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RAINES, John Alexander - 1890 Bio (1835-1914)


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 8/22/2007 at 15:53:30

Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, Iowa, Printed 1890 by Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Pages 202-203

John Alexander RAINES, of Fairfield, was born in Scott County, Ky., near Lexington, on the 9th of November, 1835, and is a son of Waller and Lavina R. (LLOYD) RAINES. His father was a native of Virginia, born in Orange County, and was descended from English ancestry. The family was founded in America during the old Colonial days, and was represented from both sides in the war of the Revolution. Mr. RAINES' father emigrated to Kentucky in 1810, making the journey on foot in company with his friend, Anthony Hughes. He enlisted in the War of 1812, and at its close returned to his home in Kentucky, where he was engaged in farming. His wife, the mother of our subject, was born in Loudoun County, Va., and was of Welsh and German descent. Possessed of most excellent judgment and earnest piety, and practical in her methods, she trained her family, numbering six sons and three daughters, with a view to making them feel useful and respected members of society. Her death occurred in 1858. After the death of Mrs. RAINES, Mr. RAINES lived with his family in Kentucky until about the time of the breaking out of the late war, when he came to Marshall County, Ill., where he remained two years, after which he went to Greenfield, Ind., with his son, Rowan W., with whom he made his home until his death, which occurred around 1869, when he had passed his eighty-sixth year. He was a man of powerful physique, and possessed great endurance and fortitude. He was never sick, but death resulted from old age.

John A. RAINES is the youngest member of the family of nine, of whom seven are now living. All were reared to habits of industry and frugality, and their after lives show the wisdom of their training. Their parents had no use for drones, and never permitted that condition to exist which is said to be favorable to wickedness.

Our subject received such education as he could obtain in his day and place of residence. Having a taste for mechanical pursuits, he learned the wagon-maker's trade, and in 1855 went to Woodford County, Ill., where he followed his chosen occupation, and also acquired a knowledge of carpentering. Two years later, in that county, he was united in marriage with Miss Maria, daughter of George W. and Martha (ADAMS) BOCOCK. The lady was born in Fulton County, Ill., near Canton, and their union was blessed with three children, one son and two daughters: Effie F., who is now the wife of Robert J. RAINES, a distant cousin and resident of Fairfield Township, Jefferson County; Oscar Y., who died at the age of twenty-one years; and Maria J., who died in infancy. The mother was called to her final rest September 22, 1862.

In early manhood, Mr. RAINES became a zealous member of the Christian Church, and in 1858 began preaching the gospel. He possesses a good command of language, and a gift of oratory coupled with a fervent zeal in the cause of Christianity, that has made him an interesting and popular preacher. While in Illinois, he was variously employed. For several years he was a merchant's clerk in Lacon, and served as Police Magistrate and Justice of the Peace. In the political campaign of 1860, when Lincoln was elected to the Presidency, he took an active part in Republican politics, and has since voted and labored for the interests of the party.

On the 8th of October, 1863, Mr. RAINES was again married, his second union being with Miss Martha J. BOCOCK, a sister of his former wife, and a native of Fulton County, Ill. Three children, daughters, were born of the second marriage -- Luthia Alice, Martha Olga, and Nora Junia. The two elder have just graduated from the Fairfield High-school.

Mr. RAINES has served as Pastor of the Christian Church of Belle Plaine, Bath, Chandlerville, and Washington, Ill., and at intervals between his pastoral duties has engaged in mechanical work. In 1873, he came to Iowa, locating in Osage, Mitchell County, where he was a local pastor. In 1878, he became interested in the insurance business, and has continued in that line ever since, doing more or less work all the time in the line of the ministry. During the twelve years in which he has devoted his time to the insurance business, he has been connected with only three companies, and always as a general agent. For the past two years he has been a general agent for the German Fire Insurance Company of Peoria, Ill. He came to Fairfield, on the 22d of January, 1878, and for six months occupied the pulpit of the Christian Church of the city, since which time he has served as one of its elders. He has done a great deal of ministerial work as supply preacher, and has been an indefatigable laborer in all matters pertaining to church or Sunday-school work. Mr. RAINES is blessed with a noble wife and intelligent and interesting children, all of whom are devoted to the cause of Christianity.

*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I have no relation to the person(s) mentioned.


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