David Henry Gray, a recognized authority on the history of Chattanooga, Hamilton, and Rhea County, died on Tuesday November 8, 1988.
A native and longtime resident of Hamilton County, Mr. Gray had lived in Coulterville, Sale Creek and Graysville, Tennessee. He attended school in Bakewell and went to the old Soddy High School, graduating in 1933 as class valedictorian. He attended Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, and studied business at McKenzie College in Chattanoogan.
In 1942, he enlisted in the US Army, beginning his service as warrant officer and serving with the 5th Army in Casablanca, Algiers, Naples, and parts of Austria.
Upon his return home in 1947, he became associated with Security Mills in Knoxville, accepting the post of auditor, a position which kept him primarily in the south. In 1957, he became manager of Park Oil Company in Maryville, Tennessee, where he remained until retirement in 1960.
After retiring, he farmed and began an intensive study of the people and history of Rhea and Hamilton Counties. He was active in the collection and preservation of early records.
In 1979, the Chattanooga Museum of Regional History received a gift from Mr. Gray of some 5000 items comprising a collection of early farm equipment, household furnishings, auto parts, bottles, military items. Most of the items were from this area and had been collected over a forty-year period by Mr. Gray.
He donated 460 acres of property in Coulterville to the Audubon Society, which they named David Gray Sanctuary, now Audubon Mountain. In 1982 he helped to found the Gray Cemetery Co.
At the time of his death, two brothers, John M. Gray of Bradenton, Florida and Lewis E. Gray, Red Bank, Tennessee, survived him. Two sisters, Jane G. Ketcham, Hardly, Mass. And Ruth G. Carden, Princeton, N.J.
Williamson and Sons Funeral Home, of Soddy Daisy, handled arrangements and burial was in the Gray Cemetery, in Bakeville, Tennessee.