Annie Bell Heads was the sixth child of Walter and Nancy Heads. Born on February 3, 1912, Annie attended the Carrollton “colored” school. On September 19, 1932, Annie married Charlie “Wash” Rainwater, the son of George W. Rainwater and Delia Bush.
Annie and Wash had eight children, two of whom died as infants. The Rainwater family lived on a property belonging to Annie’s grandfather. The land located on Keller Springs is the exact location of Mary Heads Carter Park, named after Annie’s cousin.
Annie Rainwater was a homemaker and helped her husband Charlie run the farm. They instilled in their children the same virtues and Christian beliefs that her grandfather Rufus had instilled in his children.
In 1961, Charlie Rainwater died. Her children remember their mother saying, “Lord, I’m in your Holy care,” as she adjusted their lifestyle to keep the family going. Known as a hard working, yet friendly outgoing person, Annie never hesitated to lend a hand. When the need became apparent for an all Negro church in the Keller Springs Road community, Annie joined her relatives and friends in organizing a church.
Annie had visions of her children being educated in the city where she owned land as her father and her grandfather had. In 1962, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Schools were completely segregated. Elementary-aged students attended a small Negro school; however, Negro high school students did not attend school in Carrollton. Instead, Annie’s children and others were bussed on a tedious journey to a school near downtown Dallas. When the Dallas Independent School District no longer accepted out-of-district students, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch School District transferred black students to Denton’s all black school. Although a Carrollton property owner, Annie could not educate her children in the city where they lived.
Annie Heads Rainwater, along with other neighbors, agreed that a change was needed. Someone had to take a stand, and she volunteered. Mrs. Rainwater filed a lawsuit on behalf of her children and won. Her efforts implemented the integration of Carrollton-Farmers Branch Schools. In September 1963, Annie Heads Rainwater’s vision became a reality when her daughter Nancy was the first student to step off the bus at R. L. Turner High School.
Annie Heads Rainwater passed away on September 18, 1992. In 1994, the Carrollton ISD dedicated the Annie Heads Rainwater Elementary School in her honor.
This photograph and biography were excerpted courtesy of the Annie Heads Rainwater Elementery School webpage from a profile written by her daughters, Nancy Rainwater Williams and Rhonda Williams Jefferson.
© 2018 Nancy Rainwater Williams and Rhonda Williams Jefferson
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