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.)


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.

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

Franklin Edgar Gray (1878-1971) & Maude Amy Davis (1877-1972)

updated July 2020

Edgar & Maude are Todd’s great grandparents, the parents of his grandfather Ralph Richard Gray.

GRAY Franklin Edgar DAVIS Maude Amy All Kids
This photo was taken on Edgar & Maude’s 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1950. Back row, left to right: Ralph Richard, Carl Lee, Donald Davis, Dean Alexander, Harold Murray. Front row left to right: Marian Lucille, Frances Doris, Maude & Edgar, Florence Edna, Hope Elizabeth.

Franklin Edgar Gray was born on August 1, 1878 in Missouri. His parents are Alexander Gray and Rose Althea Browning. He was the oldest of their 4 children. Read more about them here.

Maude Amy Davis was born on November 8, 1877 in Ashland, Ohio but had moved to Holt County, Missouri by 1880. Her parents are William Davis and Elizabeth Byerly. I wrote more about them here. She was the youngest of their 15 children.

On the 1880 US Census, Edgar was 2 and lived with his parents in Atchison County, Missouri. They were farming. Maude was also 2 and lived with her parents in Holt County. They too were farming.

The 1890 US Census was lost to fire. In 1891, when Maude was 13, her father William died.

Edgar & Maude were married on February 18, 1900 in Craig, Missouri. Four months later they were enumerated on the 1900 US Census. Edgar was 21 years old and Maude was 22. They were farming in Holt County, Missouri and continued to farm there their entire lives.

In 1901, their son Dean was born. In 1902, their daughter Florence was born. In 1904, their daughter Frances was born. In 1906, their son Carl was born. In 1909, their son Donald was born.

In 1907, Maude’s sister Laura died, and in 1910 her sister Rebecca died.

On the 1910 US Census, Edgar was 31 and Maude was 32. They had 5 children. Dean was 9, Edna was 7, Doris was 6, Carl was 4 and Donald was 1.

In 1911, their son Ralph was born. Also in 1911, Maude’s mother Elizabeth died. In 1913, their daughter Marian was born. In 1916, their son Emory was born, and he died of measles in 1917. In 1918, their daughter Hope was born.

Franklin registered for the draft for World War I in 1918 and the card indicates that he was tall, slender, with gray eyes and black hair.

On the 1920 US Census, Edgar and Maude were 41. They had 8 children. Dean was 18, Edna was 17, Doris was 15, Carl was 13 and Donald was 10, Ralph was 8, Marian was 6, and Hope was 1.

Edgar & Maude at their 70th wedding anniversary.

In 1921, their last child was born, son Harold. In 1923, Maude’s sister Margaret died, in 1927 her brother Andrew died, and in 1930 her brother Ephraim died.

On the 1930 US Census, Edgar was 51 and Maude was 50. They 4 children at home. Ralph was 19, Marian was 16, Hope was 11 and Harold was 8.

In 1933, Maude’s brothers Emrie and Joseph died. In 1936, her brothers William and Henry died. In 1938, Edgar’s mother Rose died, and in 1940, Edgar’s father Alex died.

On the 1940 US Census, Edgar and Maude were 61. Living at home was daughter Marian, age 26.

In 1944, Maude’s brother Marion died. In 1945, her sister Amanda died. In 1948, her sister Minta died. In 1949, her sister Cora died. In 1964, her brother Thurman died, leaving Maude with no living siblings.

Franklin died on June 14, 1971 in Craig, Missouri. He was 92 years old. His Find A Grave memorial is here. Maude died on June 1, 1972. She was 94 years old. Her Find a Grave memorial is here.

The children of Franklin Edgar Gray & Maude Amy Davis in June 1972, probably gathered for their mother’s funeral. Back row, left to right: Don, Dean, Ralph, Carl, Harold. Front row, left to right: Marian, Edna, Doris, Hope.

The children of Franklin Edgar Gray & Maude Amy Davis:

Dean Alexander Gray – Dean was born on February 22, 1901 in Holt County, Missouri. He married Esther Ruddell and they had two children. On the 1930 & 1940 US Census he worked as a car storer at a meat packing plant. He died on November 29, 1974 in Buchanan County, Missouri. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Florence Edna Gray – Edna was born July 5, 1902 in Holt County, Missouri. She married Paul Revere Griffin on December 15, 1920 and they had nine children. They left Holt County in 1942 and moved to California. She died September 6, 2006 in San Bernadino, California at age 104. Her Find A Grave memorial, with a wonderful biography, is here.

Frances Doris Gray – Doris was born on April 27, 1904 in Holt County, Missouri. She married William Henry Cooper and they had two children. William was an inspector on the railroad. She died on April 26, 1989 in Buchanan County, Missouri. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Carl Lee Gray – Carl was born May 3, 1906 in Holt County, Missouri. He married Hope Eleanor Gaskill and had a daughter. He worked as a painting contractor. He died October 1, 1980 in Buchanan County, Missouri.  His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Donald Davis Gray – Don was born on April 13, 1909 in Holt County, Missouri. He married Geneva Hickman (and his brother Ralph Richard married Geneva’s sister, Edna.) They had three children, and farmed. He died on October 8, 1981 in Michigan. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Ralph Richard Gray – Ralph was born February 28, 1911 in Holt County, Missouri. He married Edna Louise Hickman on August 10, 1932 in Atchison County, Missouri. They had three children. Ralph died October 27, 2007 in Holt County, Missouri. His Find a Grave memorial is here. You can read more about him here.

Marian Lucille Gray – Marian was born on November 14, 1913 in Holt County, Missouri. She married Wesley Ingram and they had one daughter. Marian and Wesley divorced. She died on September 27, 2002. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Emory William Gray – Emory was born May 1, 1916 in Holt County, Missouri. He died on May 17, 1917 of the measles. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Hope Elizabeth Gray – Hope was born on July 29, 1918 in Holt County, Missouri. She married Welton Helfers and they had four children. Hope died on October 14, 2014 in Holt County, Missouri. Her Find a Grave memorial is here.

Harold Murray Gray – Harold was born August 15, 1921 in Holt County, Missouri. He married Joan Walkup and they had two daughters. Harold served in World War II. He died on March 13, 2000 in Buchanan County, Missouri. His Find A Grave memorial, with a nice biography, is here.