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Biography of James H. Gray

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JAMES H. GRAY. Lead Hill, Arkansas, is known as a flourishing town and contains many able and brainy business men, among whom the general merchant takes prominent rank. In this calling few members possess a wider reputation for ability and enterprise than James H. Gray. He was born in Stone County (then Independence County), Arkansas, in 1865. and is a son of John W. and Tennessee (Cornett) Gray, natives of Mississippi and Hamilton County, Tennessee, respectively, the father born in 1836 and the mother in 1844.

When young Mr. and Mrs. Gray came with their parents to Arkansas, and here grew to mature years and married. For a number of years afterward they resided in Stone County, Arkansas, but in 1875 moved to Boone County and located in White River where they made their future home. Mr. Gray died on the 9th of April, 1878, in Taney County, Missouri, after returning from a business trip to Greene County, Missouri He was a successful farmer and stock man, and for two years served in the Confederate Army with Gen. Price. He was a Mason and a man well known and universally respected. He was one of five sons and four daughters born to William B. Gray who died in Boone County, Arkansas. about 1880, after a long and useful life. He came here in 1874 and was a prominent farmer and stock man. His wife died in Stone County, Arkansas Both were Baptists.

Our subject’s maternal grandfather, Henry Cornett, came from Tennessee to what is now Stone County, Arkansas, in an early day and died there before our subject was born. He was also a farmer. He was the father of fourteen children and his daughter, Tennessee, the mother of our subject, died at Lead Hill in the month of June, 1884. Of the five children born to his parents our subject was third in order of birth. The others were named: Malinda, wife of Thomas Davis, of this county; John W., of Taney County, Missouri, and Nellie, wife of Frank A. Emerson. The second child, Nancy, died in infancy.

Our subject received a limited education in youth, but was thoroughly trained in the arduous duties of the farm, and when his parents came to Boone County, Arkansas, he came with them. Here he was married in 1889 to Miss Leon, daughter of Judge William Keener, who is a prominent attorney at Lead Hill. The Judge was born and reared in Pennsylvania and came West soon after the war. For over twenty years he has resided in Arkansas. Mrs. Gray was born in Missouri and by her union with our subject became the mother of one child, a son. The original of this notice followed farming on the old home place until January, 1894, when he engaged in general merchandising at Lead Hill, and by integrity and honorable methods has won an enviable record.


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