Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hobdy Greer Rains (1912-1988)

Portrait from the Gadsden Times, April 2, 1966.

  Gadsden, Alabama resident Hobdy Greer Rains distinguished himself in a number of civic and political endeavors in his native city, being an attorney, bank director and Democratic Executive Committee chairman. He earns a place here on the site due to his service as a delegate to the 1952 Democratic National Convention, as well as for his tenure as Judge of the Etowah County Circuit Court.
  Born in DeKalb County, Alabama on March 29, 1912, Hobdy Greer Rains was the son of Will Green and Ola Hamrick Rains. The Rains family resettled in Gadsden in 1916 and Rains' early education occurred in the schools of that county. He briefly studied at Stamford University in Birmingham before enrolling at the University of Alabama, where he earned his bachelor of laws degree. Shortly afterward he would join his uncle Albert McKinley Rains (later to be a ten-term U.S. Representative from Alabama) in the law firm of Rains and Rains.
   Hobdy G. Rains married in 1945 to Constance Novetta Goldman (1924-2005). The couple were wed for over forty years and would remain childless. Long active in Democratic Party proceedings in Alabama, Rains served as part of the Alabama delegation to the 1952 Democratic National Convention in Illinois that nominated Adlai E. Stevenson for the Presidency.
   In addition to his service as a delegate, Rains was a longtime member of the Alabama State Democratic Executive Committee and was its secretary for twenty-eight years. In 1960 he advanced to the State Democratic Steering Committee and prior to his appointment had been selected as one of three attorneys to conduct voter fraud hearings in Phenix City, Alabama in connection with the assassination of Albert Patterson (1894-1954), the Democratic nominee for Alabama Attorney General.  Rains would also hold the directorship of the First City National Bank in Gadsden upon its admission to the Federal Reserve System in 1966.
   Rains continued service on the Democratic Executive Committee into the mid-1970s and in August 1976 was appointed as judge of the Etowah County Circuit Court. He entered into his duties on August 22nd of that year and served until his retirement in 1983, whereafter he held the position of supernumerary judge for the Etowah County Circuit for a short period. Hobdy Greer Rains died in Gadsden on April 18, 1988 at age 76. He was survived by his wife Constance, who, following her death in 2005, was interred alongside her husband at the Forrest Cemetery in Gadsden.

From the Gadsden Times, April 19, 1988.

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