BIOGRAPHY OF NELSON GRAY
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Nelson Gray was born 19 May 1842 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 tryingto 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. In Independence, 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.
His 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.
Nelson never married. He died on 2 December 1910 at the age of 68. He was buried in the Provo Cemetery in Provo, Utah, Utah.