Gra-Green

In August of 1879, there came to Valley city three obviously well-dressed and prospering individuals who registered at the Sherman House.

Contacting B. W. Benson, the leading land agent of the city, they explained that they were interested in homesteading some land.  They introduced themselves as Judge Green, His son, G. B Green, and A. H. Gray, all from Coldwater, Michigan.

Land was selected in Township 139 –Range 59 (Green Township) and the trio purchased horses, wagons, lumber and supplies and drive to their claims, where they built homesteader shacks, plowed a few acres then left for Michigan, informing the editor of the Northern pacific Times that they would return in the Spring with additional settlers and their families.

In January, 1880, the paper reported that G. B Green had married Fannie Grinnell at Coldwater, Michigan. April first a party of thirteen from Coldwater, Michigan detrained at Valley City, including G. B. Green and his new wife.  A. H. Gray arrived, but without his wife.  Judge Green remained at Coldwater.

By the fifteenth, the party had eleven houses under construction, and the editor noted that there was a Gray, A brown, A green, A black and A white in the group, and he suggested that it be called “The Colorful Community.”

On April 29th, the newspaper noted that A. H. Gray had arrived in town early in the morning, obviously on an important mission, since he “had on a boiled shirt” and wore his pants outside of his boots.  The occasion was the arrival of Mrs. A. H. Gray.  It was a big day for Mr. Gray as he was at the same time appointed a County Commissioner to replace Mr. Goodwin, who had resigned.

July 4th, 1880, was celebrated by the community, now called “Gra-Green” by a picnic and program at “Lake Gray.  On July 8th, the Gra-Green community petitioned the County commissioner for a county built road.

Indications are that, in addition to the post office established the next February 28, 1881, with G. B. Green as postmaster, there possibly was a small store and blacksmith shop located in Gra-Green.

Mr. A. H. Gray became associated with the American National Bank and engaged in the implement business.  G. B Green became the teller of the First National bank, was president of the Sanborn Bank and still later, in 1883, owner in part of the Bank of Lisbon.