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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 12:18 pm:   

Biography of William A. Drake This biography is from "Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium of biography, containing a compendium of local biography, including biographical sketches of prominent old settlers and representative citizens of South Dakota..." Published by G. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1898. Page 322. Scan and OCR by Joy Fisher, 1997. This file may be copied for non-profit purposes. All other rights reserved. HON. WILLIAM A. DRAKE, an ex-member of the legislature, and a prominent farmer of Lake county, resides on section 1, Badus township. Mr. Drake was born in St. Joseph county, Michigan, January 26, 1846. His father, Robert Drake, a native of Ohio, made his home for many years in St. Joseph county, and died there in 1872. Mrs. Drake, our subject's mother, was born in Pennsylvania. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Ennis. She now resides in Falls City, Nebraska, with one of her daughters. William attended the public schools of St. Joseph county and worked upon his father's farm until the 14th of January, 1863, when he enlisted in the Eleventh Michigan Volunteer Infantry and went to the war. Among the great battles in which he participated were those of Chattanooga and Atlanta. After the latter engagement his regiment went into quarters. The principal duties there were the guarding of prisoners and the supplying of commissary trains. Mr. Drake received his discharge from the army at Nashville on the 16th of September, 1 865. He then returned to St. Joseph county and settled in the town of Three Rivers, where he learned the carriage and wagon making trade. In 1 868 Mr. Drake removed to Mitchell county, Iowa, living for the first two years upon a rented farm. He then purchased eighty acres of land, which he cultivated about seven years. Decatur county, Kansas, subsequently became his home, and then, in 1882, Brookings county, Dakota. He took up a quarter section of land there under the preemption act, and remained, improving his property, until 1887, when he sold out and went to Lake county, settling immediately upon his present farm, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres. He has very successfully brought the entire quarter section under cultivation, and has from time to time put up good, substantial improvements, until his farm presents a very systematic and prosperous appearance. Mr. Drake is a Populist in politics, and in 1895 was elected to represent his district in the fifth assembly of the state legislature. He has been for years an enthusiastic worker in his party, and has held numerous local offices, such as that of township treasurer, clerk and school director. On the 29th of November, 1869, Mr. Drake and Miss Josephine Lewis were married. Mrs. Drake is a daughter of Nelson and Elizabeth (Vance) Lewis, and was born in Mitchell county, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Drake are the parents of two children, a daughter, Ina, who is now engaged in teaching, and a son Milo. Both reside at home.

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