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History of the St Andrew's Society of the State of New York
Biographies: Bryce Gray



Thirty-third President
1887-1889.

Mr. Bryce Gray was a son of Robert Gray and Margaret Cherry, and was born on the 29th November, 1827, at Glasgow, Scotland, and died on the 29th June, 1897, at his residence on Fifth Avenue, New York City.

His early school days were spent in his native city, but it became important that he should be launched on his commercial career as soon as possible, and he accordingly set sail from Glasgow for Halifax in 1843. He was then only sixteen years of age, and at once entered the employ of his cousins’ firm of William and James Murdock, transacting a wholesale dry goods business.

Here he remained for some years and then sailed for the City of New York in 1850, bearing a letter of recommendation from William Murdock to Richard Irvin. Through the influence of Mr. Irvin, Mr. Gray entered the house of White & Thunger, as head bookkeeper. He conducted the financial affairs of this firm until the retirement of Mr. Thunger in 1854. The house was then reorganized under the title of ‘'James F. White & Co.," and Mr. Gray became a member of the new firm, which position he retained until his death. Mr. James F. White, the senior partner, retired to live in Dundee in 1855 and Mr. Gray then became the active manager of the business in New York. When the great commercial panic of 1856 occurred this firm was one of the few, if not the only one, engaged in the importation of linens that was not forced to suspend.

From the day of his election as a member of Saint Andrew’s Society on the 30th November, 1864, Mr. Gray took the greatest interest in the work of the Society and was a constant attendant at all the meetings. He was a Manager, 1867-1869; 1870-1879; Second Vice-President, 1879-1882; First Vice-President from 1882-1887, and President, 1887-1889; also serving on the Standing Committee in 1869-1870; and from 1889 to the date of his death. Mr. Gray was also a member of the Committee on the Amendment and Revision of the Constitution in 1895, although he died before the final report of the committee was filed, and thus did not live to see the practical application of the Constitution under which the Society now flourishes. The fidelity and zeal he gave to the cause of Saint Andrew, the ability and uprightness which marked his successful career as a merchant, and the genial good-fellowship he lent to every social gathering, won for him the affection of a host of friends.

He married on the 31st May, 1860, at New York City, Andrewetta Josephine Mount, daughter of Andrew Mount and Jane C. K. B. Perry, and had issue the following children, all born at New York City: (1) Bryce, Jr., born 5th November, 1861; (2) George Mount, born 11th October, 1863; (3) Josephine Mount, born 4th April, 1866.

The portrait of Mr. Gray is reproduced from a photograph now in the possession of his son, Mr. George M. Gray.


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