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The Grays

Theodore Gray was born in New York State in 1834, to parents from Scotland and Ireland. His wife, Annie Gray, was born in Pennsylvania in 1841. Her parents were born in Pennsylvania.

Theodore Gray was first listed in the Pittsburgh city directory in 1856, as a railroad engineer who lived in an un-numbered house on Western Avenue (then Water Lane) near Brighton Road (then Pasture Lane) in Allegheny City (now the North Side). Gray was listed as living on Federal Street in Allegheny City in the late 1850s. By 1860, he and his family lived on West North Avenue (then Fayette Street) near Bidwell Street (then Bagaley’s Lane).

Available records suggest that Annie Gray was the second wife of Theodore Gray. Records of the 1860 census show that Annie Gray, in addition to being seven years her husband’s junior, was also only 14 years older than the Grays’ older child.

In 1860, Theodore and Annie Gray, who were 26 and 19, had two children: Mary E., five, and Louis H., eight months. Theodore Gray was enumerated in the census as a railroad engineer, and Annie Gray had no occupation. Records of the 1860 census show that Theodore Gray owned no real estate, and had a personal estate of $700.

Pittsburgh directories listed Theodore Gray as a railroad engineer during the first half of the 1860s, and subsequently as a conductor. Gray and his family lived on Western Avenue near Bidwell Street in 1861, and at the corner of Western and Galveston Avenues during the rest of the decade. The 1867 Pittsburgh directory provides the only known information on Theodore Gray’s employer, indicating that Gray was employed by the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad.

Theodore Gray bought the lot on which 849 Beech Avenue now stands in 1869. That transaction was Gray’s only purchase of property in Allegheny County. The 1870 Pittsburgh directory listed Theodore Gray as a conductor living at 72 Beech Street (now 849 Beech Avenue) for the first time.

The 1870 census enumerated the Gray family in their new home on Beech Avenue. Theodore Gray, 36, was enumerated as a railroad conductor, and Annie Gray, 28, did not work. The couple had three children: Mary E., 13, Lewis, 10 and Margaret, eight. The census enumerated no servants or other unrelated persons at 849 Beech Avenue.

The 1870 census, the last census to provide information on assets of persons enumerated, reported that Theodore Gray owned real estate valued at $6,000 and had a personal estate of $3,000.

City directory listings show that Theodore Gray continued to work as a railroad conductor throughout the 1870s. Available records do not suggest that he and his family were adversely affected by an economic depression that lasted between about 1874 and 1877. Gray, a railroad worker who was lower in status than most of his neighbors, was probably able to endure the depression more easily than Beech Avenue residents who owned retail and manufacturing businesses.

In 1880, four members of the Gray family lived at 849 Beech Avenue: Theodore, 45, a passenger conductor; Annie, 39; Lewis H., 20, a sleeping car conductor; and Margaret, 17. A servant, Louisa Lubin, also lived at 849 Beech Avenue. Lubin, 17, was a Prussian immigrant.

Pittsburgh directories listed Theodore Gray as a conductor and living at 72 Beech Street through 1884. Theodore and Annie Gray sold the house for $7,575 in 1884. The Gray family appears to have left the Pittsburgh area the same year. Neither Theodore or Lewis Gray were listed in Pittsburgh directories published in 1885 or in later years. Records of the 1890 census, which might provide information on the Gray family in that year, were destroyed in a warehouse fire. The 1900 and 1910 censuses do not appear to have enumerated Theodore or Annie Gray, suggesting that they died before 1900.

The Allegheny County estate index and an index of obituaries published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and its predecessors provide no information on the deaths of Theodore and Annie Gray.

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