From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham
Transcribed by Celeste MacCormack.
JOHN H. GRAY, proprietor of a general store in Tannersville,
Greene County, N.Y., was born in Olive, Ulster County, this State, January 13,
1853, son of Morgan and Rachel (Freileigh) Gray. His grandfather, Martin Gray,
was a lifelong resident of Columbia County and a prosperous farmer.
Morgan Gray, father of John H., was born in Saratoga, and he there followed
farming some years. He later came to Greene County, and remained a short time,
then went to Olive in Ulster County, and in 1868 settled upon a farm in
Saugerties, where he is still residing. He is now seventy-five years old, but
possesses the activity of a much younger man. He is a member of the Dutch
Reformed church. His wife, Rachel, was born in Saugerties, daughter of Samuel
Freileigh, a prosperous farmer of that locality. She died at the age of
fifty-six, having been the mother of seven children, of whom six are living;
namely, Samuel M., John H., Carrie, Mary, Abbie, and Charles. Carrie married
Daniel York, Mary married Orville Smith, and Abbie is the wife of Frank Smith.
John H. Gray was educated in the common schools. He assisted his father on the
farm until he was thirty-one years old, when he purchased the general store
conducted up to that time by his brother Samuel M., and, adding other goods,
carried on the business for four years. Selling out to his brother-in-law, he
came in 1890 to Tannersville, and purchasing land in the centre of the town, on
the west side of Hunter Turnpike, erected his present store, in which he has
carried on a profitable business ever since. The store is sixty by one hundred
feet, and varied stock, including dry and fancy goods, boots and shoes, hay and
grain, paints and oils, groceries, hardware, house-furnishing goods, carpets,
crockery, harnesses, robes, all kinds of patent medicines, wines, liquors,
cigars, and tobacco. He also has a millinery department. He opens in April and
closes January 1. With the aid of twenty-one employees, he transacts a large
business, supplying all of the hotels and park resorts in this locality. He buys
by the carload, and the character of his trade demands the handling of the
finest quality of foreign and domestic goods. In connection with his store he
carries on a well-equipped livery stable, keeping an average of thirty horses.
In 1882 Mr. Gray married Jennie Carnright, a native of Quarryville, Ulster
County, daughter of Wynkoop and Abbie (Freileigh) Carnright. Her father was born
in West Hadley, Ulster County. He moved from there to Quarryville and later to
Malden-on-the Hudson, where he has resided for the past twenty-five years and is
general overseer on the stone dock. Her mother also was born in Quarryville. She
was a daughter of Samuel P. Freileigh, a farmer of that town, who was of Dutch
descent. Mrs. Carnright, who is no longer living, was the mother of two
children: Jennie, who is now Mrs. Gray; and Carrie who married James Hommul (*
Hommel). Having a good common-school education and possessing excellent business
ability, Mrs. Gray is a valuable assistant to her husband, and has a general
supervision of the store. She attends to most of the buying, and gives her
particular attention to the millinery department, which is well stocked with
seasonable goods. Mr. and Mrs. Gray have one daughter, Maud S., aged fourteen.
She is attending the academy in Kingston, and makes a specialty of music.
Mr. Gray is a Democrat in politics. He is a great lover of horses, and keeps a
number of speedy animals, and Mrs. Gray is also fond of driving.
Postscript by Celeste MacCormack:
I have never seen Hommul spelt this way and thought for those who are interested
in Hommel genealogy my notation of this variation in spelling might help someone
locate this name in looking though the pico search means.
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