James H. Gray
James H. Gray started his own town Graysville, Virginia. He was born 1807 in Augusta, Virginia. He married Rhoda Ella Wilson, and she was born in 1809. The family sets out to find a perfect place for them to settle and raise a family. The area in Floyd County, Virginia was perfect for them. James had a wonderful area by a creek. The creek would be one that our family would return to generation after generation. My Aunts and Uncles use to go swimming in the creek where James use to take buckets of dirt out of the creek to make his own bricks. All the years my family went swimming in the creek they never knew it was where some of our ancestors played there too. My Grandfather knew it was a special place, but he did not know why.
After James and his family find the place they want to call home they start to build their home with hand made bricks. They were the first family to build a two story brick home in the area. James would also go on to build a mill. The mill was the gathering place for the town. James and his family milled wheat, corn, and oats. They also were furniture makers as well as coffins.
One of my favorite stories is after they established their inn they had a pregnant woman visit the Inn. She was a runaway slave. Her name was Mary. James and the family let her stay at the Inn, and she gave birth there. Mary had a little girl she named Hazel. James and the family had Mary live in the house with the family and hired her as a servant. Hazel grew up with the rest of the children.
My Great grandfather would end up naming his daughter after Hazel.
James and Rhoda had my great, great, grandfather Osburn Wilson Gray born in 1833.