John
Gray


 

JOHN GRAY was born in Pennsylvania in April of 1851. He was the son of John M. Gray and his wife Sarah. John M. Gray worked as a harness maker. The family was living in Philadelphia when the Census was taken in 1960. By the time the 1870 Census was taken, the family had moved to Camden's North Ward. John Gray was living with his parents, older sister Sarah, and older brother Peter S. Gray. The family lived next door to Albert Doughty, who would later serve is the Camden Fire Department, as did John M. Gray and both of his sons. John Gray was working as a bricklayer, brother Peter worked in a carriage factory.

John M. Gray was a harness maker by trade. He was living at 30 North 5th Street when he was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on February 8, 1872, taking the place of Charles Elfreth, who had been promoted to

Driver. John M. Gray served as an extra man with the Hook and Ladder Company, known in more recent times as Ladder Company 1. John M. Gray resigned from the Fire Department on October 8, 1872.

John Gray was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in June of 1873 to replace Edward Allen, who had resigned from his position as an extra man with the Hook and Ladder Company. His brother Peter Gray was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on April of 1874, when David Sparks resigned from Engine Company 2. About that same time Peter S. Gray moved from 30 North 5th Street to 34 North 5th Street. John Gray continued to lived at 30 North 5th. The Gray brothers remained with the Fire Department until the spring of 1876. They were not reappointed that year, but were reinstated in April of 1877. As extra men, they both worked regular jobs in addition the there work as firemen. Peter Gray worked as a machinist, John Gray as a bricklayer.

John Gray married in the mid-1870s. His wife Mary bore him a son, Frank, around 1877.

The 1878-1879 Camden City Directory and 1880 Census shows John Gray having moved to 434 Lawrence Street, where he resided with his wife and son. Peter Gray lived at 819 Carpenter Street.

In March of 1878 the Gray brothers' father, John M. Gray, was appointed janitor of Camden's City Hall. When the Census was again taken in 1880 he was still working as the janitor at Camden's City Hall. He lived on premises with his wife Sarah. Suffering for some time with asthma, he died in mid-September of 1880. 

Sadly it also appears that John Gray's wife Mary and son Frank did not survive the 1880s. John Gray was re-married in the mid-1880s, to Sallie Stewart Cunningham. She brought a son, Howard Cunningham, to the marriage. In June of 1887 John and Sallie Gray were blessed with a daughter, Viola, and in 1895, another daughter, Florena E. Gray, was born

Both Peter Gray and John Gray returned to their original companies 1877, and served until 1882, when due to a change in politics, both were not reappointed. John Gray was brought back in 1884, and when Samuel Elfreth was again elected Chief of the Camden Fire Department in 1885, Peter Gray was reinstated. By the end of 1888 both Gray brothers were working as laddermen with the Hook and Ladder Company

The 1883-1884 and 1884-1885 City Directories shows that the Gray brothers were both living at 831 Carpenter Street. The directories show that John was at 36 North 5th Street from 1887 through 1890 and at 38 North 5th Street from 1894 to 1896. He then moved to 418 Henry Street, where he lived out his days. When the Census was taken in 1900, John Gray's family consisted of himself, wife, their two daughters, stepson Howard Cunningham, his wife Rebecca, and their child Charles Cunningham.

In September of 1889 John Gray was appointed an election judge in the Second Ward.

The Gray brothers worked together at the Hook and Ladder Company until April 19, 1902 when John Gray died from a heart attack. 

John Gray was affiliated with the Republican party in Camden. He was a member of Wyoming Tribe No. 55 of the Improved Order of Red Men, the Firemen's Mutual Beneficial Association of New Jersey, and the Journeymen Bricklayers Protective and Beneficial Association of Philadelphia.

Peter Gray continued with the Camden Fire Department until February 1, 1913. After John Gray had left Carpenter Street he stayed their through at least 1888. By 1890 he had moved to 818 Market Street, where he resided through 1894. By 1895 he had moved to 531 Cedar Street in North Camden, where he stayed as late as 1927. He appears to have passed in the late 1920s, as he is not listed in the 1929 City Directory or the 1930 Census.


Philadelphia Inquirer - July 26, 1873
John Gray Jr. - Thomas Grapewine - Henry Frost
Bernard Dennis - Elwood ClineDavid B. Sparks
Charles Elfreth - Joseph Nece - William Osler - Isaac Randolph

Philadelphia Inquirer * March 26, 1877


Philadelphia Inquirer - March 16, 1878

William Abels - J. Willard Morgan - A.B. Cameron - Crawford Miller
Mr. Knight -
John Dialogue Sr. - Elwood Kemble - Dr. John Donges - Frank F. Michellon - Frederick W. Taw - William A. Turner
James E. Hayes - John H. Shultz -
John M. Gray Sr. - H.M. Sharp
Robert S. Bender - William W. Mines - Wilbur F. Rose - Joseph A. Porter


Philadelphia Inquirer - September 16, 1880


Philadelphia Inquirer - September 20, 1880


Philadelphia Inquirer - September 30, 1880


Philadelphia Inquirer - November 24, 1880


Philadelphia Inquirer - September 8, 1885

Frank Turner Amedee Middleton - John Gray
William McKinley - Engine Company 2

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 21, 1902

Click on Image for PDF File of Complete Article


RETURN TO CAMDEN'S INTERESTING PEOPLE PAGE

RETURN TO DVRBS.COM HOME PAGE