|Birth: ||Jun. 4, 1880|
|Death: ||Nov. 14, 1958|
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Lilly Edith Gray "Victim of the Beast 666" Rest In Peace
After more than half a century following her death the epitaph carved on the gravestone of Lilly E. Gray remains a source of intrigue for genealogists and grave researchers alike. It states: "Victim of the Beast 666." Why would such a terrible phrase had been inscribed?
Well, the inscription's reason probably was to be found only within the troubled mind of her husband, Elmer Lewis Gray. He was known to have had a few mental quirks and therefore the only one who knew why Lilly would be the "victim" and being her survivor it is likely that he had ordered the stone.
It is possible that Elmer's birth name was Elmer Lewis (or Louis) De Gray. On the 1917 Draft Birth Registrations list for Custer County, Colorado an Elmer Lewis De Gray appears with the March 12, 1881 birth date.
Now, however, the time has come to allow dear Lilly to rest in peace. In order to do so we must remove the paranormal and other spooky and devilish speculations that have been attached to her name by those who were searching for answers but were obviously searching in all the wrong places. Over and over again researchers note that the only information we have on Lilly is, (1) her obituary and death certificate, (2) Elmer's obituary and criminal records, (3) her last address and possible care giver or roommate and (4) relatively nothing else. Actually, she is found in both U.S. And Canadian Census records and other documents.
Here is what I have uncovered so far concerning her life.
Lilly (Lily or Lillie) Edith Gray was born on June 4, 1880 at Manvers Township, Durham County, Ontario, Canada and was the second of two daughters born to William Gray, not Wilmer, born July 23, 1840 (died July 27, 1920) and Frances Gray, maiden surname McQuaid, born June 11, 1845. On the 1871 Canadian Census the couple was listed as Wesleyan Methodists. William and his wife Frances or Fannie, as she was often referred to in most sources, were both native Canadians and were married around 1863. Lilly's paternal grandparents John Gray and Catherine Shaw are listed as being born in Ireland and Lilly had at least seven siblings, 6 brothers and 1 sister. All the children were born in Ontario, Canada except for the youngest.
The eldest child of the family, a son, Samuel Gray was born about 1864 and another son, Robert W. Gray was born on August 21, 1865. His brother Henry Gray was born on May 21, 1867. Their sister, Mary R.(Ann?) Gray was born in 1868 or on September 10, 1871 and on August 5, 1891 she married John H. McInnis (son of John McInnis and Susan Hrag) at Gilmore, Benzie County, Michigan. The father's namesake, William Gray, was born on September 8, 1873. Walace Gray was born on October 6, 1879. The youngest child, a son, Wilmer Gray was born on September 11, 1884 in the state of Michigan and on November 27, 1912 he married Anna Pettis (daughter of Charles Pettis and Emma Arnold) at Benzonia, Benzie County, Michigan.
The family, except Samuel, moved sometime after Lilly's birth to Michigan in 1880 and lived and farmed in Benzie County.
Lilly's parents and some of her siblings are buried in the Gilmore Cemetery in Gilmore, Benzie County, Michigan.
Note* 1.) An Ethel Gray born 1880 (per Gilmore headstone) is also listed at familysearch as a possible daughter but because of a 1910 Census immigration date of 1880 and the fact that Lilly was born in Canada before the move to Michigan she is not listed. She may however be a daughter or possible twin as per 1880 dating, and
2.) There is a "Charlotte Gray" (1876) listed on familysearch.com as another child of William's. This may not be correct. The Charlotte listed is probably the daughter of Thomas Gray (1837) as listed on 1881 Canadian Census for Thorn, Pontiac, Quebec, Canada. But, another problem appears on Charlotte's marriage record where her father's name is recorded as "William."
Mrs. Lily [sic] Edith Gray, 78, 1216 Pacific Ave., Died Friday, 11:10 a.m., in a Salt Lake hospital* of natural causes. Born June 4, 1880, Canada. Salt Lake resident since 1950. Married to Elmer Lewis Gray, July 10, 1952, Elko, NV. Survivors: husband; several nieces and nephews. (Deseret News for Nov. 15, 1958, p. B5.)
*Salt Lake County General Hospital once stood at 21st South and State Street in Salt Lake City. Facilities in 1965 were moved to new structure next to University of Utah and became the University of Utah Medical Center
She was married to Elmer Lewis Gray (same as her maiden name) and his obituary adds additional information about Lilly.
Elmer Lewis Gray, 83, 1216 Pacific Ave. (440 South) died in a Salt Lake hospital Saturday at 12:30 p.m. after a long illness. Born March 12, 1881, Butler, Mo. Married Lilly Zimmerman, 1955, Elko, Nev. She died, 1958. Retired butcher. Survivors: brother, William, Golden, Colo. Funeral, Wednesday, 10 a.m., 36 E. 7th South*, where friends call hour prior to services. Burial, Salt Lake City Cemetery. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 3, 1964)*36 East 7th South is Deseret Mortuary.
As before stated, we now know from various documents that Elmer had a few psychological challenges and his mental state at Lilly's death may be a piece or perhaps even the vital piece of the puzzle.
In fact, researcher, Richelle Hawks who has long studied the mystery believes she has cracked the case. If she is correct, perhaps now, after more than five decades, our dear Lilly can finally rest in peace.
Cause of Death: Natural causes: Nephrotic Syndrome, Pulmonary Empolus and Renal Insufficiency.
Special thanks to Scotty C. Carney for sponsoring this memorial.
William Gray (1839 - 1920)
Frances Gray (1845 - 1926)
Elmer Lewis Gray (1881 - 1964)*
Salt Lake City Cemetery
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Plot: Plot X- Block 1- Lot 169- Grave- 4 -East
Created by: Carl W. McBrayer
Record added: Mar 03, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10550322