Live Oak County Historical Commission
Live Oak County Historical Commission

Jessy Franklin Gray - WWI Hero

                                                                                             Photo credit John Walker

Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff, Dr. Eddie Davis, and Three Rivers' Mayor, Sam Garcia stand in front of the Texas Historical Marker celebrating Jessy Franklin Gray WWI Hero after the marker's unveiling on November 19, 2018. Dr. Davis is the great grandson of past Texas State House Representative, J.F. Gray, subject of the marker. Dr. Davis sponsored the marker. His parents were Michael and Pauline (Polly) Gray Davis. Grandparents were Jessie Franklin, Jr. and Margery Walker Gray. This event represented the finale of the WWI Centennial Celebration in Live Oak County. 

Jessy Franklin and Pauline Campbell Gray on the day he was commissioned by the US Army as a Second Lieutenant. On this same day, Jessy and Pauline became husband and wife. After the weekend, he returned to train new recruits before leaving for France to fight in WWI.

Live Oak County Judge: Honorable Jim Huff 

Live Oak County Historical Commission Chair: Ross Harris

LOCHC Marker Chair: Richard Hudson

Chair Assistant: Janis Hudson

Gray Marker Sponsor: Dr. Eddie Davis, Great Grandson of JF and Pauline Gray

Contact: raven@historyraven.com

 

JESSY FRANKLIN GRAY WWI Hero 

(1895 - 1968)

 

EDUCATOR, SOLDIER, POLITICIAN, AND BUSINESSMAN, JESSY FRANKLIN

GRAY WAS BORN IN WILSON COUNTY ON DECEMBER 5, 1895. PASSING

THE STATE TEACHER’S EXAM AT 17, HE TAUGHT IN OAKVILLE AND

BECAME SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT.

 

RESIGNING WHEN THE UNITED STATES ENTERED WORLD WAR I, GRAY ATTENDED ARMY OFFICERS TRAINING CAMP AT LEON SPRINGS MILITARY RESERVATION IN SAN ANTONIO. HE WAS COMMISSIONED 2ND LIEUTENANT ON AUGUST 15, 1917.

THAT SAME DAY, HE MARRIED PAULINE CAMPBELL GRAY (1896-1985).

 

ASSIGNED TO COMPANY D, 360TH INFANTRY REGIMENT, 90TH DIVISION,

GRAY TRAINED AS A GAS DEFENSE OFFICER. IN FRANCE, HE FOUGHT IN

THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE UNDER GENERAL JOHN J.

PERSHING, PUSHING GERMAN COMBATANTS FROM THE SAINT-MIHIEL

SALIENT. GASSED WITH WOUNDS TO HIS CHEST AND LEGS, GRAY WAS

AMONG THE 7,000 U.S. CASUALTIES.

 

HOWEVER, HE RETURNED FOR THE MEUSE-ARGONNE OFFENSIVE. ON THE NIGHT OF NOVEMBER 2, 1918, ALL OFFICERS WERE KILLED LEAVING COMPANY A PENNED DOWN WITHOUT LEADERSHIP WHEN GRAY VOLUNTARILY TOOK COMMAND, RALLYING THE MEN. HE RECEIVED A CITATION STAR (SILVER STAR, 1932) AND A PROMOTION TO 1ST LIEUTENANT. AWARDED THE PURPLE HEART,

 

GRAY WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED ON JUNE 6, 1919, AND IN 1950 HE

RECEIVED A COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL FROM THE SAINT-MIHIEL TOWN

COUNCIL.

 

GRAY SERVED IN THE TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM 1945

TO 1953. HE ADVOCATED FOR THE HISTORIC GILMER-AIKEN EDUCATION

REFORM ACT AND SERVED ON THE WATER RESOURCES BOARD, SAVING

THREE RIVERS FROM RESERVOIR SUBMERSION.

 

THE TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RECOGNIZED JESSY FRANKLIN GRAY AT HIS DEATH IN 1968 FOR “COMPLETE LOYALTY AND UNTIRING DEVOTION TO DUTY.” JESSY GRAY AND PAULINE ARE BURIED IN THE THREE RIVERS

CEMETERY.                                                                                                               (2018)

 

                                 Marker is Property of the State of Texas

 

APPLICATION NARRATIVE AND BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR OFFICIAL JESSY FRANKLIN GRAY TEXAS HISTORICAL SUBJECT MARKER:

 

 

Jessy Franklin Gray

(1895 – 1968)

Heroic WW1 Officer, Educator, Four-Term Texas Legislator

 

Author’s Note: The author was given several large, crumpled boxes containing moth-eaten letters, documents, poems, personal writings, and newspaper clippings pulled from hay in a barn that once belonged to Jessy Franklin Gray. The information in the boxes in addition to family interviews, military reports, government documents, and primary and secondary sources contributed to the ensuing historical biographical narrative about Jessy Franklin Gray, his life and accomplishments as a teacher, school principal and superintendent, decorated WW1 Officer, and member of the House of Representatives for four Texas Legislatures. Gray represented Districts 76 and 69 comprised of Atascosa, Frio, La Salle, Live Oak, and McMullen Counties. He lived in Live Oak County. Footnoted references to writings from these boxes and from JF Gray’s heirs are referenced as “The Gray Papers”.

 

 

 

“In peace as in war, a hero does not pick a time or place where

He shall die. But be it on platforms high or at the battle van,

the fittest place where man can die is where he dies for man.”

The Country Doctor by JF Gray

 

Context:

Jessy Franklin Gray was born the fourth of six children on December 5, 1895 to Mary Ellen Tullos and Alpheous Omega Gray in Fairview, Wilson County, Texas.[1] On his father’s side, Jessy was fourth generation Scottish-American and on his mother’s side, fifth-generation son of the American Revolution and fourth-generation Texan.[2] One of his forebears was Houston’s chargé d’affairs to the United States who was significantly responsible for annexing Texas to the United States.[3] Gray’s youngest descendants are now ninth generation Americans and eighth generation Texans.[4]

At the age of 15 laboring under a hot Texas sun, Jessy Franklin Gray laid down the hoe he so vigorously used daily in his father’s cotton field and declared there had to be a better way of making a living.[5] Cotton had been Wilson County’s most profitable crop before the boll weevil crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico to destroy its profitability.[6] Behind the boll weevil came another threat, the Mexican revolution. To prevent the revolution from spilling over the river into the United States, President Taft ordered 20,000 troops to the South Texas border in 1911.[7] But it was the dirt, the sun, and the boll weevil that drove Jessy to seek a profession where he could be of service.

Teaching seemed a worthy service to others and a promising career to Jessy. Texas teacher certification still followed Mexican traditional subject examinations. By 1911, new laws had moved Texas Teacher Certification from counties to the state.[8] Jessy passed a required examination to secure a state teaching certificate and began teaching by the time he turned seventeen.

The first school where Jessy taught was in Karnes County. He then moved to Frio County, and by nineteen to Oakville in Live Oak County. Jesse continued his education through summer sessions at the University of Texas. After teaching two years in Oakville, he was elected School Superintendent.[9]

In the meantime, Pauline Bartlett Campbell, one of Jessy’s high school students, caught his attention. Pauline’s family had a storied past connected to American history including a father who fought for the Union and forebears who helped establish early Texas and Oakville.[10] Her feelings toward Jessy grew and they intended to marry while Jessy continued his education to become a lawyer.

But influences outside one’s immediate circle often intrude. Worldwide unrest was growing. Taft had sent men to Texas to provide border security against the Mexican Revolution. And in 1916, Wilson sent General Pershing with 4,000 men against Pancho Villa.[11] “It was unlike anything the world had ever seen…America’s first use of armored tanks, airplanes, and trucks against an enemy.” Among Pershing’s chosen leaders was recent West Point Graduate, George Patton.[12]

Other threatening forces to world peace brewed in Europe. Kaiser Wilhelm II convinced that England, France, and Russia were against Prussia, perpetrated aggression against them.[13] Communism’s rise created fear that Russia would align with Germany.[14] The final blow came when Britain intercepted the Zimmerman telegram. In the decoded message, German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann promised Mexico the reward of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona for siding with Germany if the U.S. entered the war allied with England, France, and Russia.[15]

The American press published news of the telegram March 1, 1917. On April 6, the United States Congress formally declared war on Germany and its allies. Preparing for war, the US Army needed officers. In patriotic fervor, Jessy resigned as Oakville Superintendent to attend First Officers Training Camp (FOTC) in Leon Springs Military Training facility and firing range for Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.[16]

First Officer Training Camp at Leon Springs opened for officer recruits the day Jessy left to enlist. The FOTC was to provide junior officers for newly formed divisions. Trainees became known as "ninety-day wonders." One transfer to Leon Springs was training officer, Lt. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Fifty-Seventh Infantry.

As Pauline later wrote, “… World War I broke out and the day he [Gray] and I were to have been married which was May 8th, 1917, instead he enlisted in the First Officers Training Camp (FOTC) and entered training at what was then called Camp Funston but is now known as Leon Springs …”[17] Also entering that day were future Texas Governor Beauford Jester (1893-1949) and Mike Hogg (1885-1941), son of past Governor Jim Hogg. Upon FOTC graduation each was commissioned captain, Gray, 2nd Lieutenant. That same day he and Pauline married.[18] 

Camp Travis, a training site for the 90th Infantry Division near San Antonio was ready August 25, 1917. Jessy reported for assignment and further training as a Gas Defense Officer for the next nine months.[19] His company Commanding Officer (CO), until June 1918, was Mike Hogg. Jester and Hogg in their letters spoke highly of Gray’s patriotism and meritorious service.[20] Having completed officer’s training school, commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and newly married to an adoring wife and former student, Gray was ready to do his part for his nation.

Overview

Long after WWI, in the fall of 1950, Jessy Franklin Gray received a letter from Monsieur A. Thiery, Le Maire de (Mayor of) Saint-Mihiel, France.[21] Gray was serving a second term in the Texas House of Representatives.[22]

 Mayor Thiery informed Gray that in 1936 the Town Council of Saint-Mihiel authorized a Commemorative Medal for the heroic American combatants who liberated the City in WWI from German enchainment during the Saint-Mihiel Offensive September 12-15, 1918.[23] According to the mayor, the task of delivering Saint-Mihiel medals with commemorative brevets would be greatly facilitated by first contacting officers who would most likely know men they commanded. Gray committed to providing a list of troops he knew fought in that battle.[24]

Gray promptly fashioned a letter to the 360th Infantry Regiment and mailed it October 16, 1950.[25] The Regiment, joined to the 90th Infantry Division, officially activated at Camp Travis August 25, 1917 and sent overseas in late June of 1918.  The 360th was comprised of Southern and Eastern Texans. Gray’s letter-writing campaign produced 100 confirmed responses.[26]

Practically all junior officers like J. F. Gray were Texans who received commissions at F.O.T.C. Leon Springs.[27]  To preserve comradeship developed during their candidacy, graduates of various training companies were assigned as a unit to the same regiments in the 90th. This entire body of infantry officers reported on August 29, although officers of other arms of service reported a few days prior.

Men from Texas and Oklahoma originally composed the Division. Their spirit characterized the Division. It was fitting Texans and Oaklahomans merged.  The Republic of Texas embraced a large portion of territory later Oklahoma. Many in the latter had originally been Texans.  Together they represented the aggressiveness and manhood of the great Southwest symbolized by “T-O” for “Tough Ombres”, adopted in France.[28] And 2nd Lieutenant Jessy Franklin Gray, cut from 3000 hopefuls to 1500 tough officer graduates, proudly held a commission of authority among these “Ombres”, which began with a determined knock on a closed door.

It was his patriotic duty, he told Pauline, to enlist and fight in the war. Gray walked six miles on a dusty, two-lane caliche road from Oakville to Three Rivers. They would marry, he promised, once he graduated from Officer’s training camp in August. He caught a train into San Antonio, then walked to Leon Springs to enlist as an officer candidate. He lined up with 3000 other patriotic aspirants. By 5 PM Jessy with more than 200 men remained in line when he stepped up to the door.

In Jessy’s words, “I was at the door. Men were accepted or rejected by oral examination. At five PM, the door shut in my face. 200 or so men were told to come back tomorrow morning. Weary men, who had waited all day, quickly disappeared …when all were out of sight, I returned and knocked on that door.”[29]

“A Sergeant opened and asked what I wanted. I replied I wished to complete the examination so that I may return home and prepare to report to the training camp May 8th. He said he would see and shut the door. A few minutes later he opened the door and said the Major said come in. The door did not open again. I was the last man accepted for that training camp all because I knocked. Why? Because the most valuable possession in the world is American Citizenship. I wanted to protect that right. To serve when needed. That urged me to knock and ask to serve when our country, our neighbors need us to protect that right…to preserve our freedom.”[30]

Men in FOTC were given commissions before one AM August 15th, same day he and Pauline married.[31] On return August 29, Jessy became a Gas Defense Officer. He trained recruits for the next 9 months in the 360th Infantry Regiment of the 90th Division before shipping to France.

In France, their first offensive - eradicate the Saint-Mihiel Salient. Since 1914, Germans held the territory at the cost of 125,000 French lives. Saint-Mihiel, the first All American offensive in World War 1 began September 12 and ended September 16. The US First Army thoroughly routed the Germans with sheer determination and a multifaceted plan of attack.[32]

Jessy was among 7,000 US casualties in the Saint-Mihiel offensive. He sustained chest and leg wounds and exposure to gas shelling which put him in a base hospital in Southern France. Anxious to get back to his Regiment, he left the hospital without permission. Jessy was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and awarded the Purple Heart later for his injuries.[33]

 

Copy from War Department Records

Poem written by Medic Fred Haman from Company A when Jessy arrived on the scene. It depicts comprehensively Company A’s critical battle conditions in the Argonne Forest when 1st Lieutenant Jessy Gray took command under heavy fire. Headquarters 90th Division cited him for courageous and efficient execution that “gave great confidence to the men of Company A.”  [See also Poem by Haman, Hill 321 – Exhibits E, F and G]

In the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during the battle for Hill 321 in the Meuse-Argonne forest on November 2, 1918, Jessy volunteered to command Company A whose officers had been killed. Military historians of the 360th Infantry wrote the following account:

 

Company A remained under the command of Sergeant Moreland until some hours later when Lieutenant Jesse F. Gray, first battalion gas officer, and Lieutenant Preston C. Northrup of Headquarters company heard of the casualties to its three officers and volunteered to report to the company for duty. They were given permission to do so and worked their way forward to the bereft organization under intense fire, and so persistently that each was cited in division orders.[34]

 

By the evening of November 10th, the Company was on the front line facing the French town of Baalon. Jessy had orders to lead an assault against German’s entrenched across the barbed wire tanglement of “no man’s land” when word came of Germany’s surrender. War ended. Killing ceased. For meritorious service with the 360th Infantry Regiment in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Brigadier General O’Neal of the 90th Division cited 1st Lieutenant Gray for bravery under fire.[35]

Pauline wrote this information to granddaughter Ellen describing the citation as a Silver Star.[36] She may have meant “Citation Star” established as result of an Act of Congress on July 9, 1918. Today’s Silver Star was not approved by the Secretary of War until July 19, 1932. Two significant caveats written into the Act state that 1) it was retroactive back to the Spanish-American War and 2) “soldiers who received a citation for gallantry in action during World War 1 may apply to have the citation converted to the Silver Star Medal.” Though Jessy’s citation was eligible for conversion, being a servant of the people and not self-seeking, he may have been satisfied with “may apply” as evidence of his citation for bravery, plus the amenity it allowed for a more convenient time to convert.

Impressed with Jessy’s brave performance in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the 360th regimental commander recommended Jessy for promotion to Captain. However, because he had served less than a month as 1st lieutenant general headquarters denied the recommendation. In 1942 infantry Captain Charles Cox wrote of Jessy that he had “only the finest patriotic motives since I am one who had the opportunity to know you well on the battle field. As I told you before, I believe the poem written about you by one of the men in ‘A’ Company after you had taken command on the night of November 2, 1918 in the Argonne, was as fine a tribute and should be prized as highly as any distinguished service cross.”[37]

          Discharged from the Army June 6, 1919 at Camp Travis, the war was over for Jessy.[38] He would not fight again as an infantry officer even though he sought reenlistment in World War II. He recovered from chest and leg wounds, but his lungs were damaged from gas. Jessy did not return to the US with the 360th. On examination, he was transferred to Saint Aignan Casual Company and sent home on board a Casual Ship with Captain Mike Hogg and several other officers from the 360th, each given a “Special Discharge” classification.[39]

Pauline to Ellen years later, “on Jessy’s return he became Superintendent of Three Rivers School but because of having been gassed during service he had to give this up and go into other business.”[40] Reclassification to 4F did not keep Jessy from serving in his own way during World War II. Through Live Oak County Veterans of Foreign Wars, he initiated letter writing and visitations. He encouraged families whose sons and daughters were fighting overseas. Gray created a patriotic placard for their windows, and he wrote a pamphlet on love and respect and how to display the American flag.[41] Jessy would serve, if not overseas then at home.[42]

After resigning as Superintendent of Three Rivers Schools, he served on the Three Rivers School Board, including roles as President and Secretary-Treasurer for many years.[43] Later in the legislature, he continued efforts for schools and children.

Gray became Vice-President of Three Rivers First State Bank and on their Board of Directors. He later served as President and secretary of Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce. He established an independent oil firm and a ranch.[44]

 In 1945, J.F. Gray won the honor to represent Texas District 69 in the Texas Legislature, first from Live Oak to receive the county’s district representation since 1913. He served four biennial sessions beginning in 1945, 1949, 1951, and 1953.[45]

During Gray’s legislative tenure of 1945-1946, he authored bills to create specific independent school districts and refund fuel taxes on all public school buses. In the 1949-1950 legislatures which brought the first Texas billion-dollar budget and necessitated a special session, he helped pass the landmark Gilmer-Aiken Education Act which reformed and advanced Texas school finances.[46]

January 17, 1955 members of the 54th Regular Session of the House of Representatives sponsored House Simple Resolution (H.S.R.) 21, which commends Gray for “efficient, sincere, unselfish service where such service is outstanding and undiminished by political campaigns and differences of opinions.”[47]

On the heels of Gray’s 1949-50 service in the 1951-1952 sessions, Gray authored a bill to prevent flooding or relocation of small cities and towns so that larger ones could acquire water sources without a majority vote of property owners in the affected area. This not only preserved Three Rivers instead of submerging and wiping it out as planned by Corpus Christi, it did the same for many throughout the state and continues. In all, Gray authored 15 bills addressing water and wild life conservation often specifically for District 69 (Atascosa, Frio, La Salle, Live Oak, and McMullen), informed food labelling statewide, targeted District 69 roads, statewide spending and child protection.[48]

The 1953-1954 legislative sessions saw an energized Gray who initiated 17 more bills relative to those subjects he previously authored. In addition, he added House Bill 722 providing royalties from minerals extracted from Texas tidelands for school funding.[49] H.S.R. 21 also expressed appreciation and sincere thanks to Honorable Jessy F. Gray of Three Rivers, Texas, for chairing committees “to complete satisfaction of the members and gratification of the Speakers, and to the benefit of the State of Texas.”[50]

In civic life, Gray was also a leader. A Three Rivers’ budget housing project was named in his honor. He and Pauline were active in the First Methodist Church of Three Rivers. He served numerous times as Three Rivers’ representative to the Beeville District, West Texas Methodist Conference.[51] He held positions of responsibility in the Lions’ Club, Commander of Foreign Legion, and three stations in Live Oak County’s Evergreen Lodge. He and Pauline, were selected to reign as King and Queen during Three Rivers Golden 50th Anniversary in 1963.[52]

October 1, 1968, after a life of serving others, Jessy died in a Corpus Christi hospital. He was 72.[53] May 27, 1969, the House of Representatives, 61st Texas Legislature read H.S.R. No. 491 in memory of the Honorable Jessy Franklin Gray. Respectfully observed a moment of silence. The resolution concluded, “When the house adjourned this day, it does so in the memory of Jessy Franklin Gray.”[54]

Significance

Jessy Franklin (JF) Gray, Sr. (1895-1968) distinguished himself as an officer and hero in World War I, a Texas Congressman, Live Oak County educator and businessman. He is a fifth generation son of the American Revolution and fourth generation Texan.

At seventeen, Gray began teaching in county schools before coming to Oakville, Live Oak County. His second year there, he was elected superintendent.

Twenty-one year old, Jessy Franklin Gray resigned Oakville at the beginning of World War I, walked six miles and took a train to volunteer for officer training at Camp Leon Springs near San Antonio. He began training with the 360th Infantry Regiment on May 8, 1917, the day he was to be married. He married Pauline Bartlett Campbell on August 15, 1917, the same day he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant.

Once in France, Gray served meritoriously in the Saint-Mihiel Offensive. Wounded by battle fire in the leg and chest and gassed, then promoted to 1st Lieutenant, he was eventually awarded a Purple Heart.

In 1950, Gray received the Saint-Mihiel medal and brevet with an official certificate from France for bravery and service to that country. Gray personally mailed over one hundred letters to men under his command and in the division including a Texas’ governor and a governor’s son for them to receive the same honor.

Gray volunteered and led Company “A” of the 90th Infantry Division offensive in the Meuse-Argonne after all company officers were fatally wounded. There Gray was awarded a divisional citation, today’s Silver Star. He was recommended for promotion to Captain, but had served less than one month since promoted to 1st Lieutenant. When victory was declared, Gray chose to return to his wife and home town of Three Rivers.

Gray’s first post war position was Superintendent of Three Rivers Independent School District. He resigned this position but served roles of leadership on the Three Rivers School Board for many years.

JF Gray became Vice-President of Three Rivers First State Bank and Board of Directors. He served as President and secretary of Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce. He established an independent oil firm and a ranch. Though he tried, Gray could not serve in World War II because of previous WWI injuries.

 In 1945, JF Gray became Texas District 69 Representative in the Texas Legislature. He served four biennial sessions in 1945, 1949, 1951, and 1953.

During 1945-1946, Gray authored bills to create independent school districts and refund fuel taxes on public school buses. In the 1949-1950 legislatures marking Texas first billion-dollar budget and necessitating a special session, he helped pass the landmark Gilmer-Aiken Education Act which reformed and advanced Texas school finance structure to this present day

Through the 1951-1952 sessions, Gray authored a bill to prevent flooding or relocation of small cities and towns without majority vote of property owners in the affected area. This kept Three Rivers from submersion by a reservoir and favorably protected the townsfolk until the present. Adding 1953-1954, Gray authored 32 bills for water and wild life conservation, informed food labels, roads, state spending, and child protection. He finished with House Bill 722 providing royalties from Texas tideland minerals for school funding.

In civic life, a Three Rivers’ budget housing project was named in his honor. He and Pauline were active in the First Methodist Church of Three Rivers. He held positions of responsibility in the Lions’ Club, Commander of Foreign Legion, and three stations in the Evergreen Lodge. He and Pauline were selected to reign as King and Queen for Three Rivers Golden 50th Anniversary in 1963, five years before his death in 1968. He and Pauline are buried in the Three Rivers Cemetery.

Whether in war or peace, service to Jessy Franklin Gray meant front line.  The 54th House of Representatives said, “Thank you for your service, Jessy Franklin Gray,” with Texas House Simple Resolution No. 21… “in service and private life [Gray] displayed complete loyalty and untiring devotion to duty, and as member of the Legislature has displayed that rare qualification of a man always known to have gone ‘That Second Mile’ with all who have required it of him.” Jessy Franklin Gray was truly a respected Officer and Gentleman, a World War I Hero, a significant Texas Congressman, Live Oak County educator, and forthright business man.

 

[1]Lindholm, et al. The History of the People of Live Oak County Texas. George West: Live Oak County Historical Commission. 1982. 140; Pauline Gray’s letter to granddaughter Ellen Frances Smith-Ingersoll, November 1969. The Gray Papers. (Exhibit A)

[2] Gray, Jessy F. Letter to daughter, Minnie Ellen Gray. Undated personal letter with family background to help in theme assignment at University of Texas. The Gray Papers.

[3] Cranz, Jane Sloan. “Impact of a Father and Son on Texas: Isaac Van Zandt and Khleber Miller Van Zandt”. Master’s Thesis. Denton: University of North Texas. December 2006. 5.

[4] Telephone discussion November 1, 2017, with great grandson, Colten W. Smith, Attorney/CPA, Austin, Texas.

[5] Lindholm, et al. 140.                                                                

[6] Handbook of Texas Online, Christopher Long, “Wilson County,” accessed November 6, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hew12.

[7] “Taft sends 20,000 Troops to South Texas.” Baltimore Sun. Maryland: Baltimore. March 11, 1911. 2.         

[8] Handbook of Texas Online, Alan W. Garrett, "Teacher Education," accessed October 28, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kdtsj.

[9] Pauline Gray’s letter to granddaughter, Ellen Frances Smith-Ingersoll. (Exhibit A)

[10] Lindholm, et al. 141.

[11] Source Records of the Great War, Vol. IV, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923 Primary Documents. “Pershing on Military Operation in Mexico. March 30, 1916”. Accessed on November 2, 2017, http://firstworldwar.com/source/mexico_pershing.htm

[12] Welsome, Eileen. The General and the Jaguar. New York: Little Brown and Company. 2006. 1-310.

[13] Wilmot, H.P. The First World War. London: Dorling –Kindersley. 2003. 13.

[14] Poole, DeWitt C. An American Diplomat in Bolshevik Russia. Madison: University of Wisconsin. 2014. Ambassador Poole’s memoirs of his service.

[15]  "The Zimmerman Telegram." National Archives, Educator Resources. Accessed November 9, 2017, https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/zimmermann.

[16] Resume of Jessy Franklin Gray sent to San Antonio Officer Procurement District, 1001 Smith-Young Tower, December 17, 1942 seeking reclassification to serve as an officer in WW2. The Gray Papers; Handbook of Texas Online, Art Leatherwood, "Leon Springs Military Reservation," accessed November 12, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qbl06. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

[17] Pauline Gray’s Letter to Ellen Smith-Ingersoll. (Exhibit A).

[18] Ibid; Lindholm, 141.

[19] Handbook of Texas Online, Lonnie J. White, "Camp Travis," accessed November 11, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qbc28. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

[20] Beauford Jester’s and Mike Hogg’s letters to Jessy Gray, circa 1920-1949. The Gray Papers.

[21] Le Maire de Saint-Mihiel, A. Thiery, letter to Jessy F Gray, circa 1950. Note: WWII and Reconstruction apparently delayed delivery of the letter to Gray. (Exhibit B)

[22] “Jessy F. Gray”, Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Accessed November 8, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/y9ymc4g7. (Exhibit C).

[23] Le Maire de Saint-Mihiel, A. Thiery letter to Jessy F Gray, circa 1950.  (Exhibit B); “Battle of Saint-Mihiel, World War 1, 1918,” Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Accessed November 8, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Saint-Mihiel-1918.

[24] Jessy Frank Gray’s letters soliciting 360th Infantry combatants in Saint-Mihiel Salient. The Gray Papers.

[25] First of approximately 100 letters by JF Gray to 360th Infantry combatants, dated October 16, 1950. The Gray Papers. (Exhibit D).

[26] Gray’s letter, to General H Miller Ainsworth, Luling, Texas, dated May 21, 1951. The Gray Papers.

[27] Handbook of Texas Online, Art Leatherwood, "Leon Springs Military Reservation," accessed November 08, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qbl06. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

[28] Handbook of Texas Online, Dorman H. Winfrey, "Ninetieth Division," accessed November 12, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qnn02. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on August 3, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

[29] “The Door Closed, Why Did I Return and Knock?” Jessy Franklin Gray wrote his thoughts in an essay after returning from the war. The Gray Papers.

[30] Ibid, “The Door Closed.”

[31] Ibid; Pauline Gray’s Letter to Ellen Smith-Ingersoll.  

[33] Ibid, 360th; Jessy’s written account, “The Door Closed, Why Did I Return and Knock?”

[34] The 360th Infantry: A History, Army of Occupation American Expeditionary Forces, Germany, Zeltigen, April 15, 1919. Accessed November 13, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/y9pfpytv.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid. Pauline Gray’s letter to Ellen Smith-Ingersoll, 1969.

[37] Charles B. Cox, Captain, Infantry, Office of the 8th Corp Commanding General, July 27, 1942. The Gray Papers

[38] Jessy Franklin Gray’s Personnel Placement Questionnaire and Resume, War Department, 1942. The Gray Papers.

[39] “Passenger List of Organization, Saint Aignan Casual Company No. 3955, To Camp Mills from Port Marseilles, France, 22 April 1919. The Gray Papers.

[41] The Gray Papers. Exhibits F and G.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Resume, Jessy Frank Gray. The Gray Papers.

[44] House Simple Resolution (H.S.R.)  No. 491; Gray Resume.

[45] “Texas Legislators: Past & Present,” Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Accessed November 14, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/y9ymc4g7.

[46] Ibid.

[47] “Expressing Appreciation and Thanks to Jessy F. Gray,” H.S.R. 21, House Journal of the Regular Session of 54th Legislature. Accessed November 14, 2017, http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/scanned/Housejournals/54/01171955_4_51.pdf

[48]Ibid. Legislative Reference Library of Texas

[49]Ibid.

[50] Ibid. H.S.R. 21.

[51] Ibid. Resume. The Gray Papers.

[52] Ibid. Hudson, Richard and Janis, Live Oak County: Images of America. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2013. p63.

[53] Jessy Franklin Gray, Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics #80447, Dec 6, 1968, Frank Gray, Jr., Pre. 2, Rural South Three Rivers, Live Oak County, Texas.

[54] “Resolution, Jessy Franklin Gray,” H.S.R. No. 491

 

Live Oak County Courthouse

The Honorable Jim Huff, County Judge for Live Oak County, welcomes you to the Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) Website. The Live Oak County Historical Commission is an arm of the Live Oak County Commissioners' Court; appointees are selected at the beginning of odd numbered years and serve two year terms. Judge Huff and the Live Oak County Commissioners support and approve actions of the LOCHC in coordination with the Texas Historical Commission (THC).

 

Live Oak County Commissioners:

Precinct 1: Richard Lee

Precinct 2: Donna Kopplin Mills

Precinct 3: Willie James

Precinct 4: Emilio Garza

The Commissioner's Court is committed to the preservation of our county's history. Judge Huff and your local commissioner welcome suggestions.

The Honorable Jim Huff, Live Oak County Judge.

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