Cass County

Old Letters

Submitted by: Rich

This is a copy of a letter written in the 1970's containing information from years before that given to his children. The last of these children is still alive (in her nineties and I have received permission to send this - again in the sense that this is history that should be share, especially for the family but a for all from that area as it being a description of the way life was lived in the area a hundred years ago. The original composer and compiler is James Royl Rainey, the youngest son of Dewie Henry Rainey.


Dewie Henry Rainey was born near Bryans Mill, Cass Co. TX 11 June 1883. He was the son of Stephen Ridgley and Precious Jo Mannie Rainey. When Henry was about 13 or 14 years old, the family moved to a farm near Cusetta in Cass Co. This land was mostly woodland and he and his brother Cliff cleared it for farming. As a teenager he played baseball for the Cusetta team.  Some of the team members were George and Ray Fulchur, Roy Bryant, John Culpepper, and Henry's brother Cliff.  Henry had only four years of formal education but in many areas he was self-educated. The few years that he attended school was at the White Sulphur Springs School near Cusetta.

Henry married Caroline Channell on 29 Dec. 1904 near Douglasville TX.  Henry and Carrie lived in the Cussetta area the first few years of their marriage. Virginia Opal, their oldest child, was born 24 April 1906 in the house Henry lived in when he first moved to Cusetta. Their next two children, Anna and Carrie Vernessa, were born near Munz, a small town three miles north of Cusetta. Munz was at the southern end of a narrow gauge railroad that ran northeast to Maud. This railroad was in existence for only a few years and was used to transport saw logs across the Sulphur River to a mill near Maud in Bowie Co. Munz was located a short distance nor of Texas State Hwy 77 near the intersection of Farm Road 994. Henry had bought a small farm of about twenty acres west of Munz. He owned and operated a small grocery store in Munz for a short period of time.

Henry purchased a farm from Charlie King in the latter part of 1912.  This farm was located about one and a half miles east of Munz on what is now State Hwy 77. Henry had his family moved to this farm 1 January 1913. The remainder of their children were born in their farm house on this farm:  Marguerite Evelyn, Dewie Henry Jr., Mary Leslie and James Royl. Henry farmed this land until his death on 10 Jan 1956.

Henry and Carrie were active members of the Union Chapel Methodist Church. Henry was a master mason and Carrie a member of the Eastern Star.  Henry was a Notary, working with many oil and gas company landmen. Also he did a lot of timber estimating for Lumber Mills. He was very knowledgeable in ownership of lands in northwest Cass Co. both present and past.

The Rainey home was gathering place for family and friends for may years. They were very caring and always tried to help anyone in need.

Henry died 10 January 1956 in Linden, TX. and is buried in Union Chapel Cemetery, Cass Co., TX. 

Caroline Channell was born 6 Mar 1885 in their home four miles west of Douglasville, TX. She was the daughter of James Turner and Caroline Sefronia Channell. Her mother died soon after she was born and her father died when she was eleven years old. She was reared mostly by her Aunt Tump Findley and sister Anna Robertson.

Carrie attended school at the Black and Powell school near Sulphur River and at Cedar Grove. Her sister taught at both of these schools. They either rode in a buggy or rode side saddle on a horse to school. Carrie delighted in playing the piano and would practice for hours. Her oldest brother, George, loaned her the money to buy her first piano. She had a cotton patch the following year and made enough money to pay George's loan.  Carrie gave private piano lessons to several students. One of them was a Miss Tate who lived in the O'Ferrell Community in Cass County.

After her marriage Carrie spent the remaining years of her life being a very loving, caring and dear Mother to her children, grand children and great-grandchildren. Carrie had a lot of "get up and go" about her and always was fun to be around. The young people of the area had many dances and parties in her home. Carrie moved to Longview to live with her daughter, Opal, after Henry's death. She was ill the last several years of her life. She died in Longview TX, 17 Nov. 1967.

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