Good intellectual training, thorough professional knowledge and the
possession and utilization of the qualities and attributes essential to
success, have made the subject of this review eminent in his chosen calling,
and he stands today among the enterprising and successful physicians in a
community noted for its high order of medical talent, while at the same time
he has won the confidence and esteem of the people of Marion and adjoining
counties for his upright life and genial disposition.
Dr. George S. Rainey was born in Salem, Illinois, May 18, 1849, and he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rainey, Scotch-Irish people of the best ancestry as far back as it can be traced. The father was a Kentuckian, who came to Illinois as early as 1832, settling in Marion county on a farm which he transformed from a practically wild tract to a highly improved and productive farm. When the doctor was two years old, his father moved on a farm near Walnut Hill, Marion county. He was a man of many sterling qualities, like those of most pioneers, and he became a man of considerable influence in this county, being known as an honest and worthy citizen in every respect. He was called from his earthly labors in 1868. The subject's mother, a woman of praiseworthy character, was known in her maidenhood as Margaret Cunningham, and was also a native of Kentucky; her father, a man of unusual fortitude and sterling character, moved to Illinois in 1824. Seven children of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rainey died in infancy. Their other children are: Dr. J. K. Rainey, the oldest child, died in Florida; Matthew was a surgeon in the One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the Union Army, and was the first soldier from Marion county to fall in the Civil war, having lost his life at the battle of Bellmont while a member of the Twenty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry; Dr. A. H. Rainey, of Centralia, Illinois.
Our subject was a mere lad during the war between the states, but he felt it his duty to sever home ties and offer his services in defense of the flag, consequently he enlisted in the Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry when he lacked two months of being sixteen years old, but his bravery and gallantry were equal to that of the oldest veteran in the regiment. He served in the campaign around Petersburg, Richmond, and was at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, thus being in some of the bloodiest engagements of the war. After receiving an honorable discharge he returned home and assisted his father with the farm work, attending the neighboring schools, completing the high school course at Salem, standing in the front rank of his class, for he was a diligent student and made the best use possible of his time. Believing that his talents lay along medical lines he began studying for a career as a physician. He graduated in medicine in 1875 at the Louisville Medical College. He at once began practice in Salem, his success being instantaneous, and he has been here ever since having always had a very large practice in this vicinity and throughout the county.
Dr. Rainey has taken a post-graduate course in the New York Polyclinic Institute of Physicians and Surgeons, having spent the winter of 1888 in the school just mentioned. Dr. Rainey has also taken special courses in medical colleges in St. Louis and Chicago consequently he is today and has been for many years at the head of his profession, being so recognized by the eminent practitioners of medicine in other parts of Illinois. He has also been connected with the Baltimore & Ohio and Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroads as surgeon ever since he has been in practice.
The subject has been a member of the United States Pension Board of Salem for twenty-five years. The doctor is at all times patriotic and ever ready to serve his country, consequently when the war with Spain broke out he offered his services and was commissioned a surgeon in the United States army, but the war terminated before he saw active service.
Doctor Rainey's happy and tranquil domestic life dates from 1878, when he was married to May McMackin, the cultured and accomplished daughter of Col. W. E. McMackin of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Colonel McMackin was for many years one of the best known and most influential men in his community.
To doctor and Mrs. Rainey one son has been born, Warren R., who, in 1908, is a student in the medical department of the Northwestern University at Chicago, where he is making an excellent record.
Doctor Rainey is the owner of a large and fine fruit farm which is very valuable, and he takes a great interest in it and horticultural subjects, devoting considerable time to the culture of fine fruits. He has been in general practice ever since his graduation, and as indicated above, not only stands high in his immediate community but also with his fellow practitioners at large, being a member of the County, State and National Medical Association, also of the American Railway Surgeons of America.
Fraternally he is a loyal member of the Masonic Order and carries out its sublime doctrines in his relations with his fellow men. He is a Presbyterian in his religious faith, and in politics he is a stanch advocate of the principles and policies of the Republican party, with which he has always been affiliated. Though never animated with ambition for political preferment he has ever lent his aid in furthering the party cause, and is well fortified in his political convictions, while he is at all times public-spirited to an extent of loyalty.
Extracted 03 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 152-154.