1805 - 1890 (84 years)
||Gray, William H. |
||9 Nov 1805
||8 Feb 1890
||Leesburg, Loudoun Co., VA
||Buyer, Stier and Related Families
||12 Dec 2006 |
||Powell, Ellen Douglas, b. 1812, d. 13 Sep 1862 (Age 50 years) |
||8 Nov 1836
||Llangollen, Loudoun Co., VA
||12 Dec 2006 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
William H. Gray
Born: November 9, 1805
Died: February 8, 1890
From the inscription on his grave:
"An honest man, a pure citizen, a generous friend, a loving
parent, a humble Christian.
Honored, beloved, and full of years he laid down in peace to
avest the glorious morn."
Brother of Mary Vance and Joseph G. Gray. Twice married, first to Frances Westwood Ellzey (making him both brother and brother-in-law to Joseph), whom he married January 21, 1830 while serving as an Attorney at Law. He second married Ellen on November 8, 1836 at her father's estate, Llangollen.
In the 1840 Census, he lived in District 1, of Loudoun Co., Va. The household included himself, one white male age 30 to 40, and two white females ages five to 10. All other white females were obscured by a piece of tape on the census form.
The 1850 Census finds him living in Loudoun as a farmer, real estate valued at $30,000 and he did not own any slaves. His household included wife Ellen (35), daughters Francene (14) and Catharine (4), and his sister-in-law Catherine.
In 1860, he and his family lived in Waterford, Loudoun Co., where he is also listed as a farmer with real estate valued at $35,000 and a personal estate valued at $20,000 and once again he owned no slaves. Living with him is wife Ellen (47), daughter Catharine (16) and son Arthur G. (7).
After Ellen died, William departed Virginia and the 1870 census found him in Los Angeles, Calif., working as a Justice of the Peace with a real estate value of $2,500 and a personal estate of $300.
By 1880 he had returned east and lived with his daughter Catharine and her husband, Professor William A. McDonald in Gilmans, Jefferson Co., Ky. Also in the house were grandsons William (12), Craig W. (9) and Hugh M. (1), granddaughters Ellen D. (10), Nancy G. (5), and Catherine (one month), and a four person servant staff, cook Philis McCourt (B, 50), house girl Pricilla Green (B, 20), gardener Willis Esther (B, 23) and a nurse known simply as Peterson (W, 20).
Across William's 85 years he had a large effect on Leesburg, including serving as Mayor as noted in his obituary but not in a report titled "The Mayors of Leesburg."
He was one of five trustees of St. James Episcopal Church when the church sold land that was the temporary site of the rectory after a fire. The property was sold in 1856, just after the death of the Rev. George Adie for $811 to Edward Hammett.
When he passed away in February, 1890, an eight-paragraph obituary was printed in The Mirror. The obit, dated February 13, 1890, is here transcribed:
Death of Wm. H. Gray
One by one the links are breaking that bind the present to the past; and soon the men who a few years ago held high position in our midst, and were honored for their virtue, their intelligence, and their public spirit, will have passed away-and all that will be left to the generation of today will be the record of their good works. The gentleman whose name heads this paragraph, died on Saturday, Feb. 8th, 1890, at the rectory, the residence of his son, Rev. Arthur P. Gray, at Amherst C.H., Va., in the 85th year of his age, having been born in Loudoun county in 1805. A friend who knew him long and intimately, has furnished us the following tribute to his memory:
He had the epidemic grippe, which had left him with weakness and prostration, too great for recuperation at his advanced age.
Mr. Gray was a time honored and conspicuous landmark in the history of this State and county. He was a leader in Loudoun-the contemporary and intimate associate of Henderson, Janney, Harrison, &c.
He was a successful lawyer. He was for several years, Mayor of Leesburg. He represented the county in the Legislature, as Delegate and as Senator, before and after the war. He was an efficient Magistrate, and a Presiding Judge on the bench of the County Court.
And all his duties, public and private, were performed with great ability, scrupulous integrity and conscientiousness, and great usefulness.
He was the brother of Messrs. John and Joseph Gray, of Loudoun and Rockingham counties, and was the head of a most extensive family connection. He married first Miss Frances Ellzey, daughter of Col. Wm. Ellzey-and second, Miss Ellen D. Powell, daughter of Hon. Cuthbert Powell, of Llangollen. J. Bradshaw Beverly and Robert Beverley, Jr.-Rev. Arthur P. Gray, of Amherst county, and Mrs. Catherine McDonald, wife of Prof. McDonald, of Berrysville, Clarke county-are among his surviving descendants.
The County Court was in session when his remains arrived here, and adjourned out of respect for his memory. His funeral was from St. James Episcopal Church here-of which he had been for the greater part of his life, a sincere and earnest communicant.-He was laid to rest in the Church yard, amid the graves of many who were near and dear to him.
The generation who know Mr. Gray personally have nearly all passed away-but his memory is held in reverence, and his name and acts will always be a part of the history of the county, a lasting monument to his honor.