William Rausch was born in Cape Colony, South Africa in 1862. Eventually he made his way to Bulawayo where established himself as a photographer. His earliest photos date from 1895. He is one of four photographers listed in Matabeleland during this time: C. Hines, C. H. Newberry, J. Parkin, and W. Rausch.
The Rhodesia Scientific Association (1899) lists Rausch as having won a prize for his Rhodesian photographs.
He died of pneumonia at Memorial Hospital on 24 September, 1900. H A de Beers was appointed as executor and his estate was finalised 24 January 1901.