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Gray, Nathan

Born: 1812-04-08 Madison County, New York

Died: 1892-09-14 Bureau County, Illinois

Flourished: Bureau County, Illinois

Gray was raised and educated in his native state, where he adopted farming as his occupation. In 1836, he married Meriba Brown, with whom he had six children. In June 1846, Gray traveled to Bureau County, Illinois, where he purchased 1,040 acres in Westfield township. In September, Gray brought his family to Bureau County. Settling in Princeton, Gray became a pioneer in the early business life of the town. In 1846, he entered into a partnership with Dr. William Converse in the operation of a drug and mercantile business. This partnership dissolved in 1848, and Gray entered into a partnership with John Dodge in a grocery business. In 1850, he was a merchant and owned real estate valued at $5,320. He also engaged in real estate speculation, and the wealth he accrued from this business allowed him to retire to his farm in 1852. His retirement from business notwithstanding, Gray remained a leading public figure in Bureau County, serving as county supervisor in 1854 and from 1856 to 1859. He served as postmaster of Princeton from 1849 to 1851. In 1860, was a farmer and owned real estate valued at $32,000 and had a personal estate of $3,200. An early adherent of the Whig Party, Gray identified with the Republican Party after the demise of the Whigs.

Gravestone, Lost Grove Cemetery, Arlington, IL; H. C. Bradsby, ed., History of Bureau County, Illinois (Chicago: World, 1885), 283, 284, 398, 532-33; George B. Harrington, Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois (Chicago: Pioneer, 1906), 432; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Bureau County, IL, 236; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Westfield, Bureau County, IL, 569.