Convention Member Hosea Gray

Convention Member
Born in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, April 7, 1816. At an early age, he removed with his parents to Bradford County, in the same State. His education was obtained in the common schools of the country, by private tutors, and at the Athens Academy. His business life began at the early age of fourteen; when at intervals not engaged in studies, he was employed for several years as clerk in a store. At the age of nineteen years, he engaged as a teacher in Lycoming County, PA., which occupation he followed in that county and Bradford until the year 1838, when he emigrated to the West. He spent a year in Illinois, and, finally settled at Marion, Linn County, Iowa, in the year 1839. He was married in the year 1840, in Linn County, Iowa, to Annie M. Smith. Her family was from Guilford, N. C., but she was born and raised at Indianapolis, Ind. Mr. Gray was elected Sheriff of that county in the fall of that year, and was re-elected for four terms in succession; in all eight years. He had previously read law with his father, who was a lawyer, and was admitted to the bar at Marion, Iowa, in 1847. After entering the profession, and some practice, he was elected Clerk of the District Court in 1848. Retiring from office in 1850, he purchased a stock farm of 640 acres, and gave his attention for some years to his farms. In 1856, he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention that framed the present constitution of Iowa. The twenty-fifth anniversary of the work of that convention, which has remained unchanged, was celebrated at the capital of the State, on the 19th of January last, by the surviving members, of whom Mr. Gray was one. In the year 1857, he was appointed one of the fiscal agents of the State to settle with the custodians of the school funds, and the same year was appointed Commissioner of Public Buildings, in which capacity he served three years, and during which term the Blind Asylum at Vinton was located and erected. In 1857, Mr. Gray engaged in the mercantile business under the firm style of Peddicord, Gray & Co. In April, 1861, before any requisition had been issued, he enlisted a company, and tendered then for active service. The company of which he was Captain was mustered into service as Company A, Sixth Iowa Infantry. He received a commission also as Lieutenant Colonel. After two years’ service he resigned on account of severe and protracted sickness. He then disposed of his mercantile business and retired to his farm, which he superintended during the next four years. In April, 1869, his wife, who had been an invalid for some years, died. Soon afterward he sold out, and, in 1871, came to Nebraska. In that year he entered by pre-emption 160 acres of land in Fillmore County, and with his son established themselves in the lumber trade under the firm name of J. M. Gray & Co. The business was prosperous, and continued under the same firm at Sutton, Clay Co., Neb. In 1872, Mr. Gray opened a law office in the same town. He was married in the year 1840, in Linn County, Iowa, to Annie M. Smith. Mr. Gray died April 28, 1885, in Sutton Nebraska. Source: Andreas’ History of the State of Nebraska Clay County