Gray, George Grant – Obituary

Cove, Union County, Oregon

George Gray Is Called Beyond
Grim Death Angel Takes Another of County’s Respected Pioneers

Death took another of Union county’s respected pioneers yesterday when George Grant Gray died at his residence in Lower Cove at 2:15 o’clock in the afternoon.

Burial will be at the Summerville cemetery tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. The body will be at the residence from Monday evening until 1:30 p. m. Tuesday at which time it will be taken to Summerville where funeral services will be held.

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Mr. Gray was born in Granger County, Tennessee, April 10, 1840 er’s family, in 1853, first locating er’s family in 1853, first locating near Corvallis. He came to Union county in 1871 and about 1873 purchased and moved upon the farm where he resided at his death.

He was married Feb. 22, 1874 to Sarah Sylvina Jasper who survives him. He also leaves seven children, three sons: George M., Joseph T. and Nathan T., and four daughters, Mrs. Sarah Conley, Mrs. Annie Miller, Mrs. Bessie Childers and Mrs. Dilly Millering, all residing in Union county: 22 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren besides a host of friends.

La Grande Evening Observer
Monday, July 23, 1928
Front Page(accompanied by a picture and typed as it appears)

Real Early Pioneer Cove District Dies

George Grant Gray, familiarly known as “Uncle George Gray, both to his own relatives and also to his many friends, died at his residence in Lower Cove, Union County, Oregon, July 22, 1928, at 2:00 P.M.

He was buried at the Summerville cemetery, Tuesday, July 24, 1928, where his father and mother, and a number of other relatives are buried.

The deceased was born April 10th, 1840 in Granger county, Tennessee. In 1847 the family left Tennessee with Oregon as their objective but stopped in Arkansas until the spring of 1853 when they resumed their journey with others across the plains. About the first of September of that year their ‘train’ of immigrants arrived at the Warm Springs at the place where the ‘Oregon Trail’ crosses the Malheur River and where Vale, Oregon is now located. At that point the train divided and a part of it consisting of the Gray and Taylor families with several other families diverged from the then known Oregon Trail and sought to travel what was then known and afterwards called the “Meeks Cut off” going through central Oregon, and over the Cascade mountains by way of the McKenzie River to Eugene. The rest of the train followed the Oregon Trail through what is now Baker and Union counties and over the Cascades by way of the Barlow Road. The Gray portion of the train then consisting of about twenty wagons proceeded west up the general course of the Malheur river to a point on Malheur lake near the mouth of the Silvies river.

From there, they went south of Malheur and Harney lakes an then turned north towards what is now called ‘Crooked’ river. In crossing the plains the Gray train, had no particular hardships but their trials came after leaving the Warm Springs. Out on the Oregon desert the train was at one time out four days without water for their stock and had only a small amount left in kegs for human use. After finding water they were again almost famished for want of water before they reached the Deschutes river about two days travel for their ox teams north of where Bend is now. After striking the latter river the train lay by for three or four days to hunt for the so called Meek’s trail.

They found the blazes of the trail made by Meek near where Bend is now and again lay by and rested for three or four days The train then took its way up into the Cascade mountains and crossed well up on the south slope of the south of the peaks known as the “three sisters” and then down the middle branch of the McKenzie river to Eugene. The Gray family settled near Corvallis, Oregon. In 1861, the deceased George G. Gray, helped drive a band of cattle up the Columbia river in March to Eastern Oregon and on June 1st, of that year he arrived in what is now known as Lewiston, and which was called Lapwai, Idaho. From that time until in 1865 or about that time he was occupied in packing form Wallula and Walla Walla, Washington to the Idaho mines and mines in British Columbia.

During the winter of 1865-65, his pack train was snowed in and wintered at Deer Lodge near Helena, Montana. In 1865 he went to Boise, Idaho and engaged in supplying cattle to the butchershops, In 1871 or about that time he came to Union county and settled here. In February 1874 he was married to Sarah Sylvina Jasper who survives him. From their marriage until his death they lived upon the farm where he died.

He leaves surviving him to mourn his loss besides his wife, seven children, twenty-two grand children, and three great-grandchildren as well as a host of other relatives and friends. He was during his whole life known for his kindness and friendliness and at his home on the farm the latch string was always out. More than one person has reason to thank Uncle George Gray and his kindly family for a home, a place to sleep and something to eat during the days of adversity or illness and the stranger traveling on the road with no particular destination in view has with him found a stopping place for days and weeks with little cost or trouble to himself.

Many times has the writer of this short sketch stopped overnight with Mr. Gray and his family when his children were small and enjoyed the evening before the fire in the old fireplace and until well into the night talking of the events of the day, which at that time consisted generally of matters about the farms, the horses and cattle and on the writer’s part answering questions bout members of his father’s family. We will miss Uncle George Gray, the last with but one exception of the families of Robert Doke Gray and Elbert E. Taylor, who crossed the plains in 1853, and made the first crossing with wagons over the Deschutes river near where Bend is now. The other member of the two families mentioned is Hughes Taylor, who was at the time but a child and who was too small to remember the events of the trip. – La Grande News.

Oregon Trail Weekly
North Powder News
Front Page
Saturday, August 6, 1928



White, Judy Wallis. Union County, Oregon Obituaries. Published by Copyright 1999-2013, all rights reserved.

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