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Beacon Senior News

Do you know this Fruita family?

Do you know this Fruita family? Charles W. Cain and relatives

Editor’s note: Reader Jane Winslow reached out for our help in locating friends and family members of the late Charles W. Cain, whose family were some of Fruita’s first residents. Jane was Charles’ friend and caregiver in his final years. When he died in November 2020, she inherited numerous photo albums filled with old photographs of people, some of local historical significance. If you know these people, or recognize their names, email [email protected] or call 970-243-8829.


Did you know Charles Cain?

Charles William Cain (Rait) was born under the name H. D. Anderson in Glenwood Springs on May 10, 1932. He was born to Ethel Cain and Walter Rait, a married man when they had an indiscretion in the backseat of a car. 

Ethel handed off the baby to her sister, Winnie, who raised Charles. Eventually, Ethel moved to New York to work for the FBI. She sent Charles money, but never took him back. 

The Cain family bought some land in Fruita and moved there in the late 1800s. Charles grew up working on the ranch. He graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1950 and went to aviation school. In 1984, he left for California and worked for Rockwell International and then Boeing Aircraft, helping to build the B1 Bomber.

He met Mary Wagner in California, and they married in Ouray. They were married for 16 years before Mary passed away in 1996. 

In Grand Junction, Charles worked with Jane’s husband at Albertson’s on 12th and Orchard. He had serious back problems, and several surgeries ruined him to the point that he was bent over for the rest of his life. He retired in 2014 and moved to Mesa View Retirement in January 2016. 

Charles and Jane shared a friendship that lasted four years. She also took on the responsibility of caring for him. When he needed more care, she moved him to a nursing center in Palisade, where he passed away on November 9, 2020.

Charles had no known living relatives. While he was still living, Jane became interested in his story and started researching his genealogy. Among his possessions, she came across albums containing photos and names of people that were connected to him or his family. It’d be a shame if these photos didn’t end up with family members or people who knew them.


Some of the people pictured:

Charles W. Cain (Rait), Jr. (b. May 10, 1932 in Glenwood Springs; d. November 9, 2020 and buried in Fruita’s Elmwood Cemetery)

Mary Wagner Cain (b. January 27, 1918; d. September 24, 1996)

Winnie Elizabeth Cain (b. August 20, 1899 in Fruita; d. March 15, 1976 and buried at Fruita’s Elmwood Cemetery)

Ethel Caroline Cain Scott
(b. October 8, 1903 in Fruita; d. August 18, 1993)

Jack Scott (b. August 24, 1911; d. July 25, 1996, buried in New York)

Squire Lane (b. January 1, 1831; d. September 12, 1912 and buried in Fruita’s Elmwood Cemetery)

Anne Elizabeth Hayne (b. August 19, 1834 in Niagara, NY; d. August 11, 1897, and buried in Fruita’s Elmwood Cemetery)

Caroline Benedict (b. November 14, 1832 in New Hudson, NY; d. 1857)

John Cain (b. 1834) 

Charles W. Cain, Sr. (b. August 8, 1855 in Marietta, Ohio; d. November 28, 1920 in Denver and buried in Fruita’s Elmwood Cemetery)

Eva Belle Lane (b. June 17, 1864; d. July 6, 1945 and buried in Fruita’s Elmwood Cemetery

Lee Lane Travis (d. 1969)

Walter Rait (buried in Grand Junction) and Olga B. Rait (d. April 15, 1950)

Daughters: Mrs. RBT Turner and Mrs. Jack Dull

Iris Reader (Bickel)


See more photos in the September issue