Looking back: Prayer book contains Gray family history

Published 9:00 am Saturday, July 31, 2021


Contributing writer

Henry T. Gray of Perryville had a prayer book, printed in 1793, that belong to his father, J.M. Gray, according to articles in The Advocate- Messenger.

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The book contained information about the Gray family.

“James Monroe Gray, son of H.& E., was born July 2, 1808, at 10 o’clock p.m. Saturday. Mr. Gray died Tuesday, July 18, 1899, at the age of ninety-one and sixteen days.”

After an appropriate funeral discourse by his pastor, Elder George W. Mills, a large audience at the Christian Church, where Gray was a member, he was buried in the Perryville Cemetery.

Pallbearers were composed of directors of the Bank of Perryville, where J.M. Gray was its first president. They included Wallace Green, George C. Martin, L. Wharton, J.R. Knox , W.B. Arnold and George W. Edwards.

James M. was the last of five brothers and one sister. He never married.

His nearest relatives were his nephew Henry T. Gray, and a niece Mrs. T.C. Prewitt.

He was for many years an active business man in Perryville.

Finds bank note

Henry Gray also found an old Michigan bank note for $2, in the papers of his uncle, General Thomas H. Gray, according to an article in the Advocate dated March 10, 1897. Henry supposed the note was given to him by some Michigan soldier at the time or just after the Perryville battle during the Civil War.

Henry also found several other notes among Thomas Gray’s papers. They were a piece of script on the Frankfort branch of the Bank of Kentucky for 12 ½ cents, dated October 23, 1837; a note on the Kirtland Safety Society Bank of Kirtland, Ohio, dated July 4, 1837; a $3 note on the Bank of Kentucky, dated September 5, 1845, and a $2 note on the Northern Bank of Kentucky, dated May 19, 1853.

Settle on Salt River

Thomas H. Gray was born November 5, 1810, and came to Kentucky on 1819. His father settled on Salt River near Harrodsburg and owned a shoe store.

Thomas’ two older brothers William H. and James M., bought a stock of goods from their uncle, Major William Hore.

After living in Lancaster, Danville, and other places, William H. located in Harrodsburg.

James and Thomas went to Markville. Later, Thomas went on to Harrodsburg then later followed William and James to Perryville.

Uses ducks in garden

Henry Gray had two white ducks on his farm near Perryville which had kept the bugs off his Irish potatoes and cabbage patches. The ducks reportedly worked from early morning to late in the evening in the patch. He kept the ducks and did not offer them for sale, according to an article on the Advocate on July 1888.