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Mary Melbourne "Mollie" Borland Gray
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Birth: Jun. 28, 1850
Hot Springs
Garland County
Arkansas, USA
Death: Feb. 17, 1938
Kansas City
Jackson County
Missouri, USA

w/o 1st, John M BEATTIE, 2nd Colonel Oliver Crosby GRAY.

Father Solon's life

Her older poetic sister Fanny's oft-read poem ~ ~ At My Father's Feet, was dedicated to and descriptive of their father, who was statesman, soldier and diplomat, according to the written words of Fay HEMPSTEAD, said poem had been saved in scrapebook by Mrs Frances Marion (Harrow) HANGER (in whose Little Rock restored home lives Kay TATUM), so its now published, by Fred Allsopp in 1933, Poets and Poetry of Arkansas, pages 26-30.

Mary "Mollie" Melbourne (Borland) Beattie, GRAY was last born child, in Hot Springs, now Garland county, Arkansas to Senator Solon BORLAND and Mary Isabel MELBOURNE while her cousins were being raised by her mother due to their mother's January demise, also during the heated debate in Washington city over Compromise Crisis of 1850, with father having to return home due to serious illness in family plus death of Fanny BORLAND, her cousin. She was raised in Hot Sprngs, removing to Little Rock in 1854, to Princeton in 1858, back to Little Rock in 1861 then returning to Princeton March 1863, thence to Memphis in 1869 with her older sister and hubby where she met and married her 1st husband, having three children born in Memphis, then after the Yellow fever death of hubby in 1878, her sister Fanny in 1879 she removed back to Little Rock after 1880 census.

Wife of 1st John M BEATTIE, married 1872, three children, 2nd, as second wife of widower Colonel Oliver Crosby GRAY, married 1889, no children.

Mary, along with her two daughters, were dedicated to Deaf schools, totaling nearly 100 years of service.

January 1863, Solon retained services of Ralph Leland GOODRICH (1836NY- 1897AR) to instruct his daughters in arithmetic, with intentions of sending them to the school in Tulip which he and law partner Elbert English had earlier helped get created, but in March, fearing the Fed's would attack Little Rock, moved them back to Princeton. Goodrich's diary has his vented feelings towards the two girls, but thinking more highly of younger "Mollie". Its unknown if they attended school in Tulip, but doubtful after father left for Texas in September 1863, for they are frequently mentioned in Mrs O C Gray's published diary at Princeton.

Little Rock was easly captured by the Federals September 10, 1863, but they were safe in Princeton at friend and diary keeper, Virginia LaFayette (Davis) GRAY's home.

Orphaned 1 January 1864 upon father's death in Texas were, Mary 13 y/o, sister Fanny 15 y/o and 28 y/o half-brother, Major Harold BORLAND (1835NC-1921AR) held a Federal prisoner in Boston's Fort Warren.

Solon, under care of "Jennie" GRAY in Princeton but before leaving for Texas September 1863, had entrusted funds for care of his daughters of five thousand and forty-five dollars, two of his seven slaves, Pasty & Ann, plus household furniture with widow, Mrs Martha Augustina (Gee) HOLMES (1816VA-1901AR), owner of house Virginia "Jennie" GRAY occupied. Martha's daughters, Lou 23 y/o (6 September 1865, married Colonel Henry Gaston BUNN (1838NC-1908AR), later Arkansas' Supreme Court Chief Justice (1893-1904), Lou died July 1866) and Roberta (Berta) 17, were closest of friends, as was 29 y/o Virginia GRAY.

Half-brother. Major Harold BORLAND, was exchanged from Federal prison, is often noted in Virginia Davis GRAY's, 1863-1865 diary, published by Dr. Carl H MONEYHON in Arkansas Historical Quarterly of 1983,

" of the persons not expected but most welcome, came. Mollie and Fannie are in a blissful state of mind." ~ ~ this in Princeton, Dallas county, Arkansas, Friday morning, 30 December 1864.

She, as was her sister along with others in the town of Princeton, Dallas county, Arkansas, was very active during Civil War looking after both the Confederate and Union wounded according to her older friend's, Maine born, Virginia Davis GRAY, (wife of her future 2nd husband who was off doing battle with the Confederate army) 1983, Arkansas Historical Quarterly published diary.

In her May 1867 letter (WM) to a Virginia cousin Euclid BORLAND, jr (whom Solon & Mary looked after following his mother's death January 1850 till October 1851) she, at about seventeen y/o, thought herself unattracrtive, overweight and was bored with town of Princeton, Arkansas, which had only three stores and three churches with a preacher visiting but once a month. She loved her boarding house lady, widow Martha A (Gee) HOLMES for she was a Viginia lady. ("Mollie's" father, as afore noted, gave Martha funds, two female slaves, and the household furnishings to look after "Mollie" and sister Fanny before he left for Texas)

Tuesday morning, 21 April 1869 in Little Rock home of Virginia (Davis) and Colonel Oliver C. GRAY, with whom she often stayed with when in Little Rock, --- sister Fanny wed James C. MOORES (1834OH-1877TN) of Memphis, who had two daughters from earlier marriage, and took "Mollie" with them back to Memphis, Shelby county, Tennessee.

Virginia's letter of 28 September 1871 notes, "Fannie's" moving to Cincinnati (apparently his home town), taking with them, "Mollie". Virginia's concern was over their moving so far from Little Rock. This move (if such occurred), after living in Memphis and giving birth to son George Borland, November 1869.

Census: 1870, age 20 and single, Memphis, Shelby county, Tennessee with 22 y/o sister Fanny, married to 36 y/o James MOORES, a "saddler", born Ohio, their new born son & his two daughters.

Strange however, "Mollie's" marriage license dated 22 February 1872 is in Memphis, with James C MOORES and John BEATTIE of Scotland, making bond in amount of Twelve Hundred and Fifty Dollars for the marriage, of "John BEATTIE and Mary M. BORLAND". John M. BEATTIE is possibly, but not likely, the same John BEATTIE found in Virginia's diary noted in 1864, #61, p. 75, being from Kansas City, Missouri, where I was born, 63 years later.

"Mollie" had three children when her husband was buried 22 September 1878 in Elmwood cemetery, Chapel Hill Public Lot 2, space #256, death from the Yellow Fever epidemic, with 20,000 in the Mississippi valley, of which 5,000 were in Memphis. Her sister Fanny in same part of Elmwood cemetery, space #552, 23 August 1879, December 2011 a Crepe Myrtle tree is being planted with name-tag in Fanny's honor, in lieu of a gravestone.

Census: 1880, age 29 Memphis, Shelby county, Tennessee with two children, oldest, Grace, is missing, and "Mollie" has a staff to run a boarding house at 123 Court street, but suddenly she is found back in home state of Arkansas.

"Mollie" returned to Little Rock, working at The Arkansas Deaf Mute Institute (1923 re-named Arkansas School for the Deaf. She was in 1883 visited in Little Rock by friend "Jennie" Gray whose widowed husband she later married 17 June 1889. Colonel O C GRAY, then of Fayetville. They returned to Little Rock six years later, in 1895 to Arkansas School for the Blind, he superintendent, she matron, till his death in 1905, except two years at Speers-Langford Military Institute, Searcy, Arkansas.

Harriette Elizabeth WILLIAMS story published, 1958, in Washington County Historcal Society's FLASHBACK of her neighbors is most revealing of the Colonel Oliver Crosby GRAY family living northeast across the street intersection from her home, to wit: "Mrs Gray [Matron at Arkansas Deaf school in Little Rock, ca 1880/9] was a lovely person whom I admired greatly. A daughter of a former United States senator [Colonel Solon Borland, M D, (1811VA-1864TX)] she brought distinction to the new home. At that time I was in my early teens and to me the home took on a new attraction. I enjoyed visiting with Percy Bourland [??, possibly half-brother Harold Borland's unknown to us, daughter], Mrs Gray's niece and going to the parties given for Godwin, Mrs Gray's son [b 1877TN], of my age. And at all the girls it was our greatest joy to know during those years, it was Mary Beattie [Mary Borland (Beattie) Bell (1875TN-1962MS)], Mrs Gray's [youngest] daughter. She had an indescribable charm of manner. She had a disarming smile, such a sweet, courteous way of putting you first, and such a wise head on so young a person -- an altogether winning personality. We enjoyed too meeting a gentle sister, Grace [1873TN-1954MS, Colorado Springs, 1902/44], a talented young teacher [career teacher in Deaf schools, never married] who visited them on rare occasions. Mary called her "Dacie" [Both sisters often spent summers during 1920/30's with Carl at his Gray Rocks summer home in Maine]."

Its unknown to me how or why or when "Mollie" removed to Kansas City, so her life is all but lost to me for some thirty-three years, except for her Missouri Death Certificate, daughter Mary informant. She surely (?) attended daughter Mary's wedding in July 1914 to Tom CLARKE, and possibly her second marriage, ca 1927, to Dr John C BELL. I am sure that her step-son, Carl, and his wife, Harriette, visited her in Kansas City as did their 1st son Carl, jr who made Kansas City one of his 42 homes during his first fifty years of life.

OBITUARY: courtsey of B Holt, New Hampshire.

"Mollie", as are eight of nine Solon BORLAND family members, interred without a marker, "Mollie's" ashes placed along side her second hubby. Her first hubby was located without a marker June 2011 in Memphis' Elmwood cemetery, where her older poetic sister was laid to rest the following year, 1879, also without a marker, but as of December 2011 has a Crepe Mrytle tree planted in her honor.

Northwest Arkansas Times (formerly The Fayetteville Daily Democrat) Fri Evening, Feb 18 1938

Mrs. O. C. Gray Dies in K.C.; Burial Here

Step-Mother of Carl Gray, Union Pacific President; Funeral Tomorrow A.M.

Mrs. Mary Beattie Gray, step-mother of Carl Gray, president (sic) of the Union Pacific railway, and wife of the late Col. Oliver Crosby Gray, for many years a resident of Fayetteville and Little Rock, died yesterday in Kansas City.

The body was cremated in Kansas City today and accompanied by Carl Gray and his step-sister, Mrs. John Beattie Bell of Belzoni, Miss., is expected to arrive in Fayetteville for burial tomorrow, over the Frisco lines.

The funeral party will reach here at 9:35 a.m. and proceed at once to Evergreen cemetery where the ashes will be buried beside Col. Gray.

Friends of the family who care to do so are asked to join the funeral party at the train and accompany them to the cemetery where funeral services will be said.

Rev. Harry Goodykoontz, pastor of First Presbyterian church of which the Gray family were members during their residence here, and in which Col. Gray was an elder during his local residence, will officiate.

Col. Gray was a veteran of the Confederate Army, third Arkansas Cavalry, and was buried in Fayetteville with Confederate military honors following his death in Little Rock where he served as head of the blind school for a number of years after leaving Fayetteville where he was on the University faculty.

Col. and Mrs. Gray and Col. Gray's son, Carl Gray, and Mrs. Gray's two daughters resided in Fayetteville on Dickson street near the Frisco station where Carl Gray got his first railway job. A portion of the home is still standing.

Mrs. Gray was the former Mrs. Mary M. Beattie. Besides her famous step-son, she leaves two daughters, Mrs. John Bell of Belzoni, Miss., who accompanies the ashes, and Miss Grace Beattie, an instructor in the Colorado School for the Deaf at Boulder, Colo., who is unable to be present.

Mrs. Gray lived here from her marriage to Col. Gray in 1889 until the family removed to Little Rock [1895] where Col. Gray died.

Her husband returned to Arkansas after the War Between the States to resume his teaching in which he was engaged before hostilities. He first was principal of St. John's Junior College in Little Rock and later its president from which office he and his family came to Fayetteville where he was professor of mathematics on the University faculty from 1875 to 1886. In 1886 Col. Gray resigned from the University faculty to accept principalship of Fayetteville public schools, which office he held two years, after which he returned to the University, a position he held until 1895, when he was elected superintendent of the blind school at Little Rock. From 1899 to 1901 he was principal of the Speers-Langford Institution at Searcy. In 1901 he was re-elected blind school superintendent, a position he held until his death.

He was twice married. His first wife was Miss Virginia L. Davis, [Carl Gray's mother] to whom he was married in 1857. In 1889 he was married to Mrs. Mary M. Beattie who with her two daughters, mentioned above, and his son, survived him.

Mrs. Gray for a number of years has been ill in Kansas City and her death was not unexpected.
Prepared by Bill Boggess
Last revised: 10/11/2013 
Family links: 
  Solon Borland (1811 - 1864)
  Mary Isabel Melbourne Borland (1824 - 1862)
  John M Beattie (____ - 1878)
  Oliver Crosby Gray (1832 - 1905)
  Grace Melbourne Beattie (1873 - 1954)*
  Mary Borland Beattie Bell (1875 - 1962)*
  Godwin Melbourne Beattie (1877 - 1968)*
  Thomas Borland (1833 - 1859)**
  Harold Borland (1835 - 1921)**
  George Godwin Borland (1846 - 1862)*
  Fanny Green Borland Moores (1848 - 1879)*
  Mary Melbourne Borland Gray (1850 - 1938)
*Calculated relationship
Evergreen Cemetery
Washington County
Arkansas, USA
Plot: Masonic, now Evergreen I, east half plot 30
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bill
Record added: Nov 08, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44067166
Mary Melbourne Mollie <i>Borland</i> Gray
Added by: Bill
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

~ she was my maternal grandfather's, sister's, husband's, step-mother, how close can one be related (?) ~
- Bill
 Added: Apr. 1, 2012

- quebecoise
 Added: Nov. 12, 2011

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