Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin Counties", published by Western Historical
Publishing Co., 1904.
ALVIN P. GRAY has the distinction
of having built the first house ever erected in Pasco. This was in
early days but since that time he has continued here with display of energy
and wisdom in the business world. An outline of his career is certainly
to be embodied with those who have assisted to make Franklin county what
she is at this day. When he first came here the territory now in
Franklin county was embraced in Whitman county and he has seen the formation
of this political division that now has Pasco for the county seat.
Alvin P. Gray was born in Hancock county,
Maine, on March 9, 1856, the son of E. P. and Matilda (Black) Gray, natives
of Maine, and now deceased. The father followed lumbering.
From the common schools, the great educator of the American people, our
subject received his educational training during his boyhood days in Maine.
He remained with his father on the farm until he was twenty-one years of
age and then stepped forth from the parental roof to meet the responsibilities
of life for himself, either to gain success or to fall in the struggle.
It was 1876 when he came to the Golden State, making the trip across the
continent without special incident. For four years after landing
in California, he was engaged in lumbering, and then in 1881, came to the
Sound country. One year later he landed where Pasco now stands and
at once began the erection of the building mentioned above. He engaged
in business and has been identified with this section since. In 1896,
Mr. Gray determined to open a general merchandise store here, believing
that the outlook warranted it. He did so and since that time he has
continued uninterruptedly in the prosecution of the business and has made
a good success in it. He has a good store, well stocked with wisely
selected goods adapted to the needs of this community and which find their
way to all portions of the country adjacent to Pasco. Through deferential
treatment of all Mr. Gray has built up a good patronage and has the ability
of making and holding friends. In addition to his mercantile business,
Mr. Gray owns a fine wheat ranch of one-half section, located on the Snake
east from Pasco, which is well improved and handled by tenants.
At Tacoma, Washington, in 1896, Mr. Gray married
Miss May O'Neal, a native of the Evergreen State. Her father is living
in California and her mother is deceased some time since. This union
has been blessed by one child, Josephine.