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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
A Beautiful Old Age
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By Shirley Gilfert
Shirley Gilfert is a freelance columnist and historian who writes about local history.
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....The father of the Younger boys was one of their near neighbors. He tried to maintain a position of absolute neutrality, but his fine horses were stolen and when he protested he was shot down by alleged union sympathizers......



THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD



July 29, 1910



The Sunday World Herald and the Sunday Register and Leader contain an excellent likeness and a short historical sketch of the life of Mrs. Elizabeth Gray who recently her 80th birthday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. A. B. Thornell, in Sidney. Both the picture and the write-up are by J. F. Lewis of this city, consequently both are good.



 







Elizabeth Jane Monfort was born in Indiana in 1830 and married John B. Gray in 1861. They first lived at Charleston, Illinois, but emigrated to Missouri and were living there at the breaking out of the war in 1861. The citizens of Missouri were divided in their allegiance and sympathies between the north and the south, and the unfortunate dwellers in the rural districts were preyed upon by marauding bands of guerrillas on both sides.



 







Mr. and Mrs. Gray lived in the worst section of the state in this respect, the locality that produced the James and Younger boys. The father of the Younger boys was one of their near neighbors. He tried to maintain a position of absolute neutrality, but his fine horses were stolen and when he protested he was shot down by alleged union sympathizers. This so enraged his sons, Bob, Jim and Cole Younger, that they joined Quantrell's band of guerrillas, which surpassed all others in devilish cruelty.



 







The Grays sympathized with the north, but tried to maintain neutrality as the only position consistent with self-preservation, and even that failed. Things got so hot that Mr.Gray loaded his family and a few personal effects in a wagon one night and took flight for lthe north, muffling his wagon wheels so as not to betray his movements. He was compelled to hide in a grove for 24 hours to escape bushwhackers. He finally made his way across the border of the state and settled with other refugees near Sidney, where he lived on his farm until his death, which occurred in 1889. He served eight years as county recorder in the early 70's.

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