While I am always grateful when my ancestors actually make it into the census and are in plain site, and not hiding behind a woefully miss-spelled, miss-transcribed name, I nevertheless always ache to fill in the gaps between the census enumerator's visits. The last two newspaper articles for Sanford help to do just that.
In the Aransas Pass Progress, dated February 1, 1940 I found the following:
Sam Rainwater Has a Stroke Wednesday
Sam Rainwater, one of the earlier residents of Aransas Pass and familiar figure here was rushed to a Mathis hospital Wednesday after in a Cage ambulance following a stroke of paralysis.
The old settler suffered a slight stroke Tuesday and a more severe one on Wednesday. His condition was thought to be critical according to late reports.This article provided what his death certificate did not. He had had a minor stroke followed by a more serious stroke and he was recognized as a long time citizen of Aransas Pass.
And then a week later, this followed:
|Aransas Pass Progress|
Feb. 8, 1940
Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon for Sam Rainwater, 74, long-time resident of this coast section and familiar to most people in Aransas Pass for many years, who died in a Mathis hospital Friday afternoon, following a stroke.
Services were held in the Cage Funeral Home chapel. Burial followed in Prairie View Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters, none of whom could be reached, the funeral home officials said. Rainwater formerly worked for the Terminal Railway as a pile driver, but ill health in recent years forced his retirement.
|Pile driver at work|
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Although the newspaper articles shared in my last few posts suggest that Sam had a place in the community, that his daughter Jessie had at least visited him once and stayed for an entire month, it was a newspaper article that once again put him in that very lonely spot at the end of his life. His family could not be reached, they were not there to provide information for his death certificate and they were not at his funeral to say their final goodbyes.
I was grateful to know that there was a funeral, however small or simple. To me, that suggests that there were those who did care and gives me hope that possibly the friends and neighbors whom he had lived amongst for over 40 years had in a way become his family and that perhaps as his family, they came to say farewell to their ole friend Sam.
For further reading about Sanford Rainwater, see previous posts; Alone, but not Forgotten , But Wait! There's More, and Where The Common Feel Famous
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved