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Henry Gray

C. 1835 – 1916
Ann Elizabeth Gray (wife)
1860 – Henry marries his wife Annie.

1861 – April 1 – Henry and his wife arrived in New York City on the ship James Faster, Jr. which departed from Liverpool, England. They were born in Ireland. His occupation was listed as gardener and age 25.

1868 – In February, he was elected a member of the newly reformed Tennessee Horticultural Society. [Nashville Union & American 2/9/68] In the Gardener’s Monthly magazine, May 1868, he is mentioned as the gardener at Belmont. In October, Adelicia Cheatham in wrote in a letter that he was “getting his plants in before Frost.”

1869 – In another letter, Adelicia wrote that the change of gardeners will be of great advantage because Mr. Gray has become unreliable. Because of the handwriting, it is difficult to know if Adelicia is referring to Mr. Gray or Mr. Geny, another gardener at Belmont, but it is most likely Gray. It appears that he goes to work at the Tennessee Insane Asylum by July, 1869. Adelicia’s husband, William Cheatham, was the Asylum’s doctor.

1870 – January – Henry was in partnership with William Heaver in the Edgefield Nursery while still working at the Asylum. That partnership dissolved on July 1, 1870. For reasons unknown, he cannot be found in the US Census of this year for Davidson County.

1871 – October - While still working at the Asylum, Henry started to work for Mr. P. I. Nichol, in the nursery and Greenhouse plant business.

1872 – The Nashville City Directory listed him living at 109 S. Cherry Street, working as a florist for P.L. Nichol, a florist and dealer in seeds, plants, and bulbs.

1873 – 1874 – The Nashville City Directories listed Henry as a grocer still living at 109 S. Cherry.

1875 – The Nashville City Directory listed him as a gardener working for McGavock and living at 320 Broadway. After this year, he cannot be found in the City Directories.

1880 – US Census listed Henry, age 44, living with wife Annie E., (Ann Elizabeth) age 41; both were English born. They were both living at the Tennessee Insane Asylum where he was listed as a gardener.

1887 – January – The first known payroll records from the Asylum start and Henry is listed as a florist at $55 per month. Records for the Asylum end on January 15, 1894, and he was still employed at that time. According to family tradition, Adelicia and Dr. Cheatham gave Mr. Gray prints of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert when Adelicia moved to Washington D. C. The prints were then given by the Grays to William K. Nicholson (who also worked at the Asylum) and are still in the possession of his descendants.

1882 – July – Henry filed to become a US Citizen. [Nashville Banner 7/3/82]

1900 – US Census listed him, age 64, born November 1835; immigrated to the United States in

1861; still living and working at the Asylum. Also living with him was his wife Annie, age 61, born in May 1839. They do not appear in Davidson County in the 1910 census.

1914 – July 3 - Annie, died at age 75 on July 3, 1914 and was buried at Mt. Olivet.

1916 – November 4 – Henry died on November 4, 1916, at age 82. Following services at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, then located on 17th Ave. South, he was buried at Mt. Olivet [Section 13]. In an article published a day after his death in both the Nashville Tennessean and the Nashville American, it is said that he worked at the Tennessee Insane Asylum for almost forty years.
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