Biography of J. L. Raines

J. L. Raines.  The bankers of Kansas paid a significant honor to J. L. Raines in 1916 when they elected him president for the year of the Kansas State Bankers Association. Mr. Raines is a country banker, president of the Bank of Perry, and while most of his financial service had been rendered in connection with that institution his range of vision and judgment had not been confined by the limits of his experience.

Mr. Raines took the lead in establishing and organizing the Bank of Perry in 1890, his principal associate being W. H. Huddleston, of Oskaloosa. It was started under a state charter. It had grown and flourished and now had a capital and surplus of $25,000, and had had an enviable record throughout the more than a quarter of a century of its existence. The bank building, erected in 1890, is a modern brick structure on Front Street in Perry. The present officers are: J. L. Raines, president; Thomas Lee, vice president; V. C. Raines, cashier; and Edna Baines, assistant cashier.

J. L. Raines was born in Pettis County, Missouri, December 24, 1852, but had spent most of his life in Jefferson County, Kansas. His father is the venerable H. C. Raines, now living, at the age of eighty-seven, in Perry. The Raines ancestors came out of England and settled in North Carolina in Colonial times. The grandfather was born in North Carolina in 1798, and was a pioneer in that district of Missouri south of the Missouri River. He spent his active career as a farmer, partly in Missouri and partly in Iowa, and died at Malvern in Mills County of the latter state in 1880. The maiden name of his wife was Hironymus, a native of North Carolina, who died at Malvern, Iowa, in 1883, at the age of eighty-four. They were long lived and sturdy stock, and while both of them exceeded the four score mark they still have thres children living at about the same age. These are H. C. Raines; Mary, who lives at Sedalia, Missouri, widow of James Roberts, who was a farmer; and A. W., a farmer at Malvern, Iowa.

H. C. Raines was born in Pettis County, Missouri, September 3, 1830, and grew up there on a farm. On October 3, 1850, he married Hester Aun Stringfield. She was born in Edmondson County, Kentucky, December 10, 1838, and at the close of a long life died at Perry, Kansas, March 29, 1917, aged eighty-four years, three months, nineteen days. She and her husband had lived fifty-one years in Kansas, and in all that long time hers was the first death to break the family circle. She bad grown up in the vicinity of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, but when about ten years of age her parents, L. H. and Melinda Stringfield, moved to Longwood, Pettis County, Missouri. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Raines removed to Sydney, Iowa, and in the spring of 1854 located near Malvern in Mills County of that state. That was their home until they came to Kansas in the spring of 1866 and located on a farm along the bottoms of the Delaware River in Jefferson County. For twenty-eight years they lived on that homestead and improved it from a wilderness condition. There the children grew up and one by one went away into the varied activities which called them, and finally the father and mother on May 1, 1894, moved to Perry, where they had the home of their declining years. H. C. Raines is a republican, and he is an active member of the Methodist Church, as was his wife. The sturdy sons bore the casket of their beloved mother to its last resting place. Thirteen children were born to them, three of whom died in infancy. The record of the others is; W. R. Raines, a farmer at Ozawkie; J. L. Raines; J. W. Raines, a fruit grower at Santa Clara, California; Mary, wife of F. G. Stark, a farmer at Perry, Kansas; D. W., a Methodist Episcopal minister living at Spokane, Washington; G. W. Raines, the present county clerk of Jefferson County, living at Oskaloosa; Oscar, an attorney practicing law at Topeka; E. G. Raines, in the real estate business at Oakland, California; E. L. Raines, a real estate broker at Perry, Kansas; and Emma, wife of H. C. Gerber, a farmer at Meriden, Kansas.

J. L. Raines received his education in the public schools of Malvern, Iowa, and afterward attended school in Jefferson County, Kansas. He then completed his course through the sophomore year in the University of Kansas, and left the university in 1876 to remove to California, where for eight years he was engaged in teaching. On returning to Kansas in 1884 he became county superintendent of schools and filled that office with credit and efficiency in Jefferson County for four years. In 1890, as already noted, Mr. Raines engaged in the banking business, and was cashier of the Bank of Parry from that year until 1908, when he succeeded the late John F. Goepfert as president. Besides the Kansas Bankers Association he is also a member of the American Bankers Association.

Mr. Raines had his residence at Topeka, at 1418 Fillmore Street. He also owned four acres of land within the city limits of Perry. He had served on the Perry School Board, is a republican in politics, is a member of Perry Lodge No. 415, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, is past noble grand of Perry Lodge No. 45, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and belongs to Perry Council of the Knights and Ladies of Security and to the Kansas Fraternal Aid Union.

In 1877, at Joplin, Missouri, he married Miss Fannie Carson, daughter of G. B. and Adeline (Cole) Carson, both now deceased. Her father was a pioneer merchant in Perry, Kansas, but after a number of years removed to Joplin, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Raines have four children: Maidee, who died in 1901, the wife of Dr. A. C. Zimmerman, a physician and surgeon at Perry; V. C. Raines, cashier of the Bank of Perry; Edna, living with her parents and acting as assistant cashier of the bank; and Ronald, who died at Perry in 1910, at the age of seventeen.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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