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Almon D. Gray (1830-1912)

Almon D. Gray, living in Hudson at the start of the Civil War, joined the 16th Wisconsin Infantry and was appoined a sergeant major as of December 7, 1861.  On February 25, 1862, he was promoted to captain of Company H and served until September 8, 1862, when he resigned. 

Almon D. Gray was born February 16, 1830, in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, and died October 21, 1912, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Following is the brief obituary that appeared in the October 31, 1912, issue of The Hudson Star-Observer:


A. D. Gray First Mayor of Hudson Passes Away.

A. D. Gray, the first mayor of this city, died at his home in St. Paul, Oct. 21, aged 85 years.  His remains were taken to Pepin for burial and the funeral was conducted by the Masonic order of which he was a member.  Since leaving Hudson a decade ago he has resided in Pepin and in Dakota, spending the later years of his active life in St. Paul.  He is pleasantly remembered by many of the older settlers in this vicinity.

The Hudson Star and Times, in its November 8, 1907, issue, reprinted the following article from the St. Paul Dispatch for the Grays’ 52nd anniversary. It was accompanied by a photograph of the pair, which was too dark to reproduce.

Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Gray of Merriam Park, celebrated the fifty-second anniversary of their marriage Friday.1

Mr. Gray was born in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, and came west to Madison, Wisconsin in 1859 [sic: 1849], where he taught school and read law in the office of Collins, Smith and Keyes.  In 1852 he was admitted to the bar and came to Hudson, Wis, to practice his profession in partnership with Col. Benjamin Allen.  He was elected to the state assembly in 1855, was county attorney of St. Croix county, and the first mayor of Hudson.  When the civil war was commenced he enlisted and was chosen captain of a company in the Sixteenth regiment, Wisconsin infantry.

Mrs. Gray was born in Swanton, Vt, in 1839.  Her maiden name was Adelia C. Allen.  She was the youngest daughter of Col. Benjamin Allen.

At the close of the war they moved to Pepin, Wis., where Mr. Gray frequently held the office of chairman of the town board of supervisors, and was also elected to the office of prosecuting attorney and county judge although he was a very pronounced democrat and the county was strongly republican.

In 1833 [sic] he moved to Bismark [sic], N. D., where for fourteen years he practiced law, fought the “gang” of which Alexander McKenzie was boss.

During the later years of his residence in Bismark [sic] he shared offices with the editor of “The Settler,” which opposed the “gang,” and he wrote for that paper and edited it when Mr. Moffet, the editor and proprietor, was out of town.  On the night when the “gang” had the Settler office entered and the presses smashed and the type stolen, they took a large part of Mr. Gray’s law library and threw it in to the Missouri river.

In 1897 Mr. and Mrs. Gray moved to St. Paul, and they have lived there since.  Their family was six boys and four girls, seven of whom are now living.  Six, Miss Kittie, Mrs. A. A. Murray, Mrs. K. S. Nichols, Almon S., Norman A., and Ralph D., now reside in St. Paul; the other, A. B. resides in Denver, Colo.—St. Paul Dispatch.

On November 27, 1908, the same photograph appeared in The Hudson Star and Times with another article about A. D. Gray

Hon. A. D. Gray, the first mayor of Hudson and a gentleman who has many friends here was a visitor here last week at the Chapin Hall, and was visited by a great many of his old friends who helped to make his brief stay here enjoyable and who in turn were delighted to do honor to their former esteemed citizen and recall vivid impressions of the past.

Mr. Gray is an attorney by profession and was associated in practice here with Col. Benjamin Allen, whose youngest daughter, Adelia C. Allen he married before the breaking out of the civil war,1 in which Mr. Gray performed veteran service in the Sixteenth Wisconsin regiment in the rank of captain.

Mrs. Gray, an aunt of George Day of the Ferry company, died recently at Merrian Park, Minnesota, within a few days of the 53rd anniversary of her marriage to Mr. Gray.

In addition to the office of Mayor, Mr. Gray was district attorney and a member of the legislature from this county.  He moved to Pepin county from here, later on taking up a residence at Bismark [sic], N. D., where he practiced law and fought the gang that Boss Alexander McKenzie lorded iv over and is still at the head of, sharing his office with the editor of the “Settler,” a journal that opposed the gang and was subsequently wrecked and its editor nabbed by the McKenzie forces, Mr. Gray’s law library being thrown into the Missouri river, with the presses and type destroyed.  He moved to Merrian Park in 1897, where he has since resided.

A movement is on foot to secure Mr. Gray’s portrait to adorn the walls of the Council roon here, and the movement meets with hearty response and endorsement from all the old citizens here.

1.  Mr. and Mrs. Gray were married in 1855, according to a notice in the November 7, 1855, issue of The Hudson North Star. A specific date was not given.

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