Josiah Wilson Rainwater was born 10 October 1843 in Pulaski Co., Kentucky to Nancy McLaughlin and Bartholomew Rainwater. He was the youngest of their surviving 10 children.
In November 1861, Josiah enlisted in the 3rd Kentucky Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army. Serving in Company D, he was wounded twice – once in the Battle of Murfreesboro, and later at Marietta, Georgia during Sherman’s march on Atlanta. He was mustered out in January 1865.
Following the war, he returned to Pulaski Co. and married Elizabeth Jane Weddle, the daughter of Martha "Patsy" Tarter and Solomon Weddle. The couple brought nine children into the world, all of whom lived.
In the course of his life, Josiah worked a farmer, merchant, post master, tax collector, deputy sheriff, bank director and school board trustee. He was a Baptist Deacon and Master Scottish Rite Mason. In 1910, he was one of the census enumerators for Wilbarger County.
In 1890, Josiah moved his family from Pulaski Co. to Williamson Co., Texas where he founded the community of Waterloo, named after his boyhood Kentucky home.
In 1907, he moved to Oklaunion, Wilbarger Co., Texas, where he spent the remainder of his life. Josiah died in 1934 at the age of 90. Elizabeth Jane Rainwater outlived her husband by nine years, dying from pneumonia contracted when she went out in a rainstorm to put up the chickens. Both are buried in East View Cemetery, Vernon, Wilbarger Co., Texas.
This photograph is believed to have been taken around the time of their marriage in 1866. The original was owned by the late Betty Rainwater Parker. We photographed Betty’s original in 1997, and this scan was made from that photo.
© 2018 Susan Chance-Rainwater
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