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Joseph Gray

The labors which have resulted in the present high state of development noticeable in Benton county have been largely participated in by Mr. Gray, who is one of the prominent farmers and stock-raisers of the county. A native of Scotland, born June 30, 1828, his early life was not unlike that of many other youth of his acquiantance in the home land, but at eighteen years of age he determined to learn a trade and begin life in earnest. Choosing the carpenter's trade as the  most congenial to his tastes, he at once set about to master it in all its details, and thereafter followed it in his native land until 1850, or until he was twenty-two years of age. It was in the year last mentioned that he first ventured from the scenes with which he had hitherto been familiar, going to Australia, and for four years was engaged at his trade in Melbourne.

The year 1851 was memorable in Australian history as the one in which gold was discovered in that country, and it is not surprising that Mr. Gray became enthusiastic in searching for the yellow dust as did so many thousands of others equally ambitious. After following the life of the miner for about six years he returned to his native land to visit friends and relatives, remaining but a short time, however, for in October of the same year, 1860, he landed in California. The following year he came to Oregon, settling in Benton county, where for four years he carried on farming upon rented land. At the expiration of this time, in 1865, he removed to his present farm of three hundred and thirty acres in the vicinity of Philomath, which he had purchased in 1862, and here he carries on general farming and raises stock, meeting with good returns for the care and labor bestowed.

It was while a resident of Melbourne, Australia, that Mr. Gray was united in marriage with Miss Annie Murray, a native of Scotland. Two children were born to this worthy couple, the eldest of whom, Isabelle, is a teacher in one of the public schools of Fresno, Cal.; and Alexander M. is interested with his father in the conduct of the home farm. Religiously the family are identified with the Presbyterian Church, to whose maintenance they contribute, and they may always be found in the forefront of all measures tending to benefit mankind or upbuild the community.

source - "Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", page 1151


 
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