Olivia Rainwater & John Monroe Ganus

John Ganus & Olivia Rainwater

Olivia Rainwater was the fourth child of Joshua Rainwater and Mary “Polly” Peterson. She was born Feb. 20, 1831 in Hall Co., Georgia. Joshua and Polly Rainwater moved their family to Carroll Co., Georgia by 1840.

On October 7, 1852, Olivia married John Monroe Ganus, son of James Ganus and Elizabeth McCloskey. John and Olivia lived in Polk Co., Georgia for the first few years after they married. They moved with their family to Calhoun Co., Alabama in 1860, Cleburne Co., Alabama in 1861, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1867. By 1870 they were back in Georgia, this time in Haralson Co., Georgia where they remained until 1887. John and Olivia had eight children, but only five sons survived to become adults.

On Sept. 15, 1871, Olivia, then 30 years old and with five children, obtained a teaching certificate, qualifying her to teach in the common schools. It is not known if she actually taught.

In 1887, John and Olivia, along with their sons, (some married) boarded a train and moved to Colorado. They initially settled in Manassa, Colorado located in the southern end of the state. John and his sons worked in the mines of Summitville, high in the mountains. The winters were long and harsh and they struggled to adjust to the cold climate. By 1900, John and Olivia, along with their sons, moved to the milder climate of Indian Territory, Oklahoma. Olivia Rainwater Ganus died two years later on September 12, 1902 in Okmulgee, OK and John followed just a little over three years later on April 9, 1906.

Photo supplied and biography written by Michelle Ganus Taggart

© 2018 Michelle Ganus Taggart
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