Keweenaw County Michigan

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Willard Elihu Gray


HON. WILLARD ELIHU GRAY, judge of the Probate Court of Houghton County, Michigan, and attorney for the village of Lake Linden, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, is one of the best known and most able lawyers of the copper country. He was born in Charleston township, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, May n, 1854, and is a son of Samuel S. and Susan (Clark) Gray.

Samuel S. Gray was born in Niagara County, New York, and is now living on the old homestead in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, at the ripe old age of 82 years. He came to Michigan in 1847, and followed farming and the trade of a carpenter. He was united in marriage with Susan Clark, who was born in Genesee County, New York, and died in 1900, at the age of 78 years. Three children were born to them, namely: Alice, widow of John Carey, residing in Comstock township, Kalamazoo County, Michigan; Willard E.; and Emmet M., who lives on the old home farm. Samuel S. Gray was originally a Whig in politics, and is now a Republican. He and his wife were both members of the Congregational Church.

Willard E. Gray was educated in the high school at Galesburg, Kalamazoo County, after which he entered the law department of the University of Michigan, from which he was graduated with the class of 1880. He then served 15 months as clerk in the law office of Brown & Thomas at Battle Creek, Michigan, and, beginning in October, 1881, practiced law in Superior until early in 1884. He then went to Duluth, Minnesota, and practiced until the fall of 1884, when he removed to Keweenaw County, Michigan, where he was soon after appointed prosecuting attorney for the county, and served two terms in that capacity. He also served three terms as a commissioner of the Circuit Court. He located in Lake Linden, Houghton County, in June, 1885, and has since made his home in that village. He was elected judge of the Probate Court of Houghton County in November, 1896, and is now serving his second term. For the past 10 years he has faithfully discharged the duties of attorney for the village of Lake Linden.

In 1884 Judge Gray was joined in marriage with Anna Brockway, who was born at the old Northwest mine in Keweenaw County, Michigan, in 1851, and is a daughter of Daniel D. and Lucena Brockway. They have one son, Perry Brockway, born November 17, 1890. Our subject is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and is unswerving in his devotion to the principles of that party.