Callaway County, Missouri Genealogy Trails
The career of Alfred George, of the Rifle neighborhood, in Garfield county, is full of interest and valuable suggestions, and his citizenship is of the sterling and useful character which has made the American workingman notably one of the controlling factors in modern civilization. Mr. George was born in Callaway county, Missouri, on October 1, 1851, and in that state he was reared to the age of thirteen, then coming with his mother and sister to Colorado in 1864, he has since mingled with the activities in this state, always bearing cheerfully the share of his community’s burdens properly belonging to him and performed faithfully the share of its duties which has been incumbent on him. He received a slender common-school education, remaining at home and working in the interest of his parents until death ended their labors, the father dying in 1858, when the son was seven, and the mother in 1872, when he was twenty-one. His parents were Alfred and Margaret (Robinson) George, natives of Kentucky, who settled in Missouri when young, where the father died and the mother and children removed to this state in 1864. The father was a cabinetmaker and dealt in real estate, but he also made money as a farmer. He supported the Democratic party in political affairs, and with his wife he belonged to the Methodist church. They had a family of eight children, but two of whom are living, Annie, wife of Jasper P. Sears, of Denver, and Alfred. The latter had the usual experience of country boys in the West, for even the Missouri home of the family was on the frontier, and at an early life became inured to the hardships and privations of pioneer life. The trip from Missouri to Colorado was made over the plains with an ox team and occupied three months. There were Indian troubles before and behind the train, but it suffered no disaster and was not attacked. After the death of his mother Mr. George rented land and ranched on it until 1886. In the fall of that year he moved to the Roaring fork, near Emma, and the next spring to Grand Junction. From there he went out on the trail and engaged in raising cattle. In 1887 he settled on East Middle Rifle creek and for a year was occupied in ranching on shares with H.G. Brown. He then, in partnership with G.W. Noble, bought the improvements on his present ranch, which he pre-empted. It comprised one hundred and sixty acres, and a few years later the land was divided, each partner taking one-half. Mr. George has since sold forty acres of his tract, and he is now profitably engaged in farming the other forty with good results, producing large yields of hay, grain, vegetables and fruit, and raising numbers of good cattle and horses. He has a good water right and his land responds generously to skillful tillage. On March 16, 1886, he was married to Miss Clare V. Noble, who was born in Iowa on September 4, 1860, and is the daughter of George W. and Marietta (Woulsey) Noble, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Iowa. Mrs. George is a sister of Mrs. Charles H. Harris, of this state, and the family record of her parents appears in a sketch of Mr. and Mrs. Harris, which will be found on another page of this work. Five children have been born in the George household. One daughter, Anna L., died on April 16, 1901. The living four are Claude A., Harry N., Clara M. and William Jasper. Mr. George has found a fruitful field for his enterprise in Colorado, and is well pleased with the state and devoted to its best interests in every way. He is well esteemed by its people who know him and withholds no effort due on his part to promote their substantial progress and development and lasting good.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)
THOMAS E. GRAY
Prominent among the early pioneers and leading business men of Carthage, Missouri, is Thomas E. Gray, who for many years has been closely identified with the history of the city. He was born upon a farm in Calloway county, Missouri, July 7, 1839, and is a son of William Gray, whose birth occurred in Pennsylvania in 1806. The latter married Miss Ann Wiseley, of Wytheville, Wythe county, Virginia. After residing in New Albany, Indiana, for two years, they came to Missouri, locating in Calloway county upon a farm, where the father died in 1845. His widow afterward married George Becopkers, and died in 1874. In the family of William Gray and his wife were ten children, seven of whom grew to years of maturity, while three are yet living.
Thomas E. Gray was the ninth in order of birth. He spent his youth upon his father’s farm and pursued his education in the district schools and in the high school of Richland. He afterward learned the carpenter’s trade in Calloway county, and subsequently went to Boonville, Missouri, where he followed carpentering. In 1858 he took up his abode at Lynn Creek, where he engaged in the mercantile business in the service of ex-Governor McClurg, being thus engaged until February, 1862, when he enlisted in Company G, Eighth Missouri Regiment, of State Militia Cavalry. He served in Missouri, Arkansas, the Indian Territory and the northern part of Louisiana, remaining in the army for more than three years. He was commissioned first lieutenant April 10, 1863, and was honorably discharged July 5, 1865.
Mr. Gray then went to St. Louis, and from there to Lebanon, Missouri, where he engaged in clerking in a store. On the 20th of August, 1865, he came to Carthage and erected the first house built here after the close of the war. It was a log structure, and when completed Mr. Gray opened therein a stock of general merchandise, beginning business before doors or windows were put in. He continued the enterprise for twelve months, after which he became interested in the lumber business. In the spring of 1867 Eugene O’Keefer came to Carthage, and, forming a partnership with Mr. Gray, they carried on general merchandising until 1874, when they sold their store, and the latter became interested in the loan and insurance business, which he now carries on successfully, having met with a gratifying degree of prosperity in his work.
On the 3rd day of May, 1871, Mr. Gray married Iola Martin, of Carthage, a daughter of John S. Martin, formerly of Illinois, the daughter having been born in Vermont, that state. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gray have been born three children: Edwin, who is the principal of the high school; Walter G., a dentist in Chicago; and Leta, at home. In his political views Mr. Gray is a Republican, while socially he is connected with Carthage Lodge, No. 187, F. & A.M., and Stanton Post, No. 16, G.A.R.
Callaway County, Missouri Genealogy Trails
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