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Susan Spratt Polk Rayner
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Birth: May 25, 1822
Raleigh
Wake County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Jul. 10, 1909
Fort Worth
Tarrant County
Texas, USA

Susan Spratt Polk was born in Raleigh, Wake Co, NC the 10th of 12 known children born to Revolutionary War veteran and wealthy landowner Col. William J. Polk and his (2nd) wife, Sarah Sophia "Sally" Hawkins. She is the paternal granddaughter of General Thomas Polk & Susanna "Susan" Spratt of Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co, VA; and the maternal granddaughter of wealthy planter Philomen Hawkins III and Lucy Davis of Warren Co, NC.

Susan was 20 years old when she married the 34-year old lawyer and politician, Kenneth Rayner of Bertie Co, NC, on July 12, 1842. The marriage resulted in 8 known children being born: Mary Brown Rayner(1843-1844); Sallie Polk Rayner (1844-1905), who married Col. Joseph Henry Hyman of Tarboro and moved to Texas; Henry Albert Rayner (1847-1859); Kenneth Rayner Jr. (1849-1885); Fannie Polk Rayner (1851-1855); Susan Polk Rayner (1855-1910), who married Arthur Glennan; William Polk Rayner (1857-1885); and Hamilton Polk Rayner (1860-1932).

At one point, the Rayners lived in Col. William Polk's house who had died in 1834. The house, which was a grand residence in those days, had built by the Colonel just out of the city limits, fronting Blount Street. Later, in 1872, this house, after being owned by Hon. Kenneth Rayner for many years, was moved to one side to allow for the extension of Blount Street in Raleigh.

After the Civil War, her husband's political prospects had wained, and he removed the family to Memphis, Tennessee and from there to Mississippi (much to Susan's dismay, as she hated country life), where he owned cotton plantations as he did in Arkansas. These ventures went belly up, and Rayner, ill and depressed, declared bankruptcy in 1868.

Although for almost 30 years, Susan Polk Rayner had refused to spend Summers on the NC plantations they owned, after Rayner went bankrupt, she boldly checked out land without consulting her husband. In 1869, she used the remainder of her own legacy to purchase a farm south of Memphis in Desoto Co, MS, where she moved the family. This moved helped the family recoup their finances, and but she was delighted when her husband received the political appointment in 1874, and they could move to Washington, DC.

The Hon. Kenneth Rayner died in Washington, DC in 1888, at the age of 75. His remains were returned to Raleigh where he was interred at Old City Cemetery in Raleigh, NC, near 3 of his children: Mary Brown Rayner, Henry Albert Rayner, and Fannie Polk Rayner.

His widow, Susan Polk Rayner, moved to Texas, as did her surviving children. She died 25 years after her husband, passing in 1909 at age 87.

His sons seemed to have inherited is fiery temper and penchant for brawling. While deputy US revenue collector in Fort Worth, William Polk Rayner, killed the proprietor of a gambling hall in a conflict over a woman of dubious character. He pleaded self-defense at his trial and was acquitted. He was a Deputy US Marshal in Dallas, then moved to El Paso where late one night in 1885 while he was gambling in a saloon with Wyatt Earp, a brawl erupted among the patrons during which Rayner was shot in the arm and abdomen. He died over a month later of his wounds.

Son, Hamilton Polk Rayner, was appointed the town Marshal of Hunnewell, Kansas, a rough cattle town where at the age of 23 he cleared out a gang of ruffians, six-guns blazing. Later served as deputy sheriff in Tarrant and Hood counties, Texas. He was the last surviving son (died 1939) and moved to El Paso to be special agent for the Southern Pacific Railroad and a Texas Ranger.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Polk (1758 - 1834)
  Sarah Sophia Hawkins Polk (1784 - 1843)
 
 Spouse:
  Kenneth Rayner (1808 - 1884)*
 
 Children:
  Annie Polk Rayner*
  Mary Brown Rayner (1843 - 1844)*
  Sallie Polk Rayner Hyman (1845 - 1905)*
  Henry Albert Rayner (1847 - 1859)*
  Frances Polk Rayner (1851 - 1855)*
  William Polk Rayner (1857 - 1885)*
  Hamilton Polk Rayner (1859 - 1932)*
 
 Siblings:
  Thomas Gilchrist Polk (1791 - 1869)**
  William Julius Polk (1793 - 1860)**
  Lucius Junius Polk (1802 - 1870)*
  Lucinda Davis Polk (1804 - 1805)*
  Leonidas Polk (1806 - 1864)*
  Mary Brown Polk Badger (1808 - 1835)*
  Alexander Hamilton Polk (1810 - 1830)*
  John Hawkins Polk (1812 - 1813)*
  Rufus King Polk (1814 - 1846)*
  George Washington Polk (1817 - 1892)*
  Susan Spratt Polk Rayner (1822 - 1909)
  Andrew Jackson Polk (1824 - 1867)*
  Charles Junius Polk (1828 - 1831)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Oakwood Cemetery
Fort Worth
Tarrant County
Texas, USA
Plot: Lot 12, Space 2
 
Created by: pbfries
Record added: May 30, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37695101
Susan Spratt <i>Polk</i> Rayner
Added by: Debbie Gibbons
 
Susan Spratt <i>Polk</i> Rayner
Added by: Gerry Gieger
 
Susan Spratt <i>Polk</i> Rayner
Added by: Gerry Gieger
 
 
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- Bill Grimm
 Added: Jan. 25, 2015
26 JULY 1885 Galveston Tx.Colonel J H Hyman and wife, and mother in law, Mrs. Kenneth Rayner have gone to Dallas, having been summoned to the sick bed of Kenneth Rayner Jr., a brother in law of Colonel Hyman and son of Mrs. Kenneth Ryner. Sr.
- Nadine
 Added: Nov. 20, 2013
From your great-great granddaughter.Nancy Glennan Tomberlin
- Nancy Glennan Tomberlin
 Added: Jun. 28, 2011
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