The Descendants of
John William Gray, eldest son of Alfred and Harriet Gray
of Orroroo S.A. was born at Burra on 21st December 1880. He was educated
at Orroroo Primary School and Wat College, Adelaide after which he was
employed for a while with the South Australian Railways at Eurelia and
In 1904 he left Orroroo with a number of friends and took
up land at Narrogin W.A.. He was burn out by bushfires and returned
to Orroroo 1906. He worked his father's farm, at Erskine (just east
of Orroroo) previously owned by William Patterson of Anlaby, S.A. (near
Eudunda).John represented Erskine Ward in Orroroo and district council.
In 1907 he married Philadelphia Patterson (affectionately
known as "TOT") at her parents home at Anlaby. Philadelphia
was the 3rd child of William and Philadelphia Patterson. She was born
at erskine S.A. 9th October 1886, attended Erskine school and sunday
school and lived on her parents farm at Erskine until 1906 when they
moved to Anlaby and then at Anlaby until her marriage.
After Philadelphia and John were married they returned
to live at the Erskine farm. In 1919 John, Philadelphia and their youngest
sons moved to the Gawler area. They were unfortunately burnt out of
house and home and lived amid relatives for a while.
In 1921 they moved to the Riverland of S.A. buying a fruit
property at Renmark West, and leasing a lucerne block for dairying at
Cobdogla. They remained in the Riverland until 1927 when John and their
eldest sons moved to a block at "Bennets Hut" Morkalla -just
across the Victorian border where they cleared the land for farming,
and built a home.
In 1930 Philadelphia and the younger children, who had
remained in Renmark, joined the rst of the family at "KINGRAY"
Morkalla. The family then consisted of ten sons and one daughter another
son was born 1932. At Morkalla the family farmed successfully amid droughts
and fair seasons.
During World War 2 six sons saw active service Jim(Military
Medal Tobruk), Roy, Bert, Ted, Fred and Doug. (Post war they were allotted
soldiers settlement blocks in Western Victoria and the others stayed
in the Millewa).
Leaving some of their sons in charge on the farm John
and Philadephia retired in 1949, and with their only daughter and youngest
son they lived a short time in Bendigo Vic.. They and their son and
daughter returned to Mildura, where on the 9th Augsut 1957, aged 76
years 8 months, John passed away.
Phliadelphia continued to reside in Mildura, spending
summer months with her sons and families in Western Victoria. Philadelphia
passed away 16th March 1967, aged 80 years 5 months, at St John Hospital
Ballarat Victoria, John William and Philadelphia are buried together
in the Mildura Cemetary.
This information was researched by Mavis Pulsi and
May Gray for the family reunion 13 March 1994