Showing posts with label Gray Lois C.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gray Lois C.. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

One of the Best Boys I have Ever Known

Sadly just two years following the death of her beautiful daughter, Lucille, Ella (Jones) Rainwater said goodbye to yet one more of her children, her 32 year old son, Clarence. 

Clarence Olin Rainwater was the fourth child of Alexander Forrest and Ella (Jones) Rainwater. Born the 11th of November 1895, he was reared in the small postal community Ondee, just southeast of Olin and eight miles from Hamilton, Texas. His father farmed and his mother took care of their large family. Religion was important to his family and played a big role in Clarence's upbringing. 

He was just a young man of seventeen when his father died, leaving a big hole in their family and the community. From then until the time he registered for WWI, Clarence remained at home working and helping to support his mother and his younger sisters. (1) But when the call came to serve his county, he was among the first in Hamilton County to register. (2)

Patriotism was running high in America and men were anxious to do their part in preserving freedom for their country and their families. Much to Clarence's disappointment, he was selected to remain in the US and serve as a training officer rather than being shipped overseas.  It was while serving in that capacity that he contracted the dreaded tuberculosis.

tuberculosis, Rainwater, Clarence Olin Rainwater, Lois C. Gray, World War I, Texas law, Alamogordo
T.B. patients at hospital
In an effort to fight the disease, he first went to the well known tuberculosis sanitorium in Denver, Colorado to receive medical treatment. His treatment there included an abundance of fresh air and sunshine, however he did not improve as he had hoped and soon went to El Paso, Texas to receive treatment there.

For four years Clarence fought the awful disease. While in the hospital, tall, gray eyed, brown haired Clarence fell in love with Lois C. Gray, who was a nurse. With optimism for the future, he proposed to her and despite the grim prognosis for most tuberculosis patients, she accepted.

Clarence and Lois didn't let Texas' law prohibiting individuals with communicable diseases from marrying dissuade them, but hopped across the border into New Mexico where the laws were more lax. There in Alamogordo, Clarence and Lois became man and wife on the 27th of May 1927. A brief mention of the marriage appeared in the Alamogordo News, dated Thursday, June 2, 1927. It read simply:
Miss Lois C. Gray, Denver Colo. and Mr. Clarence O. Rainwater of Witchita Falls, Texas were united in marriage at Alamogordo, May 27th of Judge Stalcup. 
But Clarence would never recover and on the 15th of March, 1928, less than a year after he and Lois married, he succumbed to the disease. He was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso.Ted Couch, husband to Clarence's first cousin, Louisa Olive Lloyd expressed what many felt that day when he said: 

"He was one of the best boys I have ever known, and in his death his loved ones and friends in his country have suffered a great loss." (3)     

1. WWI Draft Registration, Ancestry
2.  Obituary from The Hamilton Herald-Record, April 13, 1928
3. Ibid 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved