Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography

Ownership and Financing of American Water Works
Carroll E. Gray

Carroll E. Gray

Carroll E. Gray was born in Ohio in 1831 and was educated in Buffalo, New York.  In 1868 he entered the gas business, both building plants and managing gas companies.

Statistical Tables from the History and Statistics of American Water Works
by John James Robertson Croes (1883) Page 17.

Gray moved to St. Louis in 1873 and joined the National Gas Works Building Company, which has been formed in 1868 and incorporated in 1873.  The company changed its name in 1874 to the National Building Company, and secured several contracts to build water works.  Gray owned interests in gas plants and also secured franchises for water works in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Fergus Falls, Minnesota.  He did not pursue the project in Eau Claire and the franchise was revoked.

Pueblo CO City 1874
Alton IL Alton Water Works Co 1875
Hannibal MO Hannibal Water Co 1880
Stillwater MN Stillwater Water Co 1880
Eau Claire WI None formed 1880 Franchise revoked for non-performance
St. Charles MO St. Charles Water and Heating Co. 1881
Hot Springs AR Hot Springs Water Co 1882
Danville IL Danville Water Co 1882
Palestine TX Palestine Water Co 1882
Gunnison CO Gunnison Gas & Water Co. 1882
Duluth MN Duluth Gas & Water Co 1883
Fergus Falls MN Fergus Falls Water Co 1883 Owned by Gray until his death in 1890.

Gray moved to Chicago in 1883 and after building the water works in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, which he owned, he generally retired from business   His two eldest sons, Carroll E. Gray, Jr. and Theodore W. Gray succeeded him in the gas and water business.

Carroll E. Gray

1873 "A New Gas Building Company," Daily Missouri Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri), March 18, 1873, Page 1.
Articles of incorporation were filed this morning with the Secretary of State for the "National Gas-works Building Company of St. Louis," the object being to build gas works; capital stock, $100,000, or 100 shares of $100 each.  The names of the incorporators are Calvin F. Herring, Charles W. Weir, and Darlington Trumbull.

1874 The State Journal (Jefferson City, Missouri), February 27, 1874, Page 7.
Certificate of increase of capital stock of the National Gas Works Building Company of St. Louis, also a certificate of change of name to "National Building Company."

1874 "Directors of the National Building Company," St. Louis Dispatch, April 29, 1874, Page 4.
The National Building company, builders of gas and waterworks, 914 Olive street, at the annual meeting of stockholders this morning, elected directors as follows:  C.E. Gray, G.W. Upsike, S.B. Dugger, C.W. Weer, D. Turnbolt.  The Board at a subsequent meeting elected C.E. Gray, president; C.W. Weer, vice president; G.W. Updike, treasurer, and S.B. Dugger, secretary.

1876 "To the Stockholders of the National Building Company," St. Louis Dispatch, February 26, 1876, Page 1.
For the purpose of considering the proposition of dissolving the company.  C. E. Gray, President.

1886 History of Logan County, Illinois, Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages, and Towns, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History, Portraits of Prominent Person, and Biographies of Representative Citizens
Pages 523-524:  Darlington Turnbolt.  In 1868 he became connected with the National Gas Works Building Company, of St. Louis, Missouri, being one of its originators, and engaged in building and operating gas works. He was connected with the building of the gas works in Carliuville, Lincoln, Kankakee, and Elgin Asylum in Illinois; Jackson and Brownsville, in Tennessee; Lincoln, Nebraska; Oskaloosa, Iowa; Marshall, Michigan, while connected with said building company. In 1873 he purchased the Lincoln, Illinois, Gas Works, and moved to Lincoln and took possession of the same. In 1874 he withdrew from the National Building Company, and in 1874-'75 built the works in Mendota and Princeton, Illinois, and purchased the works at Kankakee, Illinois. Reverses in business brought changes, and the result was in 1881 he became the superintendent of the gas works at Lincoln, Illinois, owned by S. A. Foley, which has since become the property of the Gas and Electric Light Company. He still continues as superintendent.

1887 Gray genealogy : being a genealogical record and history of the descendants of John Gray, of Beverly, Mass., and also including sketches of other Gray families, by Marcius Denison Raymond
Page 33:  Carroll Eugene Gray
Carroll Eugene Gray, son of Dr. P. Wells Gray, was born in Madison, Ohio, July 23d, 1831. While in his youth his parents located at Buffalo, N. Y., where he received a common school education, completing an academical course in Jamestown, N. Y. ; following commercial pursuits till 1868, when he began the study of, and engaged in both the management and construction of illuminating gas works. In 1873 he removed to St. Louis, Mo., interesting capital of that city in local gas and water companies, promoting and building works in Missouri, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana and Kansas.
In 1883 Mr. Gray moved to Chicago, undertaking by preference, work in the north-west, bearing a creditable name throughout that region, both as a Gas and a Hydraulic Engineer and Builder. During this period of seventeen years the subject of this sketch has constructed some eleven gas works, and nine water works, and in some of the more prominent towns of the west. His two elder sons are now succeeding him in the business, Mr. Gray declining large contracts in future.
The present residence of Mr. and Mrs. Gray and family is at Fergus Falls, Minn.

1889 History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri
Pages 838-839:  Samuel B. Dugger.  During the year 1870 he assisted in the organization of the National Building Company, an association of experts and capitalists engaged in the construction of gas and water works for cities throughout the South and West, with headquarters at St. Louis.  Being chosen secretary of that company, he moved to St. Louis, and had the active management of the business of the company until 1875, when he again resumed the mercantile business, in St. Louis, and continued therein until 1880.

1890 Carroll Eugene Gray (1851-1890) grave

1927 Carroll Eugene Gray, Jr. (1862-1927) grave

1941 Theodore Wells Gray (1865-1941) grave.  He bought the Manitowoc Water Works Company in 1896 and continued as its manager after the city bought the system in 1911.

2019 Morris A. Pierce