Pages 264-265, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JAMES W. DRAKE.—Among the substantial farmers of Iola township is James W. Drake, who was born near Louisville, Kentucky, January 26, 1831. His father, James Drake, was born in that state in 1781, while the red men still roamed the forest. In the early days he was more than once called to leave his work on the farm to defend himself or his friends against the attacks of these wild neighbors. He related many stories of engagements with the Indians, of the captures they made and of the rescues performed within the limits of the "dark and bloody ground." In 1832 he removed to southern Indiana, locating on Whitewater river, not far from Cincinnati, where he resided until 1834, when he removed to Kosciusko county, Indiana, still following his occupation of farming. There he died in 1845. He served his country as a volunteer soldier in the war of 1812. While in Kentucky he married Elizabeth Dickerson, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1787 and died in Indiana in 1842. Her father was John Dickerson, a native of Scotland who emigrated to the new world in the latter part of the eighteenth century. To Mr. and Mrs. Drake were born twelve children, eight of whom reached maturity, while three survive. Those who attained adult age were William, now deceased, whose family lives in Linn county, Kansas; Martha, deceased, wife of Isaac Masters, of Kosciusko, Indiana; Kelley, who died near Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Nathan, who died in Kosciusko, Indiana; Mrs. Jane Carter; Ira, who resides in Kosciusko, Indiana; James W., of Iola, Kansas; and Homer, who resides in Champaign counnty,[sic] Illinois.

Mr. Drake, of this review, accompanied his parents to Indiana, and remained with them until they died. In 1854 he went to Illinois, but returned to the Hoosier state, and in 1856 removed to Iowa where he resided two years. The year 1858 witnessed his arrival in Allen county, and he secured a claim in Iola township, upon which he has since lived. He has followed farming throughout his entire life, and is now numbered among Allen county's best known and prosperous pioneer agriculturists. At the time of the Civil war he put aside personal considerations, enlisting as a private of Company E, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, under command of Captain Henry Fletcher and Colonel Lynde. He participated in the battles of Prairie Grove, Johnstown, Stone Lane and Westport, besides numerous smaller engagements, and was honorably discharged in November, 1865, at Duvall's Bluff, having served for three years and three months.

When the country no longer needed his services, Mr. Drake gladly returned to his family. He had been married in 1861 to Miss Mary A.


McKenzie, who was born in Pennsylvania, and is a daughter of Joseph McKenzie, of Irish lineage. Mr. and Mrs. Drake have become the parents of seven children, namely: Elizabeth, wife of Frank Bliss; Minerva, wife of Nicholas Burton; Viola, wife of John Harris; Dora, wife of George Strawderman; Nora, wife of Fred Baker; Cora, who resides with her parents, and Frank, at home.

Since 1866 Mr. Drake has been a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in his life exemplifies its principles of mutual helpfulness and kindness. He supported the Republican party until 1867, since which time he has been an advocate of the Democracy. His attention has been closely given to its interests, though he has never sought public office, but he is as true to his duties of citizenship today as when he followed the stars and stripes on southern battle fields.

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