Brian Hart

RANKIN, GEORGE CLARK (1849–1915). George Clark Rankin, minister, editor, and social reformer, was born to Creed Wilson and Martha Jane (Clark) Rankin on November 19, 1849, in Jefferson County, Tennessee. He received little formal education as a youth, as he was forced to work to help support his family after the death of his father in 1860. In 1865 the family moved to Georgia, where Rankin worked on a farm. At eighteen years of age he entered an academy in Bradley County, Tennessee, where he remained for three years, and then he completed an additional year's schooling at Resaca, Georgia. Rankin then entered Hiwassee College, in Monroe County, Tennessee, where he completed his education about 1873. He married Fannie L. Denton of Dalton, Georgia, on September 30, 1875. The couple raised six children. Rankin was ordained a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1871 and preached in various churches across the South, beginning in southwestern Virginia in 1873. Three years later he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was minister at the Church Street Methodist Episcopal Church for four years. In 1880 he received an honorary doctorate of divinity from the University of Tennessee. The succeeding twelve years took him to churches in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Asheville, North Carolina, and Kansas City, Missouri. In 1892 Rankin accepted the pastorship of the Shearn Memorial Church in Houston, Texas. Four years later he moved to Dallas, having been selected minister of the First Methodist Church. He resigned this post in 1898, following his election to the position of editor of the Texas Christian Advocate, the journal of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Texas (see UNITED METHODIST REPORTER). He held this office until his death. As an advocate of prohibition, he was influential in the adoption of dry ordinances in some 150 Texas counties. He was a Mason and a lifelong Democrat. In 1912 he published his autobiography, Story of My Life. He died at his home in Dallas on February 2, 1915.

Dallas Morning News, February 3, 1915. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Brian Hart, "RANKIN, GEORGE CLARK," accessed February 29, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fra38.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...