BIOGRAPHY OF JAMES HAMELTON GRAY
Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
James Hamelton Gray was born 23 February 1848 in Dunfrees, York, New Brunswick,Canada to Joseph and Sarah Scott Gray.
His father, Joseph Gray was born 10 June 1806 in North Hampton, York, New Brunswick, Canada to John and Mary Hull Gray. He was christened on 14 July 1806 in North Hampton, York, New Brunswick,Canada. His mother Sarah Scott was born 11 June 1811 in Ardstraw, Tyrone, Ireland.
His parents married on 26 October 1836 in Fredrickton, York, New Brunswick,Canada. They were the parents of nine children, two girls and seven boys. William Henry was born 1 November 1837 in North Hampton, York, New Brunswick. Mary Jane was born 22 December 1838 in Woodstock. There is no death date for her, but their last child was also Mary Jane so it is assumed that the first Mary Jane died early on.
Charles Wesley was born 20 January 1839 in North Hampton; John was born 13 November 1840 in Dunfrees, York, New Brunswick; and Nelson was born 19 May 1842 in Dunfrees.
His parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 26 September 1844. He was 38 and she was 33. This was just three months after the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed.
Leonard Francis was born 22 May 1845 in Dunfrees; Enoch was born 26 August 1847; James Hamelton was born 23 February 1848; and Mary Jane was born 23 December 1850. The last three were all born in Dunfrees.
Nine years after they joined the Church, they decided to join the Saints in Utah Territory. They came with the James Brown Company in 1854. The company began its journey with about 106 individuals and 40 wagons outfitting at Westport, Missouri.
Joseph was 48 years old, Sarah was 43; William Henry was 15; Charles Wesley was 15; John was 13; Nelson was 12; Leonard was 9; Enoch was 7; James was 6; and Mary Jane was 3 when they departed.
On 12 August 1854 Captain Brown penned a letter to President Brigham Young as to the status of their company when they were near Chimney Rock: “I left the church train, which is under the charge of Elders O Pratt & H.S. Eldredge, on the 14th July, with 41 wagons, 212 head of cattle, and 173 Souls, the train was then at Nunshaw creek, on the 17th of July we left 2 wagons 12 head of cattle, &9 Souls, at the Big Blue, because they wished to wait untill Thomas Williams train came on: since we left the church Train we have had one death, 3 Births,& lost 3 head of cattle 2 of which died & the other we had to leave because he could not travel, to day Brother E T Benson called on us for five yoak of our cattle which was complied with
Our journey thus far has been prosporous. The camp is short of provisions on account of being detained so long. about five hundred weight of Flour with other provisions would see us in the Valley [illegible] still persue our journey, without being detained on the way, we are short of teams and will no doubt need assistance. we have every cow and every lame ox in our teems. my prayer is continualy for the wellfair & prosperity of the Kingdom of God.”
Orson Pratt relayed the information to Brigham Young on the supplies they were trying to bring to the valley: “The church books arrived safely in St Louis;all the expenses up to that time on them amount to something over $4000. Bro Eldredge sent them to Fort Leavenworth hoping to have waggons & teams sufficient to bring them over the plains this season; but finding it impossible he ordered them reshipped to Weston, where they are safely stored until a future time. There were 33 cases of the books stored, & 12 cases of other merchandise. I have been informed that 2 cases of the books are in the waggons and will be brought on. The 45 cases, while laying at Fort Leavenworth, were not under cover, but were exposed to 4 or 5 very heavy showers, but whether their contents were damaged much is not known. During this time we were busily engaged in trying to secure the other merchandise in the waggons, which required some few days before the waggons could be put together, and loaded;and the covers secured.
At the same time the cholera in its most violent form was raging in our camp which required the exertion of those who were well both day and night to take care of the sick. And what greatly increased our labor was the care of about 400 head of cattle which were turned over upon us. Bro. Eldredge, when at St. Louis, supposed that we had a sufficient number of teamsters and some 10 or 12 extra men, but the cholera and other causes so diminished the number that we found it impossible to start without a fresh supply of men. We procured 16 men from brother Empy's emigrating companies which were all he was willing to spare, although he has reserved 2 men to a waggon. We need more, yet we shall try to start with what we have about the 1st of July.
Since landing at the Fort, our small company has lost 41 persons by the cholera. Three of our blacksmiths, on whom we were depending, have died. Brothers Alondus D[eLafayette] L. Buckland and Jesse Turpin are both dead; they lived only a few hours after being seized.Those who survived are so weakened down by sickness and over exertion that they can scarsely move about. I have been very healthy,though wearied with setting up nights and watching with the sick. We are now in hopes that the pestilence has ceased and that no more will fall a prey. The cholera is at work among the Emigrating saints from Kansas, but to what extent I am unable to inform you. InI ndependence, it is sweeping off some 30 a day. Some towns on the Missouri are nearly deserted.”
They arrived in the Salt Lake valley on 3 October 1854. They settled in Provo, Utah, Utah Territory. On 31 July 1857 Joseph and Sarah received their endowments and were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory.
James married Deseret Mathilda Loveless on 23 October 1876 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory. He was 28 and she was 18. Deseret was born 19 October 1858 in Provo, Utah, Utah Territory to James Washington and Matilda Elizabeth McClellen Loveless. She was baptized on 28 May 1865 at the age of six.
Deseret’s parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1831. Her father served a mission for the Church and returned two days after the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum had been martyred. His family came to Deseret with the John G. Smith Company. They began their journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs) on 1 May 1851. There were 137 in the company and they arrived in the valley between 15-23 September 1851.
James Washington’s sister, Rachel Priscilla wrote of their trip coming to Deseret. She was ten years old when they came. “Pop fitted our four wagons one with four yoke of cattle, and two with three yoke including the cows and one with one very large yoke of oxen for my mother. There were two small children and although I was then ten years old I was not permitted to ride with mother except on rare occasions. One day I got in with mother and as I got out over the end of the tongue, I caught my dress and hung for a little way, then fell down and the team ran over me, but I was not hurt in the least although my mother was very scared.
Pop did not have money enough to leave. but he went down to a merchant by the name of Kinkaid in the capital and got a load of goods for freighting and they were paid for hauling this load in provisions for the trip, which consisted of cornmeal, matches, ham[,] some wheat flour, so that we were left well provided for in foodstuff.
In about six days the others also came up and we were organized and ready for the journey. Pop was put in as captain over ten wagons. Our captain was named [Roswell] Stevens. The one man was captain over fifty wagons[.] the pilot of the company was named Cooley. He had been to Utah before. He rode a horse, the only horse I can remember in the company. He must have had lots of red cotton handkerchiefs as he always left one tied to a brush to guide us.
The next night we camped in a pretty place. We stopped two hours before sunset. One wagon pulled out a half mile from the others and the men came for my mother but she could not go. Two or three women went out to the wagon and the next morning I heard a baby cry in that wagon when it came back and I knew there was none the night before. I thought they had found one in the brush.”
James and Deseret set up housekeeping in Provo, Utah, Utah Territory and had eleven children, five girls and six boys, all born in Provo. Joseph S. was born 24 July 1877 and died 15 July 1880; Birdie Ethel was born 30 May 1879; Sadie Maude and was born in 1881(probably a twin to Sarah); Sarah Maud born 13 July 1881; Matilda Elizabeth born 3 June 1883; James “W” (Washington)born 14 May 1885; Harriet Una born 22 August 1888; Jesse Loveless born 16 May 1891; Dean LaMar born 27 February 1894; Grant Scott born 17 April 1900 and died 14 August 1902; and Clarence Alden born 17 September 1905.
James’s father,Joseph died on 13 January 1888 in Provo, Utah, Utah Territory at the age of 81 and was buried in Provo. His mother, Sarah died on 3 October 1901 in Provo, Utah, Utah at the age of 90 and was buried on the same day in Provo, Utah, Utah.
James died on 23 December 1908 in Provo, Utah,Utah at the age of 60 and was buried on 26 December 1908 in Provo.
Deseret married Jacob Peter Jenson on 31 December 1919 at the age of 61. She died on 17 Mary 1930 in Provo, Utah, Utah at the age of 71 and was buried 19 May 1930 in Provo, Utah, Utah.