J. HENRY McCRAY

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  923

J. HENRY McCRAY came from an old Scotch-Irish family, who settled in Ellington, Conn., about 1750.  This had been a numerous family, but at the present time has only a few representatives in the town.  The McCray family has inter-married with the best families in this part of the State.

The first of the name in this country was William McCray, who was born in 1702, and came from the North of Ireland to Mansfield, Conn., in 1759, and later moved to Ellington, locating on the farm now occupied by Wilbur F. Chapman.  He was an extensive land owner in Ellington, and died in 1776.  Mr. McCray was married to Margaret McMaster, who was born in southern Scotland in 1724, and died Sept. 16, 1804; both she and her husband were buried in Ellington.  Their children were:  William, born in 1750, died in 1836;  Elizabeth, born in 1752;  Reuben, born in 1754, died in 1811;  David, born in 1755;  Eleanor, born in 1757, married Samuel Thompson, Jr., the first of his family to locate in Ellington;  John, born in 1759;  Isaac, who married Roxanna Olmstead;  Sally, born in 1764;  Calvin.

Calvin McCray, the grandfather of J. Henry, was born June 12, 1768, in Ellington, died Dec. 7, 1836.  His first wife was Betsy McKinney, who was born in 1769, and died March 7, 1814.  To them were born:  Horatio, born 1788, Calvin, born 1789, both went West where they died in 1849.  Lathrop was physician of South Hadley, Mass.  He was born in 1803, and died in 1867.  Warren was a physician of Springfield, Mass., where he practiced for many years, and then returned to Ellington, where he died in 1876, aged seventy-eight years.  Philo was a farmer in Ellington, where he died in 1883;  Maria married Ebenezer Stacey, and on his death William McNall.  She died in Manchester, Conn., in 1880.  Chloe married Abraham Allen, and had her home in Enfield, Conn., where she died in 1849.

Calvin McCray, for his second wife, married Mrs. Sarah (Hill) Rogers, who survived him.  Their children were,  (1) John;  (2) Henry, who married Roxanna R. Kimball, carried on the tinning and plumbing business in Rockville, where he died October, 1887;  (3) Samuel, who married Catherine White, was a commission merchant many years in New York, and returned to Ellington, where he died October, 1887;  (4) Betsy, who died in 1843, at the age of twenty-three years;  (5) Ann Eliza, who died May 4, 1840, at the age of eighteen years;  (6) Jane, who died in Pittsfield, Mass., the wife of Charles G. Blackman.  For many years he was engaged in business in Rockville with his brother-in-law, Henry McCray.  Mr. Blackman died in January, 1891.

John McCray, the father of J. Henry, was born Jan. 30, 1816, in Ellington, and lived on the old homestead.  He died Jan. 16, 1866, and was a respected citizen of the town.  On May 17, 1743 (** see footnote), Mr. McCray was married to Lora Ely, born in East Windsor, Oct. 1, 1815, the daughter of Ephraim and Lora (Foster) Ely.  Previous to her marriage she had been a teacher for many years.  Mrs. McCray died Jan. 9, 1879, and was the mother of the following children, (1) Charles D., born Feb. 24, 1844, died in Ellington, Sept. 4, 1873.  (2) Frederick E., who married Miss F.R. Cook, was born Jan. 3, 1846, and follows farming in Ellington; their children are Emma R., wife of Henry Chapman, born April 24, 1870;  Walter F., born Feb. 18, 1873;  Charles H., born Jan. 15, 1877.  (3) Ferdinand, twin brother to Frederick E., died March 8, 1846.  (4) Eliza, born Feb. 27, 1848.  She was educated at the Ellington high school and was a teacher.  She is now the widow of Rienzi Hamilton, and resides at Ellington.  The names of the children born to this family are Earl B., born Dec. 4, 1876;  Jessie F., born Aug. 4, 1879, died Feb. 25, 1883;  Lizzie E., born Dec. 31, 1882.  (5) Sarah R., born Aug. 20, 1850, taught school for fifty-four terms in Ellington and the surrounding towns, being very successful in her work.  She was married April 6, 1890, to Josiah H. Hall, a man of deep religious convictions.  He died April 23, 1899.

J. Henry McCray was born in Ellington, Sept. 10, 1855, where he spent the early part of his life on the farm, and later was a carpenter, working for some time in Springfield, Mass.  In 1885 he came to Rockville, entering the employ of Belding Brothers & Company, where he had charge of the woodwork at their silk mill, during which time he drafted plans for several residences.  In 1902 he resigned his position at Belding Brothers that he might devote his whole time to architectural work.  He prepared plans for the Tolland county Temporary Home for Children at Vernon Centre, Conn., the Prescott Block, Rockville, and many private residences in that locality.  Mr. McCray was married Oct. 27, 1885, in Bernardston, Mass., to Minnie R. Hare, born in Guilford, Vermont, June 13, 1860, the daughter of Albert L. and Matilda L. (Barber) Hare, and the granddaughter of Stephen A. and Lois (Sperry) Hare, of Ellington, Connecticut.

Albert L. Hare when a young man went to Louisiana and spent about twenty years of his life there.  He returned to Bernardston, Mass., in 1864, living there until his death, Feb. 10, 1900, at the age of seventy-one years.  His wife died Nov. 17, 1887, at the age of fifty-six years.  Mrs. McCray was the oldest of four children:  Minnie R.;   Alcide B., born June 28, 1862, died July 10, 1864;  Albert P., born June 28, 1862, of Springfield, Mass., where he is engaged in business as a merchant;  F. Belle, born June 5, 1868, who is the wife of Arthur G. Gordon, of Hazardville, Conn.  Mrs. McCray was a teacher previous to her marriage.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. McCray located at St. Bernard’s Terrace, in Rockville, Conn.  In 1891 they removed to North Park Street, Rockville, where they have since resided.  Their children are:  (1) Burton H., born April 2, 1888, died Aug. 18, 1888;  (2) Bernice H., born April 2, 1888, died Aug. 24, 1889;  (3) J. Stanley, born June 6, 1892;  (4) Christine Lois, born April 15, 1900.

Mr. McCray is a Republican, and at the present time is a member of the City Council.

**footnote:  obviously this is a typo error, but “1743” is the published date   in the book.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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