VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
JOSEPH WESLEY RAINEY.
SURNAMES: PHILBRICK, HANCOCK
A man who has contributed to the pleasure of the music loving people
and has done his share to raise the standard of music in San Jose is
Prof. Joseph Wesley Rainey, a native of County. Antrim, Ireland, born
October 8, 1838, a son of Hugh and Sarah Rainey. The father was a
farmer and died when our subject was three years of age. When a lad of
ten years he came to Birmingham, Mich., where he attended the public
school. He showed much talent for music, possessing a splendid voice
and he continued the study of music under Migalo Signor, a well-known
teacher of his time in Detroit, and later Mr. Rainey m as engaged in
teaching singing. During the Civil War he showed his patriotism by
volunteering his services, enlisting in Company D, Twenty-second
Michigan Volunteer Infantry, on September 3, 1862, taking part in the
battles of Danville and Hickman bridge, Ky., Peavine Creek,
Chickamauga, Wauhatchie and Missionary Ridge, Tenn., Atlanta, Ga. He
was mustered out at Nashville, Tenn., June 26, 1865.
Mr. Rainey was
married December 16, 1868, at Birmingham, Mich., to Miss Hattie
Philbrick, who was born at Troy, Mich., a daughter of Henry Philbrick,
a native of New York State and a successful voice teacher in Michigan.
Hattie Philbrick studied piano and voice and possessed a beautiful alto
voice. They were located at Pontiac, Mich., where Mr. Rainey was
chorister of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Mrs. Rainey was the
organist, and in that city, too, he taught voice.
interested in the Pacific Coast region, Mr. and Mrs. Rainey removed to
San Jose in 1883, where they became well known in music circles, Mr.
Rainey as a teacher of voice and Mrs. Rainey as a teacher of piano. He
was leader of the Methodist Episcopal choir for two years and the
Presbyterian choir for seven years; at the same time Mrs. Rainey served
as the organist. At the end of this period, Mrs. Rainey became organist
for the True Life Church at Eden-vale, a position she filled for
eighteen years, at the same time being a member of the church. Prof.
Rainey continued teaching in San Jose and at the same time sang at the
Catholic churches in that city for about thirty years, the last
engagement being at St. Joseph's Church, over a period of nine years.
Possessing a very sweet and pure tenor voice, he gave his audiences
much pleasure by his interpretation and clear rendition of solos, and
continued his singing until eighty-one years of age. He and Mrs. Rainey
now live retired, spending a part of the year in San Jose and the
balance at their orchard home in the Lakeside district of the Santa
Cruz Mountains, where he owns fifteen acres devoted to the culture of
prunes, being an enthusiastic member of the Prune and Apricot Growers
Association. Thus at this cozy country home, Mr. and Mrs. Rainey in
their liberal and kind-hearted way dispense a generous hospitality.
They have one daughter Lessie M., the wife of Prof. Joseph E. Hancock,
head of the Grant grammar school in San Jose, the parents of two
children Velda and Joseph Rainey Hancock. Mr. Rainey is a Knights
Templar Mason, a Knight of Pythias and a member of Sheridan-Dix Post
No. 7, G. A. R., and with his wife
is a member of the Eastern Star. They now look back upon their
interesting and pleasant careers in San Jose with much pleasure and are
delighted that so much of their active life was spent in this beautiful
Santa Clara Valley.