Claude M. Gray Papers
L540, B74
1918-1948
1 mss. box, 1 small box, 2 os. folders

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Processed by: Elizabeth M. Wilkinson, February 2007


Biographical Note:

Claude Matthews Gray was born on September 25, 1892 to Lawrence O. Gray and Ella Mae Brown Gray near Rockville, Parke County, Indiana. Claude M. Gray attended a country school up to the eighth grade and then spent two years at Rockville High School. In 1908, the Gray family moved to Terre Haute, Indiana where Claude’s father had purchased a grocery store. Gray went on to attend and graduate from Wiley High School in 1910. Due to his father’s illness and need to support his mother and three siblings, Gray took a position as a locomotive fireman for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He spent six years in this position before entering Rose Polytechnic Institute in 1916 to study mechanical engineering. He was elected President of his sophomore class. On June 18, 1918, Gray married Gladys Hope McClung. They subsequently had two daughters, Mary Jane and Elizabeth Anne.

World War I interrupted Gray’s schooling. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in April 1918. He entered the War as a Private with Company B, 66th Regiment of Engineers and was sent to France and served as a locomotive engineer. He was promoted to Sergeant in July 1918. After serving eight months as locomotive engineer, he was then promoted to assistant road foreman of engines. After seventeen months in the Army and the end of the War, Gray was discharged and returned to the Rose Polytechnic Institute, having only lost one year of school. Gray was elected class President his senior year, and graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering in 1921. He became a special apprentice with the Pennsylvania Railroad in their Terre Haute shop. In 1923, Gray was promoted to Gang foreman and assigned to their Columbus, Ohio shop. He was then promoted to Engine house foreman in Indianapolis, Indiana in January 1926, a position he held until January 1929.

In January 1929, Gray accepted a position with the St. Louis Public Service Company as Superintendent of shops and moved to St. Louis, Missouri. He then accepted a position with the Chicago Surface Lines in the fall of 1943. On April 1, 1944, Gray returned to St. Louis and the St. Louis Public Service Company as Vice President and Operating Manager.

Gray accepted the position of Vice President and Operating manager of the Baltimore Transit Firm in Baltimore, Maryland in November 1946. Due to the death of the President of the Baltimore Transit Firm, Gray was elected President of the Firm on December 18, 1946. The Firm then experienced some negative feedback due to its beginning substitutions of buses for streetcars. Claude M. Gray died February 1, 1948 in Baltimore. He is buried in Terre Haute.

Mr. Gray was active with the Missouri Athletic Club, a member of the St. John’s Methodist Church in St. Louis, a former President of the Rose Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association, a former President of the Midwest Transit Association, and a member of the Board of Managers for the Rose Polytechnic Institute.

Source:
Materials within the collection

Scope and Content Note:

This collection spans 1918 to 1948, with the bulk of materials concentrating on Gray’s World War I and academic endeavors (1918-1934.) The collection consists of World War I correspondence, papers, diary, photographs, and medals; Rose Polytechnic materials, later correspondence to Gray’s wife, clippings, autobiographical sketches, papers and memorials.

This collection is divided into correspondence and papers, and medals and pins. The correspondence and papers are organized chronologically.


Box and Folder Listing:

Box 1.

Folder	
1.	World War I correspondence, July-Dec., 1918
2.	World War I correspondence, Jan.-June, 1919
3.	World War I military documents, 1918-1919, 1946
4.	World War I individual pay record book, 1918-1919
5.	World War I identification cards and tickets, 1918-1919 (10 items)
6.	World War I diary, Jan.-Dec. 1919 (1 item)
7.	World War I photographs and postcards, 1918-1919 (22 items)
8.	Gray’s Rose Polytechnic Institute school materials, 1921 and 1934
9.	Recommendation letters and record of service, 1921-1934
10.	Clippings regarding Claude M. Gray, 1943-1948
11.	Autobiographical materials, 1945-1946
12.	Correspondence, 1946-1947
13.	Rose Polytechnic Institute materials, Nov. 1946-Dec. 1947
14.	Memorials, 1948
15.	Insurance vouchers, 1948

Box 2.  Medals and pins (10 items)

Folder	
1.	Wiley High School pin
2.	Wiley High School buckle
3.	Rose Polytechnic Institute pin
4.	Two World War I uniform buttons
5.	“Son in Service” pin with U.S. on a castle 
6.	Church war cross
7.	World War I victory medal with “France” clasp
8.	“Our Country, World War, 1914-1919” medal given by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen
9.	Beta theta epsilon pin

B74, Folder 1

circa 1919	Sketch of Claude M. Gray during his World War I service
circa 1930s	Portrait photograph of Claude M. Gray

B74, Folder 2.

1919 Jun. 18	Bulletin de traction

Collection Information:

Size of Collection:

1 manuscript box, 1 small box, 2 oversize folders

Collection Dates:

1918-1948

Provenance:

Dr. Mary Jane Gray, April 2006

Access: This collection is open for research.

Restrictions:

None

Reproduction Rights:

Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library.  Possession of a reproduction from an Indiana State Library collection does not constitute permission for use.

Language The majority of materials are in English with a few items in French.

Alternate Formats:

None

Related Holdings:

 

Notes:

 


Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.