Emory Rains' parents, Katy
Duncan and John Raines, were native Virginians who later moved to Warren County,
Tennessee. Emory Rains, along with other relatives, migrated to Texas as a teenager
in 1817; he first settled in Shelbyville, Lamar County in the Red River Valley
(Patroon Creek area). (NOTE: Correction thanks
to Marion Parker - This should NOT read
Lamar County ---- Should be Nacodoches (Tenesaw Dist) County, which the following year became Shelby Co (1836)
Lamar wasn't formed until 1840 from Red River Co) ---- Also question him in Texas in 1817)
Physically Emory Rains was a tall, stately man of elegant bearing. As his black hair turned silver, he grew more distinguished in appearance. Pat Vincent (Rains County Leader Pioneer ed.), whose family settled in the Rains County area in 1854, "...remembers that he was a tall and stately gentleman, who always wore a wool shirt with open collar. One characteristic of the Rains family was that Mrs. Rains always kept the coffeepot on the fire and a cup of coffee was the treat to visitors who called in those days. He knew no retirement from work and remained active until his death."
In 1822 Emory Rains and Miss Marana Anderson (17 Nov. 1802, Kentucky-29 Jan. 1885; Emory City Cemetery), daughter of Johnathan Anderson, were married. The Anderson family was among the first to settle in Lamar Co., Texas in the 1870's. They had 13 children, 12 of whom lived to maturity. (1850 Shelby County, Texas, federal census-page 23, family 42).
The 1830 Federal census indicates that E. Rains and wife owned land in the Patroon Creek area. Deed records at St. Augustine dated 1834 and written in Spanish show him to have received a land grant in the Patroon Creek area of Lamar County. The 1835 Nacogdoches census lists him as a farmer and records show him as the first county judge of Shelby County. Also in 1835 Emory Rains received a headright in Jefferson County.
Not being able to read or write at the age of 29, Emory Rains learned from Jonas Harrison, who taught him writing in the damp sands of Patroon Creek. He later became a self-taught lawyer and held many public offices as a public servant.
In 1846, Emory Rains settled on a section of land on the Turkey Creek Territory of the Sabine River in what was then Wood County; there he bought 640 acres of the Martin Ferring survey on Turkey Creek and Rains Creek off of Lake Fork about two miles northeast from Point. It was at this place that he spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1878. He had first passed through this area the year he arrived in Texas and had never lost his desire to make it his home. In 1869 Emory Rains, E.P. Kearby, and Captain T.M. Cain set out to survey Rains County, parts of which were taken from Wood, Hopkins, Hunt, and Van Zandt counties; the county was laid out and named in his honor, and county seat, which was then Springville, was changed to his given name, Emory.
Emory Rains had a slight stroke in 1875. He then carried a ball of wood in his pocket to pull on to maintain circulation in his hands and arms (F.C. Montgomery).
Houston Post, 11 August 1878 "Judge Emory Rains died Monday, March 3, 1878 from an apparent stroke. Judge Rains served the people of Texas for over half a century. Rains County has been created and named in his honor with the county seat taking his name. He is buried in the Emory City Cemetery, Emory, Texas."
Upon his death, Elijah Bibb, postmaster at Emory and an old, dear friend, built Emory Rains' coffin as he had requested. His epitaph reads: "He served his country and received its plaudits."
Marana Anderson Rains died in 1885 and is buried alongside her husband in the Emory City Cemetery.
Article written by:
Mrs. Cay Francis Braziel House, great-granddaughter of Emory Rains.
(reprinted here with the permission of the Rains County Genealogical Society).
History of Rains County, c1980
100th Anniversary of Rains County, 1870-1970
Rains County LEADER Pioneer edition, 11 Aug 1939
Character Certificates in the General Land Office of Texas, c1985; ed. by Gifford White
More Information on Emory Rains