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Neil Gray, Pioneer Romeo, Macomb, Michigan


NEIL GRAY (1775-1852), was born in Blackskye, Ayrshire, Scotland, and came to New York State in 1827, with his wife, MARY (WYLIE) (1776-1856) In 1832 they came to this area, and took up land from the U.S. Government in Bruce Township, and probably on what were know as McKay and Scotch Settlement Roads. Neil and Mary had 10 children:

Ann Gray (1799-1820) m: James Millar
William Wylie Gray (1801-1868) m: Jean Garland
Neil Gray, M.D. (1803-1868) m: Maria Miller Webster
Margaret Gray (1804-1868) m: James Reside
Hugh Gray (1806-1882) m: Emma Burr
Mary Gary (1809-1859) m: William Reid
Jean Gray (1811-1862) m: Robert McKay
Janet Gray (1813-1823)
Robert Gray (1816-1877) m: Idabella Fogo
James Gray (1819-1822)

Neil Gray. M.D. (1803-1868) was a graduate of the medical school of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and apparently a part time minister before leaving for the U.S. in 1827. Practiced medicine here for some time, and then turned most of his attention to the flour milling business. He and his brother Hugh (1806-1882) the built the Clifton Mill, which was located on 31-Mile road, in 1851. They also owned the mill at Lakeville and another in Bruce Township, which gave them control of the water rights along Stony Creek from Lakeville to Clifton. Neil also owned a mill on Romeo Plank Road in Ray Township, where he built a home, which was the Church of Christ Nursing Home (aka The Cascades), and I believe lived there until he died in 1868. He and his wife Maria (Miller) Gray had four sons, Hugh, Noah, James and William.

In 1863, Dr. Neil and his brother, Hugh and some other local men founded the first bank in Romeo, called the First National Bank, and Neil was it's first President serving until his death in 1868. Hugh was a director until he died in 1882. This later became the Romeo Savings Bank and then the Community National.

In 1869, Hugh C., James H. and Noah W. Gray, sons' of Neil and Maria, built a new building on Main Street called Gray's Hall or Gray's Opera House. In the beginning, traveling theatrical groups came there and put on plays such as Uncle Tom's Cabin, East Lynn, etc. When these ceased to exist, it became the center for many community activities such as dances, school plays, school commencement exercises and the like. This continued until 1923, when it was purchased by the Masonic Temple Association and became the Masonic Temple. The Gray's however, had sold it long before that.

If you wish to contact a descendant of Neil Gray click here: Anita Gray Fesler

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