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Henry D. Gray Papers

Identifier: 1984-0009

Scope and Content

The Henry D. Gray Papers contain administrative and research materials pertaining to the Hartford Commission on the City Plan.


  • Creation: undated, 1953-1970


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.


The Reverend Henry David Gray was born January 18, 1908 in Antrim, Northern Ireland, to Nathaniel and Margaret Gray. He studied at Pomona College in California until 1930, and later received a B.D. from the Hartford Theological Seminary in 1933. He also took the Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 1935. In 1930, Rev. Gray married Helen Lorbeer. The couple had three children, David, Ellen, and Betsey.

After holding positions as minister in Scotland, Massachusetts, and California, Rev. Gray relocated to Hartford, Connecticut. In 1956, he was installed as the 14th minister of South Congregational Church in Hartford, which was founded in 1670. Rev. Gray stayed on as minister there until 1970, when he retired in favor of the Rev. John R. Elmore.

Rev. Gray's 15 years at South Congregational were distinguished. He ran a radio show, guided the renovation of the church, and was very active in youth programs. In addition, he helped to found churches in other areas of Connecticut and around the world. Another important position held by Rev. Gray was member of the Hartford Commission on the City Plan. He took this position in 1959, and served as chairman of the commission for several years. The commission was involved in various aspects of urban planning and renewal for the city.

Rev. Gray was also an author. The most notable among the many books and articles was The Upward Call , which became a best-seller. Upon his retirement in 1970, Rev. Gray planned to continue writing and working in civic affairs.


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Language of Materials



Born on January 18, 1908, Henry Gray studied at Pomona College. In 1933 he received a B.D. from the Hartford Theological Seminary and later earned a Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. Gray helped found churches around the world. Reverend Gray ministered at South Congregational Church in Hartford for 15 years. He was a member of the Hartford Commission on the City Plan and retired in 1970.


Series I: City Plan Files (undated, 1959-1970), consists of material relating to the Hartford Commission on the City Plan. The greater bulk of this material is made up of the minutes and agendas of the commission's meetings. There are other items as well, like inter-office memoranda and reports on various issues. The arrangement of this series is chronological. Undated papers that were found with a group of papers from a particular year were placed with those papers in files marked “undated.”

Series II: Subject Files, (undated) contains folders that were marked with headings by Gray. They are organized alphabetically, and most of them pertain to topics about the city of Hartford. One folder, called General Plan, contained a map of an unknown region.

Series III: Research Files, (undated, 1953-1958) is composed of a variety of publications. The publications treat different aspects of urban planning and community renewal, with an emphasis on the city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut. Many of the items are annotated. In addition, there are several items from this series which, because of their large size, had to be placed apart in a larger container (Box 10). Also, it should be noted that there is one folder of “Curia dixit” pamphlets from 1953 to 1958. Other copies of “Curia dixit” from later years are interspersed within the City Plan Files series. The folders of Research Files are arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

Carl Abbot, of the School of Urban Affairs at Portland State University, acquired the papers from Reverend Gray.

Acquisition Information

The Henry D. Gray papers were donated by Carl Abbot in 1984.

Henry D. Gray Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US