Col. Frank P. Gray

The Cartersville American
Cartersville, Georgia
May 18, 1886, page 3
Transcribed by:  

Death of Col. Frank P. Gray.

Our community was shocked on yesterday morning by receiving the news that Col. Frank P. Gray had been killed by an Atlanta policeman, on Sunday evening.  We gather the following particular from the Constitution:

Col. Frank P. Gray was shot and killed yesterday afternoon at 1 o’clock, by R. L. Jones, town marshal of West End.

West End has an ordinance which requires the marshal to impound all cattle found running at large upon the streets.  At fifteen minutes to 1 o’clock, Jones turned out of Peeples into Gordon street, driving three cows.  At the same instant, Col. Gray turned out of Ashby into Gordon street, accompanied by one of his sons, a lad of five years old.  Immediately in front of the residence of Col. A. B. Matthews, Col. Gray met the cows and recognized them as his.  He ran from the sidewalk to the middle of the street, and picking up a rock, threw it at the cows, attempting to drive them back.

Mr. Charles C. Nelson and his wife, who board with Col. Matthews, were sitting on the front porch of the gentleman’s residence. Mr. Nelson’s face was turned toward the street.  He saw Col. Gray throw the rock at the cows and heard him say:

“I will take care of these cows.”

Previous to hearing Col. Gray’s remark Mr. Nelson had not observed Jones, nor did he hear Jones’s reply.  Immediately after he saw one of the cows run toward Col. Matthew’s front gate, Col. Gray and Jones following.  The cow suddenly turned and ran back into the street, leaving the two men facing each other under a small sycamore tree, twenty feet below the gate.  Mr. Nelson heard nothing more that was said.  The men faced each other perhaps a minute, when suddenly the crack of a pistol rang out upon the still Sabbath air.  Mr. Nelson saw Col. Gray stagger into the street and whirl around and around as if forced to do so by a power he could not resist.  At once aware that Col. Gray had been shot Mr. Nelson jumped from the porch and ran to his assistance.

A Mortal Wound.

When he reached the wounded man he placed his arms around him and supported him to the gate.

“Friend Nelson,” Col. Gray said, “I am killed.”

“Oh no, Frank,” Mr. Nelson replied, “You are all right. Come with me.”

He led Col. Gray to the house, not aware, he claims, that Jones was assisting him.  When the steps were mounted, he conducted Col. Gray to a back room on the right side of the hall and assisted him to lie down….”Yes, I know I am going to die…I am perfectly conscious, and know what I am going to say.  I picked up that rock to throw at the cows and not to hurt anyone, and he shot me.”

This statement Col. Gray repeated twice.

His wife arrived in her husband’s presence, twelve minutes before he died.  At the door of the room, she tore herself from her escorts, and rushed to the bed and threw herself upon her husband. He said something to her which could not be understood, and placing his hand upon her head, kissed her.

[Article continues with a long description of the Col. Gray’s dying moments.]


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