Moses Fowler Rainwater

Moses Fowler Rainwater was born 18 Jul 1804, the son of James Rainwater and Charity Fowler. Born in Richmond County, North Carolina, he moved with his family to Tennessee prior to settling in Missouri.

On 18 October 1832, Moses married Elizabeth Clay Oliver in Anderson County, Tennessee. The couple produced nine children. Their first two children were born in Tennessee - Juliet Oliver, born 3 Aug 1833, and Katherine Crosier, born 11 Nov 1835. The remaining seven children were born in Ray County Missouri - Charles Cicero, born 6 Apr 1838; Margaret Ann, born 2 May 1840; Sarah Frances Asbury, born 1 May 1842; James K. Polk, born Jan 1845 and died of pneumonia 5 Mar 1852; Amelia H. McPherson, born 8 Mar 1847; Mary Elizabeth, born 22 Nov 1849; and Alice M., born 19 Mar 1857.

Moses Fowler was by occupation a Methodist minister and country doctor. In her book A Short History of Caldwell Co., Missouri, Bertha Ellis Booth writes: “Rev. John Stone and Rev. Winant Vanderpool, both Primitive (or Old School) Baptists from Ray County, held occasional services in the cabins of the first settlers along Shoal Creek in 1832-33. During the Mormon periods, most of the preaching in the county was done by preachers of that faith. The first sermon after their departure was preached June 1839 by Rev. Rainwater, a Methodist from Knoxville. He held services at the home of a new settler west of Kingston. The yard was crowded with people who had come a great distance to hear the gospel. The field looked so promising that in 1840 another preacher came to the county and organized churches at Far West and the community west of Kingston.”

Describing his work as a physician, his daughter-in-law, Sarah Fowler Rainwater, wrote: “Father Rainwater was a country doctor, and went far and near to his patients. ‘Old Doc’ was routed out any time of night or day, hot or cold.”

In his later years, Moses Fowler Rainwater and his wife took up residence with his son and daughter-in-law, Sarah Fowler and Charles Cicero Rainwater. They are listed in Charles Cicero’s St. Louis home in the 1880 census. Regarding this, Sarah Fowler Rainwater, wrote: “Major Rainwater was always glad that we could care for mother and father in their declining years. It was a pleasure to have them with us.”

Moses Fowler Rainwater passed away on 3 January 1886, and his wife Elizabeth followed him in death on 18 August 1895. Both are buried in New Hope Cemetery in Ray County, Missouri.

Related artifacts

This photograph comes from the Rainwater Researcher, Volume 4, Issue 1, Winter 1998. The newsletter does not indicate who owns it.