Biographical Sketches
Biographical Sketches

submitted by
Kristin Rainey Rumble

Samuel Sweeney Rainey of Kingfisher and Enid Counties, Oklahoma

The following story recounts some of Sam Rainey's run into Oklahoma:

(Biographical information follows)

From: "Run Made Across Cherokee Strip", by Tess Stegman Ellis (Friday, April 3, 1987, St. Joseph, Missouri Gazette)  [article sent to me by Ms. Lucinda Teaford of Missouri written about Tess Ellis' grandmother, Malinda Jane Rainey, who joined her Uncle Sam Rainey's run into Oklahoma]

I wonder if Malinda Jane Rainey, a mere slip of a girl from Gentry County, MO., ever really realized that she was a part of the early history in the making of a new frontier.She had gone to Oklahoma to visit her 10 cousins, the children of her Uncle Sam and Aunt Frances Rainey. They had lived in DeKalb County, MO., but on March 27, 1891, they started the move to King Fisher[sp?], Okla., to make their home.

By the 1880's there were more than 30 tribes of Indians in Oklahoma. Most of them having been pushed that far west by the pioneers who wanted their land. There were Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws and Seminoles from the east as well as the Cheyennes, Arapahos, Kiowas and Commanches from the plains.They all had received land grants in Oklahoma, which was to be theirs "forever."

But pressure from would-be settlers and the railroads forced the government to reconsider and as of dawn April 22, 1889, thousands of pioneers on foot, horseback, buggies and wagons had lined up at the border of Oklahoma.

At high noon, the sound of a gun sent them racing into the flat dry Indian territory with their sledge hammers and stakes to stake out their claims. Within a few hours the town of Guthrie was in the making with 15,000 people clamoring to register their claims and secure the necessities of life from the merchants who had carried wagon loads of merchandise with them. There was little with which to build, so sod houses sprang up across the prairie.

The Second land run was Sept. 16, 1893. It was at that time that Malinda Jane Rainey was visiting her aunt, uncle, and cousins. Sam Rainey decided to make the run across the Cherokee Strip for his 125 acres.

Hattie was about Malinda's age, and her dearest cousin and friend. We know the two girls made the wild ride in the wagon with Uncle Sam, but we wonder if he took his wife and the other nine children. If so, don't you know they made a picture in their wild dash for land! I can just see the calico dresses and bonnets and apron strings flying. The long brown stockings and high button black shoes!

They staked their claim 10 miles east of what is now Enid, Okla. They lived there 10 years and then moved into Enid. It is not known if some of the older children stayed on the claim.

Malinda never talked much about this exciting bit of history, just the fact that she was there.

On Sept. 20, 1896, Malinda Jane Rainey was wed to tall, handsome Isaiah Ferguson and settled down to homemaking 1 1/2 miles west of Berlin, Mo.. They had five children, Gerry, Velma (my mom), Maurice, Lawrence, and Wilbur. At the age of 38, when Wilbur was just six months old, Isaiah died on June 29, 1910 leaving Malinda to raise her children alone. Her parents, Joseph and Mary Rainey along with her brothers and sisters were a great help to her.

And as I sit here, I can picture my grandmother still.

Tess Stegman Ellis
Albany, Mo.

Samuel Sweeney RAINEY born 22 NOV 1833, Carroll County, Tennessee,  a farmer, married 21 JAN 1858, in Dekalb County, Missouri, Francis Melvina MATHIS, born 17 OCT 1840, Andrew County, Missouri, (daughter of Littleton MATHIS and Jane TODD) died 14 JUL 1926, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma and was buried 16 JUL 1926, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma.

Samuel died 24 FEB 1917, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma, buried in 1917, Enid Cemetery, Garfield County, Oklahoma. He served in the Civil War as a Private in Company H, the First Missory S.M. Cavalry out of DeKalb County, Missouri. He earned distinction as a Military Service Metal Member.

Samuel lived with his parents until about 1850, then with his wife and children in Gentry County, Missouri about 1858-1880. They moved to Sheridan (now Kingfisher County) in Oklahoma Territory about 1890. Samuel RAINEY is enumerated as a participant of the April, 1893, Oklahoma Land Rush--the largest of the reknown runs.

Samuel Sweeney RAINEY lived here until his death. His sons, George and William lived in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma during this period, along with their uncle, Samuel's youngest brother, John. George purchased land in Kingfisher on Sept. 28, 1889 and later sold this 160 acre tract to his uncle, John Rainey, February 28, 1890. Samuel's son William also purchased land May 17, 1890 in Kingfisher, 160 acres on a five year note, from John A. Bell. William was the 1900 census enumerator for the Skeleton area of Kingfisher County.

Samuel and Francis' Children:

I.William Thomas RAINEY born 18 NOV 1858, King City, Gentry County, Missouri, employed as a Truck Farmer, married   05 AUG 1877, in Gentry County, Missouri, Elizabeth MYRICK, born 09 OCT 1861, Gentry County, Missouri, (daughter of Charles Wesley MYRICK and Rebecca J WARD) died 15 DEC 1937, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma, and was buried in 1937, Enid Cemetery, Garfield County, Oklahoma. 

William died 25 FEB 1958, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma, and was buried in the Enid Cemetery, Garfield County, Oklahoma.  William purchased land May 17, 1890 in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma, 160 acres on a five year note, from John A. Bell. He was also the 1900 census enumerator for Skeleton, Kingfisher County, Oklahoma. A W.T. Rainey appears in 1906, Skeleton, Kingfisher County (19 North, Range 5, Section13) a few miles from John Rainey, his uncle.

II.  Anna Mabel RAINEY born 15 MAY 1861, Missouri,  married Levy Newton HOBBS, who lived in Oklahoma.  Anna died in Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma, and was buried there.

III. Elizabeth Jane RAINEY born 26 JAN 1863, Missouri, married Andy L MATTERSON.  Elizabeth died 1887, Missouri, and was buried in Winslow Cemetery, Dekalb County, Missouri.

IV.  Margaret Matilda RAINEY born 10 DEC 1864, Missouri, married 22 FEB 1882, in Gentry County, Missouri, Rufus E GORE. Margaret died 1885, Missouri, and was buried in Winslow Cemetery, Dekalb County, Missouri.

V.George RAINEY born 02 JAN 1866, Gentryville, Gentry County, Missouri, employed as an   educator/author/historian, married JUL 20 1890, in Orchid, Missouri, to  Luretta GIBSON, born 1871, Missouri, (daughter of Thomas GIBSON and Sarah MCGINNIS).

She was also an educator/historian/writer. Luretta died OCT 1962, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma, and was buried in 1962, Enid Cemetery, Garfield County, Oklahoma. George died 30 MAY 1940, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma, and was buried in 1940, also in the Enid Cemetery, Garfield County, Oklahoma.

George migrated to what soon became the 5th County (now Kingfisher County), Oklahoma in 1889. This trip from St. Joseph, Missouri to Orlando, Oklahoma was on a Sante Fe train so crowded, George found himself standing all the way. He filed a claim on 160 acres of land eight miles east of Hennessey, Kingfisher County.[1]

He taught school and was appointed the first county clerk of "C" county, now Blaine County, by Governor A.J. Saey of Oklahoma Territory when the Cheyenne-Arapahoe country was opened to settlement in 1892. George made the 1893 Land Run into the Cherokee Strip into Garfield County,   Oklahoma, where he taught school and served as school superintendent of Garfield County 1904-1913.[2]

  George was also a member of several organizations. His love for teaching prompted his first published book, "Oklahoma School History", as he saw the need for the schools to have a preserved form of Oklahoma History.

(Officially, the book was co-authored by Frank Wyatt, but Mr. Wyatt was actually in France at the time the text was prepared). The manuscript was soon adopted as the official text for public schools of Oklahoma.  [1] This was only the beginning of a long string of educational books and maps about the history of Oklahoma George would author.

[I have read "No Man's Land-the Story of a Landed Orphan",(Co-Operative Publishing County, Guthrie, Oklahoma, 1937), an history of the settlement of the Oklahoma Cherokee Outlet. From Indiana, I went to an Oklahoma library, who eventually located a copy in the state of Tennessee. George purchased land in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma, September 28, 1889].

George was inducted into the Oklahoma Heritage Hall of Fame in 1938.

[sources for the George Rainey text]
  [1 - "George Rainey, 1866-1940", 'Chronicles of Oklahoma XIX', September 1941 #3, pg.248-249, Isaac Newton McCash
2 -  Letter written by George Rainey to Mr. Scott P. Squyres, Oklahoma Memorial Association, October 28, 1938]

  Luretta has published written works which name George as her husband. She taught high school english at Franklin School, Pawhuska 1913-1916.

VI.  Lucy Cornelia RAINEY born 17 APR 1870, Missouri, died 1890, Missouri, and was buried in Winslow Cemetery, Dekalb County, Missouri.

VII. John Littleton RAINEY born 24 MAR 1872, Gentry County, Missouri, employed in insurance, married 27 FEB 1895, in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma Territory, Oklahoma, Florence Dusene TILBURY, born 25 SEP 1876, Champaign, Illinois, (daughter of Henry TILBURY and Catherine PENNY)
died 07 APR 1950, Hawthorne, California,  and was buried in Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma. John died 07 APR 1940, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma, and was buried there.

VIII.Mary Bell RAINEY born 24 OCT 1874, Missouri, died Pamona, CA.

IX. Harriet "Hattie" RAINEY born 13 FEB 1877, Missouri, married W S BRADLEY.

X. Emma Gertrude RAINEY born 03 SEP 1880, Missouri, married 26 MAY 1899, in Oklahoma Territory, Oklahoma, James WARHURST, lived in Oklahoma,  (son of James Anderson WARHURST and Rufina VINCENT). Emma died 25 JUN 1926, Oklahoma, and was buried in Grandfield, Oklahoma.

Information on this line provided by Jim Morgan 3/2000.


US Federal Censuses for Missouri 1850-1880. Index to Participants of the September, 1893, Oklahoma Land Rush. US Federal Censuses for Oklahoma 1900-1920.

Oklahoma Heritage Association, 2001 - Biography of George Rainey "George Rainey, 1866-1940", 'Chronicles of Oklahoma XIX', September 1941 #3, pgs 248-249, Isaac Newton Cash

"Gentry County, Mo. 1861 Tax Assessor's Book",(Northwest Missouri Genealogy Society, St. Joseph, Mo., June 1982), pg.60. "The 1877 Atlas of Gentry County Missouri",(NW Missouri
Genealogy Society,Jan.1982, pg.61). 171

"Enid Cemetery Records" (1998, Garfield County Genealogists).

Veterans of  Civil and Spanish American Wars, Garfield County, Oklahoma Garfield County Genealogists, Inc. P. O. Box 1106, Enid, Oklahoma 73702

Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma--Federal Land Tract Books for Oklahoma, Volume 3, entries 233 and 237.

"Rainey Times",(Marynell Bryant,ED.,TX), Volume 9, 1989 171


This page was last updated on 04/10/2001.