William Pinkney Trainer was born in 1869. Turning back the pages of history to that era would show a very different world than ours in 2008. That year the Transcontinental Railroad was completed with a golden spike in Utah and the Suez Canal was finished. Andrew Johnson was president and transportation was by horse and buggy.
The Liberty Statue was presented to the U.S. by France the year “Will” was seven. Does the name Alexander Graham ring a “Bell”? The telephone was invented that year. In 1893 Thomas Edison was displaying electric cars in Chicago. The Spanish American War started in 1898. In 1903 when “Will” was 34, Orville and Wilbur Wright had the first manned flight in history. The distance flown was 120 feet. This event had such an effect on the Trainer family that two of Will Trainer’s grandsons were named “Orville” and “Wilbur”.
In 1908 Henry Ford introduced the mass produced and gasoline powered Model “T” which had a profound effect on the U. S. automobile market. Can you imagine being in a horse and buggy and seeing your first automobile? It was an exciting time.
In 1912 the Titanic hit an iceberg and 1,503 people died. In 1913 the 16th Amendment established income tax. In 1914 World War I began in Europe and Woodrow Wilson was president.
Time moves on and the 18th Amendment introduced the prohibition of intoxicating liquors. 1920 sees the 19th Amendment passed which brought women the vote. 1929 began the Great Depression that was a great hardship for our nation. In 1935 the Social Security Act was passed. 1939 was the year Hitler started WW II by attacking Poland.
“Will” died in 1944 not living to see the first atomic bomb exploded or the end of WW II in 1945.
With this period of history in mind, our family honors “Will” Trainer. The particulars of his life are as follows :
William Pinkney Trainer was born June 5, 1869 to David James and Sara Jane Page Johnson Trainer. The group photo shows the family of W.P. Trainer (Top row Left to Right: Bessie Stobaugh, John Trainer, *W.P. Trainer and Annie Smith). (Bottom row Left to Right: David James Trainer, Fannie Kidder, Sarah Trainer and Bob Johnson.) Bob Johnson was half-brother to W.P. Trainer and served as sheriff of Blanco County for several years.
Will Trainer was raised close to Blanco on a farm and ranch. On January 13, 1892, he married Susie Rodema Byars (as shown in the wedding photo). They built the home (as shown in the picture) in Blanco when they moved to town from the ranch. The house has been remodeled and still stands near the Blanco Fire Department off the square in Blanco. Will and Susie had three children: Goldwin Eugene Trainer, Eula Rodema Trainer, and Vernon Adley trainer.
Goldwin Eugene Trainer married Laura Etta Weir on March 30th, 1913. They had three children: Wyatt Eugene Trainer, Ruby Trainer, and Erline Trainer.
Eula Rhodema Trainer was born May 22, 1896. She married Boyd Carl Hill on August 26, 1914. They had five sons: Orville, Morrace, Lindell, Carl and W.T. the youngest who died at the age of five months. Eula Trainer moved back to Blanco after her divorce. Will Trainer helped to raise the four sons that she had. They said he was a very kind man and taught them to fish and hunt.
Vernon Adley Trainer was born June 14, 1904. He married Viola Capus on February 27, 1930. Vernon was one of the best piano players but could not read music. He and Viola had three children: Vernon Jr., Barbara Jean and Thomas William.
Will was the ancestor of Will N. Trainer, the third family to move into the Blanco area.
Will Trainer died January 1, 1944. His wife Susie, died July 5, 1967. He was a very tall, distinctive man (as shown in the picture) who was well respected in the community. They are buried in the southeast corner of the Blanco Cemetery that was 150 years old in 2007.
For anyone interested in Will Trainer’s ancestors, please refer to Bernice West’s excellent informative article published previously on February 27th in the Blanco County News. (“Trainers Helped Settle Blanco Valley”) The Blanco Library also has a copy of the Trainer birth record from 1808-1965 prepared by Eula Trainer Hill Cunningham, daughter of Will Trainer.
Will and Susie Trainer were honored in a presentation on March 8th in the Byar’s Building on the square in Blanco. The family was represented by 4 great grandchildren( Leslie “Wayne” Hill; Julie Hill Swofford; David Hill; and Phyllis Hill Edmondson) and one great niece of Susie Trainer’s (Retta Martin). The oldest living Trainers unable to attend the presentation are Wyatt Trainer and Ruby Weisinger , both grand children of Will Trainer.
The descendants of the Will and Susie Trainer family are very proud of their heritage. The family was hard working, very independent and had great dignity. We were happy to share their memory on the 150th year celebration of Blanco County with visitors and citizens of Blanco.