J L Drake - Maj
Thankyou: LaGrange County Biography Ref. Page
MAJ. J.L. Drake was born in Holmes County, Ohio, November 1, 1817; the son of David and Rachel (Sills) Drake, who were natives respectively of Maryland and Virginia, and the parents of eight children. David Drake was twice married, by his first wife having two children. He came from Maryland to Holmes County, Ohio, in 1814, and died there in 1846. His iwfe died in the fall of 1878. James L. Drake, when seventeen years of age learned the tailor's trade. This he discontinued at the end of three years, on account of ill-health, and, engaged in farming; also clerked for a time. In 1849, he and twelve other, including three brothers, went to California overland, being one hundred and five days on the trip. They remained fourteen months. For the first two months our subject mined with the rest, but soon established a trading business, and in three months cleared $8,000. Among other things he clerked in a wholesale store in Sacramento, receiving $500 and board per month. The winter of 1850 he started home via Panama, and on his arrival in New Orleans was taken down with the small-pox. After his recovery, he returned to his family, and purchased the old homestead in Holmes County, Ohio. Mr. Drake has been a Democrat, but after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise became a Republican. For this his neighbors made threats to lynch him. He assisted in raising the first three years' company in Ohio, Company H Twenty-third Regiment, of which he was elected Captain. He also had two brothers and two sons in the war. One brother, Levi, Lieutentant Colonel of the Forty-ninth Ohio Infantry, was killed at Stone River. The other, Commodore, was a Captain in the One Hundred and Ninety- second Regiment. One son, Levi N., was taken prisoner and starved to death in Andersonville. The other, Francis, was a non-commissioned officer in the Twenty-third Regiment, and is at present a hardware merchant of Rome City. Capt. J.L. Drake participated in all the engagements of his regiment until the battle of Antietam. Three of his regimental officers became distinguished in the history of the United States, viz.: Ex-President Hayes, Major; Stanley Mathews, Lieutentant Colonel; and William Rosecrans, Colonel. Capt. Drake was severly wounded by shell in the left arm and side, from the effects of which he was mustered out in October, 1862, and brevetted Major. He was elected Colonel of a Home Gurds regiment, and was appointed Provost Marshal of the Fourteenth Congressional District, in which capacity he served until the close of the war. He was married, August 7, 1839, to Susan Hayward, of Cattraugus County, N.Y. They have had twelve children - Francis M., David, Sarah, Ellen, Emily, Mary, Cora, James S., Newton, Fremont, Sherman and Jack. Four are dead, viz.: David, Sarah, Newton and Sherman. The mother died April 23, 1877. Mr. Darke, in October, 1879, married Mrs. Harriet A. (Triplett) Filson. He came to La Grange in September, 1866, where he has since been living retired.
Source: "1882 History LaGrange County, Indiana" by F.A.Battey & Co.., - Town of La Grange