Founder of Huntsville, Texas

Michael Gray Family Tree

Michael Gray-2 (Pleasant-1) was born on 01 Apr 1827 in Tipton, Tipton, Tennessee[32, 33]. He was counted in the census in 1830 in Tipton County, Tennessee[65]. He served in the military about 1843 in Republic of Texas (First Lieutenant in Texas army. Fought in Mexican War.)[66]. He was counted in the census in 1860 in Sacramento Ward 3, Sacramento County, California[67]. He was counted in the census in 1870 in Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California[68]. He was counted in the census in 1880 in Tombstone Village, Pima County, Arizona[69]. Legal Record: 20 Nov 1883 in Hidalgo County, New Mexico; Sold the Gray Ranch headquartered thirty miles south of Animas[70]. He was counted in the census in 1900 in Pearce, Cochise County, Arizona Territory[71]. He died on 08 Sep 1906 in San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Sex: Male. He was also known as Mike.

Notes for Michael Gray:

General Notes:

In 1860, members of household are Michael Gray (age 33, Texas); Sarah A. Gray (age 30, Missouri); Mary Gray (age 6, California); Amanda Gray (age 2, California); John P. Gray (age 4/12, California); Nancy Gray (age 14, Texas); and Ephraim "Pewet" (age 23, Texas). Michael Gray was a miner and owned $1,700 of real estate and $5,000 of personal assets. Relationship of Ephraim Pewitt is not known. Ephraim Pewitt is likely a first cousin, son of Hartwell Pewitt and Edna Gray Pewitt, but proof not established. Nancy (or Nanny) Gray was a black girl Michael Gray brought with him from Texas. She is enumerated with the family in 1860 and 1870. See excerpt below.

In 1870, members of household are Michael Gray (age 43, Tennessee); Sarah A. Gray (age 40, Missouri); Amanda Gray (age 16, California); Mary Gray (age 12, California); John "T." Gray (age 10, California); Dixie Lee Gray (age 8, California); Betty Gray (age 23, Texas); Emma Fish (age 10, California); Ida Fish (age 8, California); and Nancy Gray (age 23, Texas). Michael Gray was the city marshall and owned $500 of real estate and $500 of personal assets.  Note that the ages of Mary Gray and Amanda Gray are reversed in 1870 from 1860 census. Their brother, John Plesent Gray, states that Mary Gray was born in 1854 and Amanda Gray was born in 1858. The two Fish girls are daughters of Prosper W. Fish and his first wife, Mary. The relationship to the family, if any, is not known. Prosper Fish lived in Yuba County, California in 1850, and Sutter County, California in 1870. His wife, Mary, apparently died since he is single and working as a policeman in Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California where Michael Gray is serving as marshall. Note that Emma Fish* is also boarding with the Charles family in 1880 with John Plesent Gray.

* Excerpt from When All Roads Led to Tombstone:  A Memoir by John Plesent Gray, page 145: "At Rucker in those early days, was a girl--for Emma Fish was always a girl even when the years might convince one that she had reached old maidhood--who was a natural born entertainer. She

played the guitar and could sing with a charm and sweetness that we never wearied of. If I should be asked if Em was a pretty girl, I would have to answer, "I don't know." But she was always cheerful.

Once I overheard a Texas cowpuncher say, "There's a girl at Rucker just as pretty as a red wagon"--and everybody likes a red wagon.

Emma had been a member of our family since she was ten years old. She was one of those rare spirits who dance through life with a smile. Though she had suitors galore, she was always friendly to all but partial to none, always remaining a young old maid."

In 1880, members of household are Mike Gray (age 53, Tennessee); Sarah A. Gray (age 50, Missouri); M. Hall (age 22, California, daughter); D. L. Gray (age 18, Sonora, son); and Philip Montigue (age 23, Ohio, boarder). Michael Gray if the Justice of the Peace and his son, Dixie Lee Gray, works as a bookkeeper.

In 1900, Michael Gray (age 73, Tennessee, widowed) is living with his son, John Plesent Gray, and his family. His occupation is stated capitalist.

From When All Roads Led to Tombstone: A Memoir by John Plesent Gray:

Pages 140-141: Nancy (or Nanny) Gray "With us on the trip was our constant and faithful attendant, the colored girl, Nannie. I mention her with a tender feeling for her memory. My father had brought her from Texas as a small child in the 1849 trek across the plains to California. Nannie became a member of my mother's family, grew up with us children, and spent her whole life in a faithful, undivided affection for the family. She never married and her ever-loyal devotion to our family remained during all her good life. For, though colored, she was just one of those women that Booker

Washington tells about, who ever remained loyal to their old white masters--"Nursing them in sickness, feeding them in want, and burying them in death." What would the South after the war have done without them?"

Pages 136-137: "My father, Mike Gray, was born in the backwoods of Tennessee in 1827, and moved with his parent to Texas in 1831. They settled on the spot where the town of Huntsville has since grown into one of that state's big cities.

At the age of fourteen, he enlisted in the army being organized by General Sam Houston for the defense of that new country. He always remembered that date as it was then he donned his first pair of pants--a necessary covering required by a soldier. Previously, like all boys of that time and country, he had worn only a long-tail hickory shirt, and always went barefoot.




Father followed Colonel Jack Hayes throughout the Mexican War, and reached the rank of first lieutenant.

In 1849, his family joined the great migration of the covered wagon, starting from St. Joseph, Missouri for California. On this long trek, he and my mother first met. She, Sarah Ann Robinson, was also on her way with her parents in search of the promised land, leaving the old family home on the banks of the little St. Francis River in Missouri, with all its home comforts discarded forever, to follow that mirage of gold into the far West.




My mother often told us in later years that even the old folks had unbounded enthusiasm as they pulled out of St. Joe. But many of the elder ones fell by the wayside long before the journey ended, for it was mainly the young who could stand the strain of the hardships encountered.




The cholera swept across the plains taking its toll mainly on the old. The elder Gray was buried on the banks of the Platte in what is now western Nebraska, and my father carried on as captain of the wagon train. Mother's parents lived through the trip but did not live long after settling in California. Her two younger sisters and brother became her charge in that new land. It was a grievous mistake that the old folks ever left the old Missouri home. They crossed the Sierra Nevadas by the northern route, close to the present Oregon line, thus avoiding the dangers that befell the unfortunate Donner party in the high Sierras.




I have often  heard my mother say that it was one of the happiest experiences of her life, riding most of the way horseback across that vast stretch of prairie and uninhabited land--uninhabited except for a few wandering Indian tribes. They had no trouble with these, probably because their train of covered wagons was well organized and had a large number of young men whom my father had organized into a scouting party which kept well in advance of the wagons.




The long trek ended when they arrived on the banks of the Feather River in California. Most of the party settled there on land that becamse part of the new Yuba County, which was formed the

following year--1850--when California was admitted to the Union. Marysville was made the county seat, and it was there that Father and Mother were married."




Pages 140-143, continued: "Mother was a typical pioneer woman, following wherever the wanderlust of father seemed every leading him. And he was one of those restless pioneers who could not stay in one place for long.




When the Civil War broke out, father, being a Southerner by birth, was naturally in sympathy with the Confederacy. That feeling, and the prevailing Union sentiment in California, as well as what he thought was a better chance to aid the South, led father off on a mining venture to the west coast of Mexico. In the following winter of 1861 and '62, Mother followed him there with myself, then a

year-old baby, and my older sisters of three and five years. At Guaymas in 1862, my younger brother was born. He was christened Dixie Lee in honor of the South and its heroic leader. . .




We lived during most of our Mexican venture in Mazatlan. Father was mining in the back country and doing well. The the Maximillian War came on and upset that land. His mules and freight wagons on the road to the mine would be confiscated first by French troops and then by Mexicans. It became impossible to make a move without serious trouble. So, one day, when the Panama steamer touched Mazatlan on its northward trip, Father bundled us al aboard the old side-wheeler, Brother Jonathan, and off we went to San Francisco. . .




Then came 1872, the year of the famous hoax, mostly a forgotten incident now. It was the diamond discovery on the San Juan River in northeast Arizona. William T. Ralston and Colonel Harpington, both always ready to back adventure, sent for my father. Soon he was off on another wild goose chase, as Mother termed. them. . .




In 1876, Father picked up his prospector pick and struck out for Mexico. He was in Sonora when he heard of Ed Schieffelin's find at Tombstone, so he saddled his mule and was among the first on the ground.




And in 1879. Mother and my sister and brother answered his call. . ."




Page 145: "My father was one of those old line Democrats who would always mention the opposing party as 'black Republicans'--their war time appellation. He was a member of the lower house of the Arizona Territorial Legislature for so many years that he was termed, 'the Father of the House.' [Footnote 136: Apparently no record is extant of Michael Gray having been called the 'Father of the House.' He was, however, a member of the Territorial House of Representatives for eight years, between 1887 and 1901, serving unconsecutive terms. In 1887, his place of residence is listed as Benson; in 1893, Rucker; in 1899 and again in 1901, Pearce (a mining town that is today a ghost town), all in Cochise County.]"

From Family Pride by Frances Barker Larson, Page 52:

The obituary which appeared in the Tombstone Prospector in 1906, reads:

Information has been received here of the death of Col. Mike Gray in San Francisco on the 8th inst. .

.Numbered among the early pioneers of Arizona, Col. Gray was beloved by all who knew him. Deceased was 78 years of age. His was an eventful life, full of the fortunes and vicissitudes of pioneer existence, and he contribtued in no small measure to make history for Arizona, the home he loved so well. Mr. Gray had lived in Arizona for a great many years and was one of the best known men in southern Arizona. He had served the territory in various ways, most signally perhaps as a member of various sessions of the legislature."


From article published in Houston Chronicle, Monday, May 20, 1996 (copy in file):

Gray Ranch, located in southwestern New Mexico's Bootheel, about 140 miles west of El Paso, covers 500-square-miles, more territory than the city of Los Angeles. It was purchased by The Nature Conservancy from Mexican multimillionaire Pablo Brener for $18 million in 1990. In 1993, it sold the Gray Ranch to the Animas Foundation for $13.2 million.  The Foundation consists of Drum Hadley and members of his family, related to the Anheuser-Busch brewing dynasty.

Sarah Ann Robinson daughter of John L. Robinson and Sarah Bryan was born in 1830 in Missouri[72]. She was counted in the census in 1850 in Yuba County, California[73]. She was counted in the census in 1860 in Sacramento Ward 3, Sacramento County, California[74]. She was counted in the census in 1870 in Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California[75]. She was counted in the census in 1880 in Tombstone Village, Pima County, Arizona[76]. Sex: Female.

Notes for Sarah Ann Robinson: General Notes:

From When All Roads Led to Tombstone: A Memoir by John Plesent Gray:

Page 144: "In a dim old photo fo the Rucker Ranch house, my mother can be seen standing just inside the gate. Always was she ready to welcome the stranger at the gate. Wherever her lot was cast, she made that place seem like home to all. That she did this, none can deny.

Even the many army officers who passed Rucker in the Apache days seldom missed a chance to accept Mother's hospitality, for her good cooking was known to all. Even newly fledged West Pointers, always the most fastidious in their wants and habits, would praise the bounteous dinners at Rucker, even though they were shocked at first to see the pie come with the soup."

Michael Gray and Sarah Ann Robinson were married on 29 Sep 1852 in Marysville, Yuba County, California[34, 35]. They had the following children:

Mary Gray was born in 1854 in Marysville, Yuba County, California[77]. She was counted in the census in 1860 in Sacramento Ward 3, Sacramento County, California[78]. She was counted in the census in 1870 in Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California[79]. She was counted in the census in 1880 in Tombstone Village, Pima County, Arizona[80]. Sex: Female.

Notes for Mary Gray:

General Notes:

Her brother, John Plesent Gray, states that she died in 1876 in Gilroy, California. However, Mary Hall, identified as Michael Gray's daughter, is in his household in 1880.

Amanda Margaret Gray was born in 1858 in Yuba County, California. She was counted in the census in 1860 in Sacramento Ward 3, Sacramento County, California[81]. She was counted in the census in 1870 in Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California[82]. She died in 1892 in San Francisco County, California[83]. Sex: Female.




7.    iii. John Plesent Gray was born on 29 Feb 1860 in Sacramento, Sacramento County, California[84, 85, 86]. He married Lannie Marianne Charles on 30 Apr 1894 in San Francisco, San Francisco County, California[87]. He died on 11 Jan 1943 in Los Angeles County, California[88].

iv.    Richard Lee Gray was born in 1862 in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico[89, 90]. He was counted in the census in 1870 in Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California[91]. He was counted in the census in 1880 in Tombstone Village, Pima County, Arizona[92]. He died on 11 Aug 1881 in Guadalupe Canyon, Arizona. Sex: Male. He was also known as Dixie or Dick. His cause of death was Murdered by Mexican outlaws[93, 94].




Notes for Richard Lee Gray: General Notes:

From When All Roads Led to Tombstone: A Memoir by John Plesent Gray, page 54:




"I had planned to return to Tombstone to resume my work at the post office after a short lay-off, which had been given me so that I might help get our ranch started. My brother, however, begged me to remain at the ranch another week, as he wished to go to Tombstone and would return in that time. I consented and he rode off--to his death.




Often a trifling incident or change of plan leads to success or disaster. The day before brother Dick was to start, we heard that Lang's ranch, about ten miles southeast of us, was starting a hundred head of beef cattle for the Tombstone market and would camp in Guadalupe Canyon the following night. It occurred to us that it would be best for Dick to go that route and camp that night with Lang's outfit, as they would have five or six men which was a big enough force, it seemed, to scare off any bunch of Mexicans who might be out to avenge the smuggler train disaster. If this had not come up, Dick would have gone the more direct route I had followed through Skeleton. But fate ruled otherwise, and Dick rode into a trap without a chance in the world to escape alive.




I saw him ride gaily off on a Friday, and on the following Sunday, August 12, 1881, I next saw his dead body in Guadalupe Canyon with a bullet hole over his heart. Our first news of the tragedy came to the ranch on Saturday evening. A man by the name of Harry Earnshaw staggered into our camp in an exhausted condition, and it was some little time before he could tell the story. . ."

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