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

George Fletcher Hickman (1888-1929) & Minnie Alice Showalter (1891-1965)

updated July 2020

George Fletcher Hickman & Minnie Alice Showalter are Todd’s great grandparents, the parents of his grandmother Edna Louis Hickman.

Minnie Alice Showalter & George Fletcher Hickman

George Fletcher Hickman was born November 3, 1887 in Mound City, Missouri. His parents were Abner Clift Hickman and Mary “Mollie” G. Morgan. He was the middle child of 3, and the only boy. I wrote about them here.

Minnie Alice Showalter was born August 21, 1891 in Craig Missouri. Her parents were David Showalter and Edee May Baker. She was the youngest of their 7 children. I wrote about them here.

On the 1900 US Census, the Showalter family was farming in Holt County, Missouri. Minnie was 8, her father David was 50 and widowed. Minnie’s mother Edee had died the year before. Brother Joseph was 19, and sister Edee was 15. Also living in the house was Harry Barrickman, age 22, a farm hand.  The Hickman family was also farming in Holt County, Missouri. George was 12. His father Abner was 44 and his mother Mollie was 36. They had been married for 16 years, and Mollie had given birth to 3 children, all living.  His sister Letha was 16, and his sister Laura was 9.

George & Minnie were married on February 16, 1910 in Craig, Missouri at the Presbyterian Parsonage. Minnie was 18 years old and George was 21. On the 1910 US Census they were farming in Holt County, Missouri. Daughter Geneva was born later that year.

SHOWALTER Minnie center LAWRENCE Hattie left black and white
Minnie Alice Showalter in center, Hattie Lawrence on the left, and unknown the right.

In 1912, George’s sister Laura died. Also in 1912, their son David Clift was born. In 1913, their daughter Edna Louise was born.

In 1917, George filled out a WWI draft registration card. It indicates that he was tall and slender with gray eyes and dark brown hair. He was a clerk who was “not able to work at present.”

In 1918, George’s mother Mary died.

On the 1920 US Census, George and Minnie and their 3 children lived with George’s father Abner Hickman. They were farming in Holt County, Missouri. Abner was 62, George was 31, and Minnie was 27. Their children were Geneva, age 9; Clift, age 8; and Edna (Todd’s grandmother), age 7.

Minnie’s brother Joseph died in 1922. Daughter Georgia Grace was born in 1924. Minnie’s father David died in 1927.

The family moved to California, and were listed in the Redlands, California City Directory in 1927 and 1929. Edna later recalled seeing the Spirit of St. Louis in California before Lindbergh’s famous flight.

George died on September 10, 1929 in Holt County, Missouri. He was 40 years old. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

SHOWALTER Minnie SCRUTCHFIELD Tom black and white
Minnie Alice Showalter & Thomas Scrutchfield

On the 1930 US Census, Minnie was 38 and widowed, farming in Holt County, Missouri. Geneva was 19, Clift was 18, Edna was 16, and Georgia was 5.

In 1933, Minnie’s brother Ezra died.

On the 1940 US Census, Minnie was 48. Her children Georgia, age 15, and Clift, age 28 & widowed, lived in the home, along with granddaughter Shirley, age 1. Clift was farming.

In 1944, Minnie’s brother Abraham died. Minnie married Thomas C. Scrutchfield on April 24, 1944 in Jackson County, Missouri. They divorced in less than a year.

In 1957, Minnie’s brother William died. In 1964, Minnie’s last living sibling, sister Edee, died.

Minnie died November 7, 1965. She was 74 years old. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

The children of George Fletcher Hickman & Minnie Alice Showalter:

HICKMAN Geneva HICKMAN Clift HICKMAN Georgia black and white
Geneva Hickman, Clift Hickman, and Georgia Hickman

Geneva Mae Hickman – Geneva was born November 28, 1910 in Craig, Missouri. She married Donald Davis Gray and they had three children. (Her sister Edna Louis married Don’s brother Ralph Richard.) She died on November 5, 1972 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was 61 years old. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

HICKMAN Clift and Ilah anniversary

David Clift Hickman – David was born March 11, 1912 in Mound City, Missouri. He married Mabel Hollander and she died giving birth to their second child on November 1, 1939. He married Illah Mae Lutterloh on June 12, 1942 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They had eight children. David died on January 19, 1995 in Muskegon County, Michigan. He was 82 years old.

Edna Louise Hickman – Edna was born June 6, 1913 in Mound City, Holt County, Missouri. She married Ralph Richard Gray on August 10, 1932 in Atchison County, Missouri. They had three children. Edna died on January 26, 2000 in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri. She was 86 years old. You can read more about her here.

HICKMAN Georgia VOKITS John black and white
Georgia Grace Hickman & John Vokits

Georgia Grace Hickman – Georgia was born on August 25, 1924 in Mound City, Missouri. She married John Vokits and they had five children. John served in World War II and lost a leg. Georgia died on October 12, 1981 in Muskegon County, Michigan. She was 57 years old. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Ralph Richard Gray (1911-2007) & Edna Louise Hickman (1913-2000)

updated July 2020

Ralph Richard Gray & Edna Louise Hickman were Todd’s paternal grandparents.

Ralph Richard Gray was born February 28, 1911 in Craig, Missouri. He was the 6th of 10 children. His parents are Franklin Edgar Gray and Maude Amy Davis. Read more about them here.

Edna Louise Hickman was born June 6, 1913 in Mound City, Missouri. She was the 3rd of 4 children. Her parents are George Fletcher Hickman and Minnie Alice Showalter. Read more about them here.

On the 1920 US Census, Ralph was 8 and lived with his parents and siblings on a farm in Holt County, Missouri. His brother Emory had died in 1917. Edna was 7 and lived with her parents, siblings and grandfather on a farm in Holt County, Missouri.

In 1929, when Edna was 16 years old, her father George died.

On the 1930 US Census, Ralph was 19 and lived with his parents and siblings on a farm in Holt County, Missouri. Edna was 18 and lived on a farm with her widowed mother and siblings in Holt County, Missouri.

Ralph and Edna were married on August 10, 1932 in Atchison County, Missouri. Edna was 19 years old and Ralph was 21. Grandma Edna told me that her interest in Ralph had been piqued after an afternoon of sledding with a group of friends, which included him.

In 1935, a son was born.

Edna Louise Hickman & Ralph Richard Gray

On the 1940 US Census, Ralph and Edna were married and lived in Atchison County, Missouri. They were living with Tom Westfall as hired hands, and had a 4 year old son, Todd’s father. Ralph was a laborer on the farm and Edna was a laundress.

In 1941, son Barry was born. In 1953, a daughter was born.

In 1965, when Edna was 52 years old, her mother Minnie died. In 1971, when Ralph was 60 years old, his father Edgar died, and the next year his mother Maude Amy died. Also in 1972, Edna’s sister Geneva died. Ralph’s brother Dean died in 1974, his brother Carl died in 1980, his brother Donald died in 1981. Edna’s sister Georgia died. In 1989, Ralph’s sister Frances died. In 1995, the last of Edna’s siblings, her brother David died.

Edna died on January 26, 2000 in Maryville, Missouri. She was 86 years old. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Ralph’s brother Harold died in 2000, his sister Marian died in 2002, and his sister Florence died in 2006.

Ralph and Edna’s son Barry died in 2007. Soon after, Ralph died on October 27, 2007 in Mound City, Missouri. He was 96 years old. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

The children of Ralph Richard Gray & Edna Louise Hickman:

A son, Todd’s father, living

Barry Richard Gray

Barry Richard Gray – Barry was born on December 2, 1941 in Holt County, Missouri. He married and had 3 children. He had a long career with State Farm Insurance. He died on January 22, 2007 in Clay County, Missouri at age 65. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

A daughter, living