Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


DR. THOMAS J. GRAY. There are physicians and "doctors." The public faith in men so called is almost unbounded, but it is not deserved in equal degree by all of them. The doctor is a man who inspires confidence, because lie is worthy of it. His humanity is expressed and his interest in his patients is intensified by reason of tile concern lie has for them as well as for the experience he may gain that may be for the benefit of future sufferers. A student who loves knowledge and a physician devoted to his profession is Dr. Thomas J. Gray, who was born in Greene County, Mo., in 1836, a son of Daniel Gray. The latter's birth occured in Christian County, Ky., April 18, 1806, but he had meager advantages for obtaining a schooling and only acquired such knowledge of the "world of books" as the district schools in the vicinity of his rural home afforded. He learned the trade of a wheel-wright when a young man, and this occupation continued to follow for- many years in connection with farming. He was married in Kentucky in 1830, and in 1831 came by wagon to Greene County, Mo., of which he was one of the very earliest settlers. He located on a tract of land southeast of Springfield, which he improved and on which he made his home for a few years and sold out; then improved a farm further south, in what is now Christian County Mo. He was assessor of the county when it extended from Crawford County on the east to Indian Territory on the west, the Osage River on the north and the Arkansas State line on the south. He is one of only three surviving persons who assisted in removing the Indians from this country, the other two being Judge W. C. Price and Capt. Lucius Roundtree. Mr. Gray has always possessed a rugged constitution and has had but little sickness during his life, but about twenty years ago fell from a scaffold, which crippled him for life but did not impair his health. During the Civil war he was a stanch Union man. For a number of years past he has made his home with his son now residing in Jackson, Miss. He was married twice, first to Elizabeth Gallion, a native of Pennsylvania and a distant descendant of William Penn. She removed with her parents to Kentucky and died in February of 1848 in Missouri, her parents dying in the Blue Grass State. After her death Mr. Gray, leaving his six surviving children with trusted friends, in the spring of 1849 went to the gold fields of California, where he remained several years; returning, married Elizabeth Crumpley, who still survives. Mr. Gray had three brothers and three sisters: Dr. Robert, who lived some years in Cole County, Mo., was a member of the Legislature from that county, and afterward removed to Texas, where he died; Nicholas, who was sheriff of Cole County for some years, but also died in Texas; John, who lived in Cedar County; Nancy, wife of Patterson Crockett, a brother of the famous David Crockett; Polly (Mrs. Hawkins) and Hester (Mrs. Thedford). Great-grandfather Robert Gray was born in northern Ireland, where he grow up to manhood and married Margaret Wilson, emigrating to America in time to serve his adopted country as a soldier in the Revolutionary War under General Washington. He settled in East Tennessee and raised a large family, among them Grandfather Robert Gray, Jr. Grandfather Gray married a Miss Kenny and emigrated to Christian County, Ky., as one of the early pioneers in the days of Daniel Boone, and whose death occurred about 1820. The Gallions were of English and Welsh descent Dr. Gray, the subject of this sketch, is one of ten children by his father's first wife. He was educated in the common schools and at the Ozark Normal Institute. In 1860 he was married to Miss Mariah J. Davis, who was born in Greene County a daughter of Joshua Davis, of Tennessee nativity, but an early settler of Greene County, Mo., of which be became one of the foremost citizens, serving eighteen years as clerk of the courts, and later he and a son, William, edited and published the Springfield Lancet. He was a Benton Democrat, an active politician and an able writer. His wife died in 1863 at their old home three miles north of Springfield, and be died in 1856. Dr. Gray was employed in the quartermaster's department for some time during the Civil War up to early in 1864, when he went to Illinois and joined the 100-days' service, becoming a member of the One Hundred and Fortieth Illinois Volunteers, and was stationed at and near Memphis, at which place his command was in an engagement with Gen. Forrest. He was on clerical duty the most of the time and was mustered out at Camp Fry, Chicago. After the war he taught school at Cahokia, Ill., three years, and in the meantime attended the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis during 1865-66, and in 1868 and 1869 attended a second course of lectures at the Rush Medical College of Chicago. He practiced his profession at Walnut Grove, Mo., for some time, and for the past twenty-two years has been located at Ebeneezer, where he has a large patronage and is highly regarded by the medical fraternity and by the citizens in general. He is a member of the Greene County Medical Society, of the District Medical Association, and for some years was postmaster at Ebeneezer, at which place he and his wife have reared and liberally educated their four children (all ever born to them), and all of whom have attained their majority in years. The oldest are girls and married, the two boys, yet single, moral, industrious, respected young men.

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