Biography - Israel A. Drake

Israel A. Drake, one of Tuscola's retired farmers, was born in Butler county, Ohio, January 27, 1834, and is a son of Nathan Drake, also a native of the same county. His mother was Sarah Gardner, a native of New Jersey. Nathan Drake emigrated from Ohio to Vigo county, Indiana, in about 1831, and in 1849 located in Coles (now Douglas) county, in Garrett township, where he took up about three hundred acres of land at a dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. He resided here for about twenty years, becoming wealthy, prominent and highly respected. He only recently returned to Vigo county, and died in Terre Haute, March 29, 1899, in the eighty-seventh year of his life. He was a member of the Baptist church, and the first Baptist meeting held in the county was held at his house. After the death of his first wife, by whom he had five children, he was married to Rhoda La Forgee.
Israel A. Drake remained on his father’s Butler county farm until the age of sixteen, since which time he has resided in what is now known as Tuscola, with the exception of twenty years in Decatur, Douglas county. While in Decatur he ran the Drake Hotel, which he owned. At present he owns one hundred and fifty acres of highly improved land in Garrett township and a beautiful home in Tuscola.
In 1854 he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Garrett, sister of Caleb and daughter of Isom Garrett. The latter was among the very first white settlers in the township which bears his name and he it was for whom it was name. A full and complete sketch and portrait of him will be found elsewhere. To Mr. and Mrs. Drake have been born three children: Jasper, who resides in Lincoln, and is a member of the Masonic and Knights of Pythias fraternities; William, who lives at Milwaukee, and Mrs. Minnie Drake Tyler, who is one of Tuscola's leading milliners. Mrs. Drake is a member of the Tuscola Presbyterian church. Mr. Drake is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and his son William is one of the highest and brightest Masons in the state of Wisconsin, and is also a Knight of Pythias.

Extracted 12 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, published in 1900, pages 147-148.

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