Rains CountyTXGenWeb - History

History of Rains County, Texas


NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY in this area early on.

History of Rains County

Rains County, Texas, was originally part of the Nacogdoches district and was formed in 1870 by taking portions from Hunt, Hopkins, Wood and Van Zandt Counties. On June 9, 1870, Emory Rains introduced a bill in the Texas State Legislature, creating Rains County, Texas. The county was named in his honor and the county seat was called after Mr. Rains' given name (Emory, Texas). The settlement had been known as Springville, due to the many springs in the area, up until this time. An 1857 plat of Springville shows Ravine Street, which remains in Emory today, as the oldest original street. Some of the settlers in the northwest corner of the county were J.H. HOOKER, T.M. CAIN, J.R. McMAHAN, Elijah TOLLETT, Sam STOCKTON, Wm. LEGETT, Sam HOOKER, Sam BOREN and Walter HOOKER. Settlers in the eastern part of the county were Emory RAINS, Henry MATHIS, O.S. FORBIS, Rev. Ambrose FITZGERALD, E.P. KEARBY, H.W. MARTIN, James GARY, Thomas M. ALLRED, Levi SIMPSON, Jonathan McMAHAN, I.C. ALEXANDER, Mabry WAFER, Jesse MONTGOMERY, Gilbert YARBROUGH, Pary TAYLOR, Elijah MAGEE, James S. FLOWERS, Thomas BRYANT, Austin COOKE, William COOKE, J.M. CODBOLD. The first county officials were Press RAINS, sheriff; Ambrose FITZGERALD, County Clerk; John D. RAINS, District Clerk; H.W. MARTIN, County Attorney; E.P. KEARBY, County Judge; James GARY, County Treasurer; Levi SIMPSON, Chief Justice and County Commissioner, Precinct #1.

The first courthouse was a log house erected by Issac ALLRED; about 1872 a 2-room building was built in the center of the square. This courthouse burned in November 1879 and all records up to that date were destroyed although many people flocked to re-record their legal papers with County Clerk Thomas M. ALLRED. Again the original log house was used temporarily as the courthouse until 1884 when a 2-story brick courthouse, constructed from red clay and sand bricks that were made on the building site, was completed in the center of the square. This brick building was destroyed by fire in 1908 but the county records were protected in a steel vault that had been installed earlier that year. The present 2-story, white brick building was built from white brick burned at the Ginger Brick Plant, Ginger, Rains County, Texas; this building was built in the form of a maltese cross with the wings pointing to the northeast, southwest, etc. The dome was added later.

The first settler on the prairie who settled just east of where Point now stands, known as Rice's Point until 1879, was William RICE. Alex J. GREER settled in the area about 1869 and built the first house where Point now stands.

According to the Texas Almanac & State Industrial Guides for 1914 and 1925, Emory, Point, Dunbar, Hogansville, Ginger, and Goff were towns in the county.

There were at least 25 rural schools in operation in the county for many years. Some were Bonanza (aka McCord #1 and #2; 1890), Hogansville (1904), Pilgrims Rest, Poole, Bright Star, Ginger (aka Center Grove & Stone Chapel and had the nickname of "Seed Tick"), Freedom, Martin and Union Ridge, Waskom, Lynch, Bois d'Arc, Woosley, Antioch, New Holmes, Rocky Point (aka Sweet Home), Clark's Chapel (aka Flats), Dunbar, Woodson, Willow Springs, Gritt, Bellview, Colony, Center Point, Reeders, Boyd, and Cody as well as the schools located in Emory and Point. Many of the schools were held in the church house located in the area.

Information obtained from The RAINS COUNTY LEADER Pioneer ed. (Aug. 11, 1939), THE POINT ENTERPRISE 1st Anniversary ed. (July 2, 1914), and Rains County History published 1980 by Rains County Historical Commission

Rains County - where it rains when it wants to