GRAY, Tad

From Islapedia
Gray Bros. Boat Stand, 1900, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island
Tad Gray, right, Santa Catalina Island
Death Certificate, Santa Catalina Island

GRAY, Tad (1868-1957), was born in Iowa, the son of Pvt. Nathaniel VanBuren Gray (1836-1919) and Elmira Warren Gray (1842-1924). Tad and his brother, William, became Avalon sport fishing guides when the family moved to the island in 1890. They lived at 225 Whittley Avenue. Tad's older brother, William Gray (1862-1902), died at age 39 in 1902.


The Gray boats included:

  • Violet G (1892-1898) named for William Gray's only child
  • Sawastika (1905-1925)
  • Sawastika II (1932-1936)
  • Sawastika III (1916-1937)
  • Arcanum (1938-1939)


Tad was an island resident for 58 years, until his death at age 89 at Avalon Hospital from pneumonia. He is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles.


William Gray (1862-1902) = [1897] Caroline Adalaid "Carrie" Lyttle (1875-1969)

  • 1. Violet R. Gray (1899- ) = Tufts (1898- after 1935)


Tad Gray (1868-1957) = [1900] Floy Adams (1871-1963)

They had no children.




In the News~

January 4, 1901 [LAH]: “Tad Gray and wife returned to Avalon yesterday after a two weeks' visit with friends in East Los Angeles.”


July 21, 1901 [LAH]: “Mrs. Tad Gray and Mrs. A. E. Park of avalon were born on the same day. Thursday was the date of their birthdays, and to celebrate the event they gave a very pleasant little family party at the Gray cottage in the evening. The guests, besides the husbands of the ladies, were Mr. and Mrs. N. V. Gray, Will Gray and family and S. Moffit.”


April 13, 1902 [LAH]: “...The result of the contest was as follows: Tad Gray, commanding the launch Violet, and having for sportsmen, John J. Swoboda, Chicago; H. S. Hillman, Waterloo, Iowa; and H. Morgan, New York, captured first prize of $10. as his men captured five yellowtail and one barracuda.”


July 14, 1902 [LAH]: “Dr. Wilfred G. Fralick made today what will probably be the record-breaking quantity of fish catch of the season here. With boatman Tad Gray, in the vicinity of Seal Rock, just off the isthmus, the doctor caught fifteen yellowtail, seven barracuda and twenty rock bass, a total of forty-two fish, the total weight of them being nearly five hundred pounds, between 10 o'clock this morning and 3:20 o'clock this afternoon. The largest yellowtail the doctor caught weighed thirty-two and a half pounds and the smallest weighed seventeen pounds.”


April 16, 1924 [TI/Avalon]: “Mrs. Elmira Gray an old-time Avalon resident passes away. Mrs. Elmira Gray, aged 82, beloved wife of the late Captain Nathaniel Gray, died at her home, 307-½ Lanfranco Street, Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 9th. She had been in ill health for several months. The funeral was held from the chapel of Ivy H. Overholtzer, Los Angeles, and the interment was at Evergreen Cemetery, with General Lawton Circle No. 29 Ladies of G.A.R. in charge of the services. Among the Avalonites who acted as pall bearers were Captain O. I. Danielson, Captain H. W. Allen, Mr. W. H. Gill and Mr. W. Sands. Born in Illinois, Mrs. Gray was married only a few months before her husband joined the forces in the civil war. After the war, the couple left Illinois for California where Mr. Gray became interested in the boat building business at Los Angeles and Wilmington. In 1890 he brought his wife and family to Avalon, where they resided for many years. Captain Nathaniel Gray died died in Los Angeles in October 1919. For many years Captain and Mrs. Nathaniel Gray were familiar characters in the pioneer days of the city. First they camped, like all other islanders, in tents on the beach. Captain Fray was among the first residents to "build a house" on the property he purchased from Mr. Shatto. The family home still stands on Whittley Avenue, and during the past summer Mrs. Gray, although feeble, was an island visitor. Mrs. Gray leaves two brothers and two sisters, one son, Captain Tad Gray, one grand daughter, Mrs. Violet Tufts. Many beautiful flowers were sent from Avalon and Los Angeles friends of the family.”