Age 0 — Birth
25 Jun 1805 • Probably Kentucky; maybe Logan County
See SHSU Gray file. Gray Family Bible says born 25 June 1805. Galveston Herald article says Pleasant is native of Alabama. Hughlett Bible says born KY as does Amanda Texana in a CA census. Hughlett bible at West Texas A&M Amarillo per Shirley Scott Dye

Age 1 — Birth of Brother Harvey Blasenganes Gray (1807–1864)
5 Mar 1807 • Logan county, Kentucky, USA

Age 4 — Birth of Sister Frances Gray (1809–1869)
15 Dec 1809 • Alabama, USA

Age 5 — Birth of Brother Young A Gray (1811–)
25 Mar 1811

Age 8 — Birth of Sister Sirona Gray (1814–)
7 Feb 1814 • Alabama

Age 20 — Marriage
15 June 1826 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA
Exact date in mom's book; date might be in Gray family bible. Also, this date is given in the McFarland papers, Box16, Book 3, at SHSU archives.
Hannah Elizabeth Holshouser (1808–1867)

Age 21 — Jury List
1826 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA
per jury lists he & brother Ephraim were called for jury duty 8 times (in Ch 2 of mom's book)

Age 21 — Birth of Son Michael Gray (1827–1906)
1 Apr 1827 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA

Age 22 — Found in county Court Minutes 1823-31
1827 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA
Mentioned several times, earliest 1827. Per Byron Sistler & Assoc letter 1984, on file in SHSU Gray archive

Age 23 — Birth of Daughter Eveline Pervit or Pewett Gray (1829–)
10 Mar 1829 • Texas

Age 24 — Death of Father Thomas Gray (1768–1829)
29 Dec 1829 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA

Age 24 — Birth of Son John A.W. "Jack" Gray (1830–1874)
11 June 1830 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA

Age 25 — Residence
1830 • Tipton, Tennessee, United States
Some histories & Vivian Schierenberg's note indicate that Pleasant came to Huntsville in 1830...

Age 26 — Gets 100 acres from M Holshouser Sr
1831 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA
Holshouser is his father in law. Per Byron Sistler & Assoc letter 1984, on file in SHSU Gray archive

Age 27 — Buys land for $500 from father in law
21 Dec 1832 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA
Buys 100 acres in Tipton TN for $500 from father-in-law Michael Holschouser; document in archives SHSU

Age 27 — Scouting trip to Texas
1832 • Huntsville Texas area
per mom's book & Texas histories. Corsicana Daily Sun article says he came w/brother and built trading post where Post Office now stands...see sources.

Age 28 — Sold land holdings in TN
Sept 1833 • Huntsville Texas area
per mom's book, sold land in TN in preparation for move to TX
Age 28 — Sells 100 acres to Jno. McKee for $500
30 Sept 1833 • Tipton County, Tennessee, USA
Bk B-365, Index to Deeds 1824-1841. Per Byron Sistler & Assoc letter 1984, on file in SHSU Gray archive
Age 29 — Arrives in Huntsville Texas
October 1834
Per initial land grant (see PDF 310610 in Gallery), the Gray family arrived in Texas October 1834

Age 29 — Land Grant/good citizen
16 Nov 1834 • Huntsville Texas
Joseph Lindley and Elijah Collard certify Pleasant Gray as good citizen, San Jacinto, 16 Nov 1834; wife & 3 ch; adjoin J. Birdsell's survey to south - Vehlein - Wm Robenson. See Gallery document 103870

Age 29 — Confirmed land grant by Mexican Gov't
20 Nov 1834 • Huntsville TX
see Gallery document 1030773

Age 29 — Applies for land grant, now Huntsville
22 Nov 1834 • Trinity & San Jacinto rivers, now Huntsville, Walker, Texas
See Brownsville Herald for nice write up on founding of Huntsville in Sources.

Age 29 — Moved to Texas; applied for Mexican land grant
Nov 1834 • Huntsville Texas area
per mom's book

Age 30 — Received Mexican land grant
10 July 1835 • Huntsville Texas area
per mom's book; see attached note in Vivian Sharkey Schierenberg's hand

Age 30 — Birth of Son Oliver H. Gray (1835–1853)
25 Oct 1835 • Huntsville, Texas

Age 30 — Land Grant
1835 • Huntsville TX - "P. Gray League"
see attached doc from Vivian Sharkey Schierenberg. Grant from TX and Coahila dated July 10, 1835

Age 32 — 1 of original 9 commissioners for Montgomery county TX
1837 • Huntsville Houston area
Montgomery county later divided into Walker, Madison & Montgomery counties; see Galveston Daily article 1926 in Sources

Age 32 — Birth of Son David Crockett Gray (1838–1897)
26 Feb 1838 • Huntsville, Montgomery county, Republic of Texas

Age 35 — Birth of Daughter Amanda Texanna Gray (1841–1886)
Feb 9, 1841 • Huntsville, Montgomery county, Republic of Texas

Age 38 — Birth of Daughter Mary Frances (Mollie) Gray (1843–1920)
17 Sept 1843 • Huntsville, Texas

Age 39 — Huntsville Alderman
26 March 1845 • Huntsville, Walker, Texas, USA
Elected alderman on this date per handwritten timeline in Sam Houston State Univ. file on Pleasant Gray

Age 40 — Sam Houston house on former Pleasant Gray land
1845 • Huntsville, Walker, Texas, USA
In 1845 Pleasant Gray sold 174 acres of his "league" to FL Hatch; Sam Houston bought this from Hatch & built home near spring. See mom's book about spring! See Courier Gazette TX 17 Apr 1921

Age 40 — Land-slave transaction
1845 • Huntsville Texas
Wife Hannah kept bill of sale for purchase of 26 yr old slave Kesiah fr Francis L Hatch in Gray bible. It was a barter of 184 acres land for slave, each valued $600. Slave receipt transcribed p. 47 mom's book; 1845 date from Courier Gazaette 27 Apr 1921.

Age 40 — Private in Texas Volunteers
18 May 1846 • Huntsville, Walker, Texas
Enlisted for 3 mos. as private in Capt. James Gillaspie's Company, First Regiment, Texas Volunteers, commanded by Col. J.C Hayes, War with Mexico. Honorably discharged in Mexico same year. Timeline in Sam Houston St U file on Pleasant gray

Age 41 — Birth of Daughter Hannah Elizabeth (Bettie) Gray (1846–1893)
9 July 1846 • Huntsville, Texas

Age 41 — Residence
1846 • Walker, Texas
From Texas 1846 poll list (attached)

Age 43 — Land Grant in Huntsville
20 Feb 1849 • Huntsville, Walker, Texas
Alberto Vaughan, owner of 1280 acres, grants 650 to Pleasant Gray on 20 Feb 1849, correct on map 1 Nov 1850, patented 9 Dec 1850. See Gallery document 337871

Age 43 — Will signed before departure for CA
13 Mar 1849
Exact date Pleasant Gray signed his will before departing for the CA Gold Rush

Age 43 — Death
9 Jun 1849 • 400 miles from St. Joseph MO on Platte, Cherry County Nebraska
Gray bible; also 3rd letter published in NY Daily Tribune furnished a list of graves found btwn St. Joseph & Fort Laramie includes Capt. Pleasant Gray, June 9, 1849 of Huntsville. see comments for citation
Wagon train from St. Joseph MO to California
1849 • St. Joseph

Pleasant Gray was captain of the wagon train to CA; he died of Cholera en route and was buried on the banks of the Platte river in what is now western Nebraska, Cherry county - From grandson John P Grays' book "When All Roads Led to Tombstone"

Source: Leslie Larson family tree

Pleasant Gray descended from English and Scots-Irish colonists

who migrated from Virginia and the Carolinas after the American

Revolution into northern Alabama and eastern Tennessee,

following the expanding line of the American frontier. A rough

and adept frontiersman in the tradition of Davy Crockett,

Pleasant Gray heard about opportunities in Texas which was

then Mexican territory. On an 1832 exploratory trip, Gray

spied a large, “never-failing” spring on open prairie at the

edge of Bedais Indian territory. Late the following year he

returned with his brother Ephraim and his own young family

to establish an Indian trading post there. The business

prospered, expanding to include a livery and an inn serving

a growing population of American immigrants, and the town

of Huntsville, named after his family home in Alabama, was


Pleasant Gray was a man with more than an ordinary degree of enterprise. He obtained legal title to the seven square miles of land surrounding his trading post from the Mexican government and insured the continuity of his ownership after the Republic of Texas was born. He engaged in land development, subdividing large parcels. He and his wife Hannah Holshauser also donated land for various civic purposes, including the first “Brick Academy”, the first cemetery, the town square and the county courthouse. Gray served in 1842 as a second lieutenant in Captain A.R. Taylor’s Company, Republic of Texas. He was one of the first commissioners of the newly formed Walker County.

Ever restless and ever westering, Pleasant Gray struck out for the California gold fields in 1849, leading a company of ten Huntsville citizens north to St. Joseph, Missouri, and west on the Oregon-California trail. His pioneering luck ran out near North Platte on the western edge of Nebraska where he died of cholera. A letter published in the Huntsville Item by one of the troupe of Texas forty-niners leaves a lasting description of the rugged Pleasant Gray:

“Colonel Gray possessed many peculiarities though he had many good traits in his character. He was a bold adventurer and a man of extraordinary energy. Had he lived to reach California, he would have
figured conspicuously in that country”…as he did in Texas.

​by Leslie Larson

Time Line for Pleasant



Thomas Gray 1768-1829

Rebecca Mann 1777-1850


Archibald Gray 1797-

Edna Gray 1798-

Lewis Johnson Gray Col. 1800-1870

Ephraim Gray 1803-

Harvey Blasenganes Gray 1807-1864

Frances Gray 1809-1869

Young A Gray 1811-

Sirona Gray 1814-


Hannah Elizabeth Holshouser 1808-1867

​     Michael Gray 1827-1906

     John A.W. "Jack" Gray 1830–1874

     Oliver H. Gray 1835-1853

     ​David Crockett Gray 1838–1897
     Amanda Texanna Gray 1841–1886
     Mary Frances (Mollie) Gray 1843–1920               Hannah Elizabeth (Bettie) Gray 1846–1893


  • 1830 United States Federal Census
  • Republic of Texas Poll Lists for 1846
  • U.S. Census Reconstructed Records, 1660-1820​

Other Sources

  • ​Corsicana Daily Sun at
  • Lubbock Morning Avalanche at
  • The Brownsville Herald at
  • The Courier-Gazette at
  • The Galveston Daily News at
  • The Galveston Daily News at

Artist Rendering by: Lee Jamison of Huntsville, Tx

Pleasant Gray (1805-1849)

Founder of Huntsville

Walker County, Texas

Copyright 2013. Gray decendants. All rights reserved.