|Posted on Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 4:02 pm: |
Commemorative Biographical Record of Northeastern Pennsylvania including the counties of Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike and Monroe (Chicago, Illinois, J. H. Beers & Company, 1900), 590.
Levi Drake is one of the leading men of Stroudsburg, Monroe county, and no work which aims to present an account of the chief actors in the various activities of that thriving little city would be complete without the mention of his name.
The Drake family originated in England, but as no definite records are known to exist the information concerning early generations depends upon tradition only. Levi Drake, the grandfather of our subject, was born probably in the United States, and for many years he was a farmer in Smithfield township, Northampton (now Monroe) county. He married Elnor Van Camp, and left a family of eleven children. Of the seven sons, Daniel died at the age of eighty-seven; Joseph W.; at eighty-three; Wayne, at sixty-five; John at sixty-six; Silas at seventy-six; Alfred, at eighty-three; and James is now (1899) aged seventy-eight years. There were four daughters: Mary, Mrs. John. Lazereds; Sarah, Mrs. Melchoir Dreher; Jane, Mrs. Ephriam Locard; and Hannah, who married and died in early womanhood.
Joseph W. Drake, the father of our subject, was born August 24, 1794, in what is now Smithfield township, Monroe county, and grew to manhood amid the surroundings of pioneer life. His meager education was acquired mainly by private study, but his innate ability was seen in his successful business career, in which he accumulated a handsome competence. In his youth he learned the millwright’s trade, which he followed for fifteen years, and later he became interested in farming in Stroud township, Monroe county, where his death occurred in March, 1877. He was an excellent citizen, and was active in religious work as a member of the Baptist Church. Physically he was hardy and robust, weighting about 160 pounds, and he and his wife, who was of medium size, were both blondes. He was married in 1824 to Miss Mary Labar, generally know as “Pollie,” who was born August 6, 1806, in Northampton county, and died January 24, 1886. They had three children: Amos, born July 17, 1828, who died at age fifty-seven; Levi, our subject; and Louis, who resides in Stroud township, Monroe county, on the old homestead.
Levi Drake was born October 14, 1833, in Stroud township, Monroe county, and was educated in the county schools of the day. His opportunities were limited, but he made the most of them, and by his own ingenuity and industry developed a keen and accurate insight into business methods. For a number of years he was engaged in farming and general business operations, but in 1885, he retired and took up his residence in Stroudsburg, owning, besides his home there, a fine farm. His time is now occupied chiefly with the management of his investments and the loaning of money, and while his manner is quiet and unostentatious, any good judge of character will recognize in him the qualities of the typical financier; he has been a director in the Stroudsburg National Band for ten years. In politics he is a Republican, and he and his family are identified with the Presbyterian Church, of which he is a leading member. During the Civil war Mr. Drake was drafted, but being unable to leave his business he sent a substitution.
O September 10, 1859, Mr. Drake married Miss Catherine Weiss, a native of Smithfield, Monroe county, whose valuable counsel and assistance were potent factors in his success, as he proudly acknowledges she assisted him nobly in accumulating the competence which he now enjoys. Mrs. Drake passed away December 2, 1898, deeply mourned by her many friends. She, too, was a member of and an active worker in the Presbyterian Church. Their only son, Stewart, born August 6, 180, is a farmer in Stroud township, Monroe township, Monroe county. He married Miss Alice Swartwood, daughter, daughter of Philip Swartwood, of the same township, and they have two children—Jennie C. and Garfield. The former who now resides with her grandfather, has received an excellent education in the public schools and the State Normal School at Stroudsburg.
The Weiss family is of French origin, and Mrs. Drake’s paternal grandfather, John Weiss, came from France to settle in Northampton county. Her father, the late Reuben Weiss, was born in 1807, at Bethel, and died in 1896. He married Miss Susan Myers, daughter of John Myers, a mason by trade, who died in Monroe county, and ten children were born of this union: Mary, who married (first) Robert emnt, and (second) Frank Bush, of Neward, N. J.; Catherine, Mrs. Drake; John, a resident of Northampton county; William, who resides in Portland, Northampton county,; Louisa, who died at the age o eleven; Enos, who died in childhood; Elizabeth, wife of S. Purdy; Jacob, a resident of Philadelphia; Louis, who redies in Scranton; and; Ida, wife of H. Edinger.