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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dade County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Charles W. Gray is a member of the firm of C. W. Gray & Co., dealers in general hardware, farm machinery, etc., at Lockwood, Mo. This business was established in 1888, as successors to H. C. Watterman & Sons, the value of the stock being from $5,000 to $6,000, and is one of the best establishments of the kind in Dade County. Mr. Gray was born in Chester County, Penn., in 1834, and is the son of William and Catherine (Bender) Gray, natives of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively. They were married in Pennsylvania, and when their son, Charles W. Gray, was but an infant, they moved to Stark County, Ohio, where they both died, the mother in 1855, and the father in 1872. Both were members of the United Brethren Church. Grandfather Gray was a native of Germany. Charles W. Gray was the third of four sons and three daughters. He received a common school education in Ohio, and was married in 1856 to Miss Barbara E., daughter of Henry and Sarah Newman, both natives of Ohio, as was also their daughter. The mother died in that State, but the father is still living, and has been a resident of Dade County since 1882. To Mr. and Mrs. Gray have been born eight children, three sons and two daughters living. In 1862 Mr. Gray enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Fifteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was almost all the time on guard, and on construction duty in Tennessee. He served until the close of the war, and was discharged at Murfreesboro, Tenn., in June, 1865. He returned home, and, in 1867, came to Dade County, where he followed farming in Marion Township (in June, 1888, was set off to Lockwood Township), until December, 1888, when he engaged in his present business. He is the owner of 265 acres of good land; is a Republican in politics, and his first presidential vote was cast for J. C. Fremont in 1856. He and wife and two eldest children are members of the United Brethren Church, Mrs. Gray having been a member since 1859. Mr. Gray is a class leader. His children are named as follows: Elenore E.; Mary E., wife of J. W. Evans; Julia A., George N. and Samuel A. When Mr. Gray first came to Missouri, he settled on an unbroken prairie, and here he improved a good farm. He became one of the leading farmers of the county, and one of its best citizens.

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This family biography is one of 68 biographies included in The History of Dade County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dade County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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