Biography of Ozro Preston Gray

GRAY, OZRO P. Ozro Preston Gray was born in Bridport, Addison County, Vt., on September 18, 1806. Of the ancestors the following is known: His grandfather, Deacon Lamond Gray, was a descendant of Scotch ancestors who in 1612 settled in the North of Ireland, near Londonderry. In 1718 the family of which John Gray was the head, with some forty other families, emigrated through Boston to Worcester, Mass. In 1743 the family settled in Pelham, Mass., where Lamond Gray was born in 1753, the son of Daniel Gray. He was a well-educated man and taught school for a time in that vicinity. May 26, 1778, he was married to Mrs. Isabel Conkey Hamilton, widow of Lieutenant Robert Hamilton, by whom he had two children, Robert and Isabel; the latter afterward became the wife of Captain Jeremiah Lee, of Bridport, Vt., in 1795. After his marriage with Mrs. Hamilton Mr. Gray remained in Pelham about ten years, when, in company with his father, and brother Jeremiah, he came to Bridport and purchased two tracts of land of one hundred acres each. One of these tracts is about a mile south of the village, the other hundred acres included the farm where Prosper Lee lived and died. After the close of the Shay rebellion, Daniel and Jeremiah Gray returned to Pelham, leaving Lamond on their clearing. They subsequently transferred to him their title to the two tracts. Lamond Gray thus became one of the early settlers of Bridport, and there remained until 1812, when he died. He was elected clerk of the town in 1790 and held the position for many years; he was also a deacon in the Congregational Church and was a useful and respected citizen. His children were Joel and Mary. Daniel graduated from Middlebury College in 1805, and soon afterward married Susannah Rice, by whom he had one child, the subject of this sketch. Ozro P. Gray received the education afforded by the public schools, which was supplemented by careful study and reading in later years. When he was eighteen ears of age he began a three years’ apprenticeship with Thomas Atwood, a tanner of the town of Shoreham; he finished his trade and worked for Mr. Atwood as a journeyman about four years. In the year 1832 he went to Crown Point and engaged in the same business on his own account, at what is known as “The Centre.” On the second of January, 1833, he was married to Mary Nelson, a daughter of William and Charlotte (Bailey) Nelson, some of the pioneers of Crown Point; she was born on the fourteenth of August, 1809, at Crown Point.

Mr. Gray became a leading citizen of Crown Point, and carried on a successful business there as a tanner and currier; he also held the office of poormaster for many years. In 1865 he disposed of his business and removed to Bridport, Vt., where he purchased a tract of land on which he lived until his death on the 5th of May, 1882. He had by his life of integrity, liberality in the support of all worthy public objects, his sound judgment and high order of intelligence gained the esteem of the entire community; his widow still survives. They were the parents, by adoption, of one daughter, Edna Gray, now the wife of Henry C. Rice, of Port Henry, N. Y.


Addison County VT,

Smith, H. P. History of Addison County Vermont: With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers. Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason & co., 1886.

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