JOSHUA J. GRAYSON. This gentleman is closely connected with the industrial interests of Saybrook, where he has been occupied for a number of years as a carpenter and joiner. He is a native of Dayton, Ohio, born Jan. 2, 1836, and the son of Joshua and Margaret (Mullen) Grayson, the father a native of Virginia, and the mother of Kentucky, and of Irish ancestry. Joshua Grayson followed the occupation of a farmer all his life. He was a member of the Christian Church, and Democratic in politics until during the progress of the late war, when he considered he had reason to change his views, and became a zealous Republican. He departed this life at Maysville, Ky., in 1878. Mrs. Margaret Grayson survived her husband until the fall of 1883, and also died in Maysville, having been a member of the same church as her husband. Their five children were Joshua, Joseph, Mary, Margaret and Francis M. The first wife of Joshua Grayson, Sr., was a Miss Cory, who lived about ten years after their marriage, and they had three children John, Reason and Elizabeth.
The subject of this history learned his trade in Kentucky, and with the exception of a short time spent at farming, has followed it up to the present time. He came to Illinois in 1864, and is considered one of the finest workmen in McLean County, besides possessing more than ordinary business ability and intelligence. He is an extensive reader, well posted in theology and politics, and possesses a large fund of general information. He is essentially a self-made man, and commenced life at the foot of the ladder, without a cent except his own earnings. Through the exercise of the strictest economy and untiring industry he has secured a fail competency, and is in possession of a good home.
Mr. Grayson was married, Feb. 9, 1865, to Miss Matilda J. Rigdon, a native of Lewis County, Ky., and born Dec. 5, 1842. She is the daughter of Eli T. and Dicie (Hurst) Rigdon, both natives of Kentucky. Mr. R. is still living, making his home in Lewis County, Ky., where he is prominently connected with the Christian Church as one of its Elders. He is Republican in politics, and in all respects a worthy and valued citizen. He has been twice married. The children of his first wife, the mother of Mrs. Grayson, were James, Matilda, William, Malinda, Clayborn, Lewis and Sanford. Mrs. Dicie Rigdon died, and Mr. Rigdon then married Miss Louisa Plummer. Of this union there were born five children Ida, Taylor, Hattie, Jasper and Oscar; the latter two are deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. Grayson have no children of their own, but adopted a niece, Miss Nora C. Rigdon, a bright and interesting girl of about fourteen years.
Mr. and Mrs. G. are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Saybrook, of which our subject is a Trustee, and has contributed liberally toward its support. He has been President of the City Council for about six years, and served as School Trustee three years.
During the progress of the Rebellion Mr. Grayson enlisted as a Union soldier in the 10th Kentucky Cavalry, serving one year, during which time he participated in several general engagements, and was taken prisoner at the battle of Mt. Sterling. His exchange, however, was effected six weeks afterward; he then returned to his command. Mr. G. was Fourth Sergeant of his company. Previous to enlisting in the volunteer army he had been identified with the Home Guards of Fleming County. He has always been a stanch Republican in politics. A lithographic view of Mr. Grayson's residence is shown on another page.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 522. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.