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Myron W. Gray
Born June 25, 1835

Myron W. Gray, one of the older generation of farmers of Cass township, was born in Saratoga county, New York, June 25, 1835, and is a son of John B. and Lucy (Heath) Gray, both natives of the same county as their son. In 1853 they brought their family of fourteen children to the middle west, settling first in Elgin, Illinois, and then in October, 1856, coming to Iowa. They located in Fayette county, where they made their home until they were called to their final rest. During his active life Mr. Gray had been a farmer and with the help of his wife reared to maturity sixteen children. A seventeenth did not survive the period of infancy and nine have since passed away, so that only five boys and two girls are now living to bear witness to the excellent instruction received at the family hearthstone. Two of the sons, Horatio and William Harrison, were soldiers in the Civil war. The former enlisted from Elgin, Illinois, and served for three years; the latter joined the army from Fayette county, Iowa, for one hundred days' service. He was ill during part of this period but recovered his health and is still living.
Myron W. Gray was eighteen when his parents came to the west, and many of the experiences of the trip are still vivid in this memory, for it was a much more difficult journey then than it would be today when the railroads have attained to such efficiency of service. He can also remember crossing the prairies from Illinois to Iowa, and as be looks over the fields he owns now he finds them much different from those on which he and his brothers and sisters settled after they came here. Until 1865 Mr. Gray farmed in Fayette county, and then came to Jones county. Here he rented for five years, or until 1870, when he bought his present farm of eighty acres in Cass township. Here he has carefully tilled his fields and has engaged also in stock raising, making a specialty of Poland China hogs. He has the distinction of having sold the largest hog that was ever raised in this county, weighing seven hundred and thirty-three pounds when it was sent to market. He is especially interested in the raising of potatoes, in which branch of his business as in his stock breeding and feeding he is commonly regarded as an authority.
On the 30th of May, 1858, Mr. Gray married Miss Emma Graves, who was born in Wyoming county, New York, in 1840, and was a daughter of Thomas and Sarah Ann (Noble) Graves. She came west with her another and her brothers and sisters about the same time that Mr. Gray came here with his parents, and the two families met in Dubuque. The Graves later moved to Fayette county, where Mrs. Graves died, but her husband had passed away while they lived ii-i New York state. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gray: William Wallace, of Wayne township; Carrie M., who is the wife of Sam Lawrence, of Cass township; Myrtle, who is the widow of Frank Gibson, a resident of Cedar Rapids; Susan, who married Harry Smith, the warden of the State Reformatory at Anamosa; Nellie, who is the wife of William Reep, of Marion, Iowa; John, who lives at home; Harry, of Cass township: and Margaret, who is the wife of Benjamin McClout, of Cedar Rapids. Mr. Gray is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Anamosa, and is in accord politically with the platform of the republican party. He has not taken any part in public affairs, however, save as a member of the school board and as justice of the peace. He is nevertheless highly regarded as a man who knows how to win large crops from the ground he tills and how to raise stock of a good grade, and this capacity united with the fact that he is ever guided by sound principles has made his judgment valuable to those with whom lie is associated.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 563.


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