Biography of Alonzo Drake; b. Jan 30, 1829; d. Dec. 28, 1896


Date: Monday, 2 November 1998 12:50

Hello. My name is Douglas Drake, my uncle found this biography of my
3rd great-grandfather Alonzo Drake (Alonzo was married to Anna VanWie)
in the Biographical Review of Cayuga County, 1894. I was hoping you can
add this document to your biographies section of the Drake's Reference
Library section.


    "Alonzo D. Drake, a worthy representitive of the industrial
interests of this county, is carrying on a flourishing businees as a
miller in the stirring little village of Montezuma, where he has been
located for more than a quarter of a century, being now one of the
oldest business men within its corporate limits. He comes of ancient and
distinguished antecedents, and traces his ancestry back to Sir Francis
Drake, the noted English navigator.
    Nathaniel Drake, the grandfather, was born in Sussex County, N.J, in
1761, and was there engaged in general farming a large portion of his
life, being numbered among the enterprising and progressive
agriculturists of his day. He was a man of strong individuality.
possessing great influence with his fellow townsmen. liberal in his
religious views, and a Whig in politics. The declining years of his life
were spent in Seneca County, at the home of his son Sparling, where he
died at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years.
    Sparling Drake, the father of Alonzo D., was born in Sussex County,
New Jersey, February 15, 1801, and in that place grew to manhood,
reeiving his early instruction in the public schools of the locality,
and under the parental roof being drilled in the lessons of industry and
thrift. On reaching manhood he migrated to New York, and settling in
Tompkins County*, became one of its pioneers, residing there six years.
    He susequently came westward, moving his family with a horse and
wagon to Seneca County, locating in the town of Tyre about 1833. He
there bought a tract of almost entirely wild land, although a few
improvements had been made, paying sixteen dollars per acre for
eighty-five acres. He had previously learned the trade of a weaver; and
at this he worked in connection with his farming for many years, and was
very successful in both branches of his business. He improved a good
farm,and became a leading businessman of the place, remaining there
until 1853, when he retired from agricultural labor. During that year he
removed to the village of Waterloo, and for three years was there
engaged in merchantile business.
    Abandoning that, he next came to Montezuma, and entered into the
milling business with his son Alonzo, continuing thus engaged several
years. His last years were passed in his old home in Waterloo, where his
death occured at the venerable age of ninety-one years. He was a
well-informed man, taking an intelligent interest in the leading
questions of his time, and was a Whig in politics anda strong
Abolisionist. Both he and his wife were members of the Church of the
Disciples**, and reared their children to the faith of that church. The
maiden name of the wife was Mary Snooke (sic). She was born in Sussex
County, New Jersey, in May, 1805. She bore him four children, two sons
and two daughters, as follows: Mathias S., a physician of repute,
resides on the old homestead in Tyre, managing the farm in addition to
his professional duties. Amy, who married Simon Babcock, lives in
Waterloo. Alonzo D. is our subject. Theresa, who is unmarried, resides
in Waterloo.
    Alonzo D. Drake is a native of the Empire State, having first seen
the light in Tompkins County, where his birth occured January 30, 1829.
He was but four years of age when his parents moved to Seneca County,
where he was bred and educated. He remained at home, assisting in the
development and improvement of the family homestead until he was
twenty-four years old, when he started for himself. Selecting
agriculture as his occupation, he bought seventy-five acres of alnd in
the town of Tyre, and was successfully engaged in tilling and
cultivating the soil for a number of years.
    Disposing of that property in 1867, Mr. Drake came to this county,
and locating in the village of Montezuma, purchased the mill, which he
has since operated with excellent pecuiary results. He has built  up a
good trade, having an extensive and lucrative patronage, and is
considered one of the most able and successful businessmen in the
vicinity. He is widely known, and is always spoken of in the highest
terms, either in business, political, or in social circles.
    In the management of local affairs he takes a conspicious part, and
has filled various offices with universal satisfaction. He was elected
Supervisor in 1876, an office which he held three consecutive  terms,
and to which he was again elected in 1891. He is now serving his seventh
year as Justice of the Peace. He has been the recipient of other honors,
having held the office of President of the village, and of Village
Trustee. In 1890 he was appointed Census Enumerator, and performed the
duties of the position with fidelity. Socially, he is a member of the
Montezuma Lodge, A. F. & A. M.*
    The union of Mr. Drake with Miss Anna Van Wie was solemized March 2,
1854. Mrs. Drake was a native of New York, born in Montgomery County,
January 20, 1832, a daughter of John S. and Anna (Paris) Van Wie, both
of whom are deceased. Her father was a farmer by occupation, and a man
of sterling integrity, everywhere esteemed for his honesty and
manliness.
    Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Drake there are four children living,
as follows: William A., an engineer, lives in Brooklyn, N. Y. Katie, the
wife of Robert J. Benham, a prosperous grocer, resides in Auburn. John
S., a miller by trade, is a resident of Montezuma. Fred R., the youngest
child, is engaged in a shoe factory in Auburn. Mrs. Drake, who was a
most amiable and estimable woman, universally beloved and respected,
passed to the higher life January 20, 1893, leaving a vacent place in
the home circle, where her memory will be ever revered and tenderly
cherished. She had a kind and loving heart, a sympathetic nature, and
was a consistent member of the Church of the Disciples**." -
Biographical Review of Cayuga County, 1894
*Masonic Lodge
**Disciples Church, Williams Street, Waterloo; organized 1853.
Raymond W. Drake II and Douglas Drake