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William S. Rankin
Birth: Sep. 27, 1856
Corpus Christi
Nueces County
Texas, USA
Death: Apr. 12, 1948
Corpus Christi
Nueces County
Texas, USA

Father: James Rankin

Mother: Agnes Brown

Wife: Louise C. Wiedemann

Married: April 16, 1885 at the Lafayette Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA.

Alma Rankin
Philippine Agnes Rankin
Bertrand Fred Rankin

Obituary - Corpus Christi Caller Times

W.S. Rankin Dies at 91

W.S."Bill" Rankin, 91 year old native of Corpus Christi, diat at 3 a.m. today in a local hospital. He had been seriously ill for several weeks and was hospitalized a week ago.

At the time of his death Rankin was the oldest native-born Corpus Christian. His mother and father came here from Glasgow, Scotland in 1853, fifteen years after Col. Henry Kinney, founder of Corpus Christi, came to the village as a trader.

Funeral Tomorrow

The body will lie in state at the residence from 5 until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 o'clock tomorrow morning at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. George West Diehl, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery under direction of Cage-Mills Funeral Home.

Active and honorary pallbearers will be present and past officers of the church.

Rankin had lived in a two story house at 313 South broadway for more than 54 years.

He was born Sept. 27, 1856 in a house where a filling station now stands at Mesquite and Lawrence. This was 10 years before the first official plat of the city of Corpus Christi was drawn.

Rankin's father and an older sister died in a yellow fever epidemic which swept Corpus Christi in 1867. He contracted the disease, but was nursed back to health by his mother.

Five years later, at the age of 16, Rankin adopted a trade. He became a house painter.

Opened Grocery

After six years as a painter, he gave up his trade to become a merchant. Rankin opened a grocery store on the corner of Chaparral and Peoples where the Nueces Hotel now stands.

During subsequent years, he established and sold several grocery stores on Chaparral Street. At one time, Rankin said he fulfilled a boyhood ambition to own a two story building at Chaparral and Schatzell where Lester's Jewelers is located. He said he purchased the property for $6000.

In 1891 Rankin built the original National Bank of Corpus Christi building.

A few years later, he became a stockholder in the city's first major hotel - The Miramar. The Miramar was built north of the bascule bridge. After the hotel was destroyed by fire, the original Spohn Hospial was erected on the site. The hospital was rebuilt at its present location following destruction of the original building in the hurricane of 1919.

Country Club Member

Rankin was a charter member of the first Country Club here. The club was located on North Beach on the site of the North Beach Amusement Park. One of the Rankin's favorite memories in recent years has been that of President William Howard Taft striking the first ball off the tee where the golf course was opened.

From the retail grocery business, Rankn entered the wholesale field. He sold his interests in the wholesale grocery firm, only to re-enter business after the 1919 hurricane. He retired from active business field in 1927 at the age of 71.

Rankin was the oldest member and officer of First Presbyterian Church and was an elder at the time of his death

He maintained a keen interest in church affairs up to his last ilness and was a regular attendant, not only of church services, but of other Presbyterian functions. For years, he regularly attended the Presbyterian Men of the Church meetings.

He was a director of the private waterworks that once served the city. He was one of the leaders in the move to sell the systems to the city.

Wife died in 1942

During his lifetime, Rankin saw Corpus Christi grow from a village of 2,500 persons to its present population of more than 100,000.

His wife, the former Louise Wiedeman of New Orleans, died Nov. 8, 1942.
Family links: 
  Louise C Wiedemann Rankin (1859 - 1942)*
  Philippine Agnes Rankin Clarkson (1887 - 1941)*
  Alma L Rankin Bertch (1896 - 1963)*
*Calculated relationship
Rose Hill Memorial Park
Corpus Christi
Nueces County
Texas, USA
Plot: Fairview Section, Lot 20, Space 9
Created by: Star Rhodes
Record added: Jan 15, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17485884
William S. Rankin
Added by: Star Rhodes
William S. Rankin
Added by: Star Rhodes
William S. Rankin
Added by: Star Rhodes
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- Strings of the Heart
 Added: Dec. 5, 2008

- Jackie
 Added: Apr. 5, 2007
You lived a long and wonderous life. You accomplished much and shared your memories of the past to many who will always cherish them. Well done ye good and faithful servant of God, Rest now in the Arms of the Lord.From the Descendents of William S. Rank...(Read more)
- Star Rhodes
 Added: Jan. 16, 2007
This page is sponsored by: Star Rhodes

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