Friday, May 6, 2011

Grave Is Marked for Beloved, But Forgotten, Local Citizen

I am not sure of the date that this was published but it ran in the Atlanta Journal. A.D. Rainwater was my great, great uncle and Rev James Rainwater is my fourth great-grandfather on my patrilineal grandmother's side. I have more information on this family if anyone is interested.

Grave Is Marked for Beloved, But Forgotten, Local Citizen

By A. D. Rainwater

Down at Ramah church cemetery near Palmetto, lie the ashes of Rev. James Rainwater, whose grave was almost obliterated and whose memory was almost in oblivion for all who knew him have passed away.

Rev. Rainwater was born in South Carolina in 1796, while our first President George Washington was still living. He moved his family to Old Campbell County and located four miles from Palmetto in a little place know as Petersburg, where he became a large plantation and slave owner, owning all the land from there to Palmetto.

He reared a large family consisting of six daughters and three sons, who also married and reared families which now number in the thousands, many of whom have proved to be good and useful citizens. Some of the better known and distinguished descendants were the late Rev. Miles Mason and his son Walter, who was office manager or  a large Atlanta Commercial concern;  the late Col. J. F. Golightly; Rev. Joe Duncan; Jet Luck, who was once tax collector of Old Campbell County.

Then there are those of a more recent era -- the late Miss Mattie Luck who spent most of her life teaching school; Mr Urvyl Golightly, head teller for First National Bank at Five Points; Dr. Tom Luck, Druggist and former Mayor of Carrollton; Judge Thomas L. Camp and his sister, Mrs. Annie Sarah Johnston, teacher and wife of Hon. Robert H. Johnston, Mayor of Fairburn; they were the children of the late Sheriff Tom W, Camp and Mrs. Lula Duggan Camp; Mayor James A Rainwater, United States Air Force; Opal Rainwater Bundy, U. S. Nurse Corps. Rev. Gene Dailey and others.

    Rev. James Rainwater, while a slave owner, was not a slave driver. He often went to the field and took the front row, leading them and when the Civil War ended and the slaves were free, they didn’t want to leave him. But he dismissed them with his blessing and enough money to get started on their own. But “Uncle Gill” stayed around with the family where he was cared for until his death.

    Rev. James Rainwater preached twenty-five years each at Macedonia Baptist Church in Coweta County. (Pineywood) now Providence Baptist Church at Rico, and another church near Villa Rica, where he met and married his last wife, the widow Dobbs, sister of the late Judge John S. and Asa G. Candler’s father and mother of the late Samuel Dobbs, who was president to the Coca Cola Company.

His first wife Polly was the mother of all his children died in 1858.

He pastored Ramah Church twenty-six years until he was so feeble he had to be tied in an arm chair to preach his farewell sermon. He died in 1871.

Instead of the old, rusted cut iron grave cover, there are now neat but inexpensive, granite markers at his and his wife's graves. The plot is enclosed with cement blocks and covered with cement to keep down the weeds. This is covered with crushed marble. Now those of you who know you are descendants of this great and honorable man as well as those who never knew such a man lived may visit his grave and feel proud that you are one of his descendents.

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