William Henry Drake was born in Ohio
on the 6th of April, 1847.

From: Judith Weeks Ancell
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000 11:37 AM

The Centennial History of Oregon 1811-1911, Biographical, Volume IV, Joseph Gaston. Illustrated:
page 842-843
WILLIAM HENRY DRAKE (IMAGE) Who is living retired in Silverton, is one of the largest taxpayers and most extensive property owners in this section of Marion county. He was born in Ohio on the 6th of April, 1847, and is a son of John M. and Elizabeth (Thompson) Drake, the father a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of Ohio. Both families are of English extraction, the paternal forefathers being direct descendants of Sir. Francis Drake. Mr. and Mrs. Drake were married in Ohio, in 1846, and to them were born the following children of whom our subject is the eldest: John t., of Markham, Oregon; Charles W., deceased; one who died in infancy; Emma J., the widow of Alexander Ross of Portland; Francis, who is also deceased; and Ellie J., the widow of Roscoe Langley. As he was only a child of five years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Oregon, practically the entire life of William Henry Drake has been passed in this state. The journey from Ohio to St. Joseph, Missouri, was made by water and from there the family crossed the plains with wagon and ox teams. They arrived in The Dalles too late in the autumn to cross the mountains, so they went down the river below the Cascades and finally reached Oregon City in the early winter. That first year they encountered all of the hardships and privations incident to pioneering, not only finding it difficult to provide feed and shelter for their stock, but having a desperately hard struggle at times to procure food for themselves. In the spring the father filed on a donation claim of three hundred and twenty acres in the southern part of Clackamas county, a portion of which is now the property of John T. Drake, a brother of our subject. William Henry Drake was reared to manhood and was given the rudiments of a common-school education. When he was seventeen he left home to become a wage earner and during the first year engaged at any work that came at hand. At the expiration of that period he apprenticed himself to the blacksmith's trade, following this occupation for twenty-five years. In 1890 he disposed of his, business and invested in a ranch, beginning with a tract of one hundred and twenty acres. later he increased his holdings by addition of another one hundred and sixty acres and he subsequently bought another tract of two hundred and forty acres. His home is located on a twelve-acre tract in Silverton, and all the remainder of his property adjoins this. For fifteen years he was successfully engaged in the cultivation of his land, but in 1905 he withdrew from agricultural pursuits and is now renting his property, with the exception of the twelve acres which comprise the homeplace.

For his wife and helpmate, Mr. Drake chose Miss Lavina H. Small, a native of Indiana and a daughter of Isaac and Esther Ann (Campbell) Small. The parents of Mrs. William H. Drake were natives of Ohio and were married in Indiana, where the father followed farming. In 1854 they came to Oregon, settling in Marion county, where Isaac Small continued in his former occupation until he removed to Silverton, where he engaged in Carpenter work in later years. Both parents passed away in Marion county. Of nine children born to them, seven are now living, namely: Ellwood, Mrs. Drake, Calvin, Sarah Woolford, Isaac, Ada Matthias and Hettie. William H. Drake has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1875, and his father likewise affiliated with this order, having been a charter member of Multnomah Lodge, No. 1, A. F. & A. M., of Oregon City. Mr. Drake is also identified with the Independent Order of Oddfellows. His political support is given to the republican party and he has always taken an active interest in municipal affairs. He assisted in incorporating the city and has the distinction of being a member of the first council. Progressive and enterprising in his ideas with high standards of citizenship, he has made many stanch friends here during the long period of his residence in Marion county, and is accorded the esteem and respect that is always paid to men of integrity and good principles."


"And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span? Matthew 6:27

Judith Weeks Ancell
1810 Edgecliff Terrace
Boise, ID 83702-2911