Biography of James E. Gray
Louisa County, IA Biographies





James E. Gray, widely known throughout Columbus City township as a raiser and breeder of high grade stock, is one of Louisa county's native sons, his birth here occurring on the 21st of March, 1849. His parents, William and Sarah (Stronach) Gray, were natives of England and Maryland respectively, the former coming to Louisa county, Iowa, in 1840. Here he entered land from the government upon which he erected a log cabin, and at once set about its development and improvement. He and his wife made their home upon that farm until their deaths. Their family consisted of three children of whom one is now deceased, the others being: James E., of this review; and William H., a resident of Montana.

Reared a farm lad, James E. Gray acquired his education in the district schools and remained with his father, giving him the benefit of his assistance, until the latter's death. He then purchased the old homestead farm, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres on section 3, Columbus City township, upon which he has continued to reside to the present time. This place, known as the Evergreen Farm, has become a highly improved property under his supervision, for he has erected upon it fine buildings and has equipped it with all of the modern conveniences and accessories of a model farm. He carries on general farming but gives the greater portion of his time to his live stock interests, being one of the best known and successful raisers and breeders in this locality. He makes a specialty of Shorthorn cattle, always keeping a number of fine specimens on hand for sale, and is also a breeder of Cheviott sheep and Poland China hogs. He also is a fancier of Scotch Terriers, being the owner of a fine kennel of dogs which he keeps for sale.

On the 22d of November, 1877, Mr. Gray was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Dawdy, who was born in Appanoose county, Iowa, on the 21st of November, 1857. Her parents; Alfred and Mary (Gunter) Dawdy, were both born in Kentucky but were married in Illinois. Taking up their abode in Henderson county, Illinois, they remained there until 1876, in which year they came to Iowa, residing in Louisa county three years. They then removed to Kansas, now making their home at Topeka. Of their family of seven children 'three are still living. Their daughter Jennie is a high school graduate and for several years was engaged in teaching school. By her marriage to Mr. Gray she has become the mother of three children, namely: Chester E., who was born May 16, 1881, is a graduate of the Iowa State Agricultural College and now makes his home in California; Ethel, who was born June 6, 189o, and in 1892 passed away; and Marian Edith, born December 22, 1893, now attending high school.

Mr. Gray is a republican in politics, and although he has never sought nor desired public office as a reward for party fealty, he has always been a stanch advocate of the cause of education, serving on the school board for a number of years and now filling the office of secretary thereof. He has spent his entire life within the borders of Louisa county and his interests have ever been identified with those of the community in which he made his home. Success has rewarded his efforts and it is well merited, for his has been a life of continuous activity, characterized by honorable methods and strict integrity.

From:
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1912


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