Biography of George C. Gray
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GEORGE C. GRAY. – Mr. Gray was born in East Tennessee in 1840. His father was a farmer, and also an active worker as preacher in the Baptist church, and upon arriving in Oregon in 1853 laid a Donation claim near Corvallis, conducting his farm six days in the week and carrying on religious work on Sundays.
It was in these surroundings that young George grew to man’s estate; and his first independent exertions were as a laborer in Corvallis from 1854 to 1860. In 1861 he went to the Oro Fino mines, and in 1862 brought cattle to Walla Walla, selling the beef at the butcher’s block until 1863. Early in the spring of that year he went to the granite creek mines on the John Day river, shoveling his way through snow across the mountains. Purchasing a pony train he was enabled to do a large business in packing, but sold out some time after to Ish & Hailey. For a number of years he was engaged in mining speculations, and enlarged his operations as packer by extending his range to Idaho, Montana and British Columbia, meeting by the way adventures, the recital of which would fill a volume. In 1868 he engaged in mammoth operations in cattle, supplying as many as fifty to eighty beeves per week to the markets in the mines. In all these extensive operations, as was usually the case, the losses and hazards of the business left but little profit.
In 1872 he began real life by locating a beautiful, level and fertile tract of land on the Lower Cove, and making a permanent home. Here he has eight hundred acres of improved land, a hundred cattle and horses, and pleasant surroundings. He was married in 1864 to Miss Levina, a daughter of Merrill Jasper, of Benton county. Their home has been blessed with five children.