife, and Glenn Davis and wife all of Fairfax.

J. L. Browning and wife, M. Browning, Ed Browning, and Mrs. Asa Hollenbeck all of Mound City.

CARD OF THANKS
We wish to thank our many friends, relatives and neighbors for the sympathy and helpfulness shown in the death of our father, also for the flowers; to the choir for the rendition of the beautiful music and for the use of cars.
F. E. Gray and family, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Bowersox, and Miss Erma Gray

Alexander Gray (1856-1940) & Rose Althea Browning (1854-1938)

Alex & Rose are Todd’s great great grandparents, the parents of his great grandfather Franklin Edgar Gray.

GRAY Alexander BROWNING Rose Althea PortraitAlexander Gray was born on June 24, 1856 in Buchanan County, Missouri. His parents are Franklin William Gray & Judah Arena Parrish. I wrote about them here. He was the 4th of their 6 children.

Rose Althea Browning was born on August 25, 1854 in Holt County, Missouri. Her parents are Elias William Browning and Anna Elizabeth Galloway. I wrote about them here. She was the 2nd oldest of their 15 children.

On the 1860 US Census, Alex was 4 and lived with parents Franklin, age 38 and Judah, age 36, farmers in Buchanan County, Missouri. Other siblings in the home were William age 12, Benjamin, age 10, and Simeon age 8. Others in the house were Martha Wiese, age 17, and William Cooley, age 45, a traveling merchant from York State.

Rose was 5 and lived with parents Elias, age 28 and Elizabeth, age 25, farmers in Holt County, Missouri. Other siblings in the house were John Francis, 7, Louisa Jane 4, William Allison 3 and Isabella, age 3 months.

Both of Alex’s parents died in 1864. On the 1870 US Census, Alex was 13 and lived with his uncle Simeon Parrish and family. His brother Simeon, age 17, also lived with them. His sister Sarah, age 10, lived with her uncle Robert Wadsworth Holmes. I haven’t found brothers William Linsey Gray and Benjamin Franklin Gray in 1870 but they were 22 and 20 by then.

On the 1870 US Census, Rose was 16, her father William was 39, and her mother Elizabeth was 36. John Francis was 17, Louisa Jane was 14, William Allison was 12, Isabella was 10, Florence Letta was 8 and Emma was 1. They were in Holt County and Elias’ occupation was “labour.” It had been a rough year for the family. Two sons, James M., born in 1864, and Robert Lee, born in 1866, died within 5 days of each other in May of 1870, and daughter Kitty (Robert’s twin, born in 1866) died that year too, sometime prior to August when the family was enumerated on the census.

Rose married Alex on July 18, 1877 in Sharps Grove, Holt County, Missouri. She did this against her father’s wishes, because he didn’t care for Alexander Gray

Their son Franklin Edgar was born in 1878.

On the 1880 US Census, Alex, age 24, and Rose, age 26, were farming in Atchison County, Missouri, right next to Alex’s brother Simeon. Son Franklin Edgar was 2.

Daughter Lula was born in 1881, and daughter Bernice Erma was born in 1889.

On the 1900 US Census, Alex was 43 and Rose was 45. They had been married for 23 years, and Rose had given birth to 4 children, 3 living. Daughter Lula was 19, and daughter Erma was 10. Son Edgar, age 21 and a newlywed, was in the next house over, with wife Maude. They were all farming in Holt County, Missouri.

GRAY Alexander Family PortraitDaughter Orpha Evelyn was born and died in 1894.

(Photo: A portrait of the Gray family in front of the home Alex had just built in Craig, Missouri in 1894. Left to right: Rowdy the horse, Franklin Edgar Gray, Erma, Alex, Lula, Rose holding Orpha who died shortly after the photo was taken.)

On the 1910 US Census, Alex was 54 and Rose was 55. Daughters Lula, age 28, and Erma, age 21, lived at home. Alex was farming and Erma was a teacher at a rural school.

On the 1920 US Census, Alex was 63 and Rose was 64. Daughters Lula, age 38, and Erma, age 30, lived at home. Lula was a saleslady at a drug store and Erma was a telephone operator.

(Photo: Alex & Rose celebrating an anniversary.)

On the 1930 US Census, Alex was 73 and Rose was 75. Daughters Lula, age 48, and Erma, age 40, lived at home. None were employed.

Rose died November 30, 1938 in Craig, Missouri. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

The family was enumerated on the 1940 US Census on April 20, 1940. Alex was 83 and daughter Erma was 51. Neither was empoloyed. Alex died on December 31, 1940 in Craig, Missouri. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

The children of Alexander Gray & Rose Althea Browning:

Franklin Edgar Gray – Franklin is Todd’s great grandfather. You can read more about him here.

Lula Gray – Lula was born on May 4, 1881 in Craig, Missouri. She married Allen Elisha Bowersox sometime after 1930. She died February 1, 1973 in Fairfax, Missouri. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Bernice Erma Gray – Bernice was born on October 25, 1899 (I believe the Social Security Index is incorrect in saying she was born in 1888). She died on January 21, 1981 in Craig, Missouri.

Orpha Evelyn Gray – Orpha was born on February 17, 1894 and died on November 12, 1894. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Under the Postcard & Letters category, you’ll find many postcards written to this family by friends and relatives, and some they wrote to each other.