Almond Henry Drake

(1890 - 1967)

 

WORKING DRAFT

Last Change: 9 April 2017

 

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Ancestors:

 

     John Drake I of Windsor, Connecticut

     John Drake II - Gen 2

     Enoch Drake - Gen 3

     Nathanial Drake - Gen 4

     Josiah Drake I - Gen 5

     Josiah Drake II - Gen 6

     Josiah Drake III - Gen 7

     Ziba Drake - Gen 8

     Almond Drake - Gen 9

     George Edgar Drake I - Gen 10

 

Drake, Almond Henry and Roxanna (Cool) - 1916 scan

Drake, Almond Henry 1956 Roxanna (Cool)  (4) #.jpg

 

Almond Henry Drake

Drake Generation 11 in America

 

Gay #1252 *

  

1.  Parents: George Edgar and Mary Arvilla (Briant) Drake

Drake Generation #10 in America

 

2.  Birth:  31 August 1890 at home on his parents’ farm between Evans Mills and LeRaysville in LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York.  The farm was split by what is now Route 26, the house being situated at a rise and bend in the road about 3.6 miles from Great Bend and 1.7 miles from its intersection with Route 11, just outside Evans Mills.  SSN: 085-14-3639.

 

Note 1: Almond’s birth certificate records his first name as Almon.  This, apparently, is how his paternal grandfather’s first name was spelled, and since his parents named both he and his older sister, Louisa, after their grandparents (first names from one side and middle names from the other), it would seem the correct spelling is Almon.  However, since he always spelled his name Almond and since all official records (for instance, see census information below) use that spelling, we will do the same here.

 

Note 2: The Cools, especially (per Anna (Drake) Burdick) the Montei family of Michigan (Roxanna’s sister, Sarah Ellen “Sadie” Cool married John D. Montei), pronounced Almond’s name: “Almont.”  This would help explain why Almond’s name was spelled Almont on the invitation sent out in 1915 by Lorenzo and Anna (Brown) Cool relative to the wedding of their daughter, Roxanna, and him.

 

Death:  Thursday, 13 July 1967 at 4:30 P.M., age 76, from complications of pneumonia at the House of the Good Samaritan Hospital, Watertown, New York.  He had been a patient there for approximately two weeks.  The pneumonia was the product of lying very still in bed for long periods to avoid the terrific pain of passing kidney stones.  The stones were a direct result of having an enlarged prostate gland (same condition that contributed to the death of his father) that restricted the flow of urine from the bladder.  Retained urine calcified, forming stones.  The stones had been crushed during surgery to correct the prostrate problem and passing them was extremely painful, so he laid very still in bed to minimize the pain.

 

Almond’s funeral was held Sunday, 16 July at Piddock Funeral Home in Adams, New York with Reverend J. David Wolcott officiating.  His remains were interred near family members in the Evans Mills, New York Cemetery, which is located about one half mile southwest of the center of Evans Mills on Gould Road, left side.

 

3.  Wife: Roxanna (NMI) Cool (photos) (more info)

 

a.  Born: 6 November 1899 on the Stinchfield farm, a 4-corners near Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township (a suburb of Pontiac to the southeast), Oakland County, Michigan, where her father was briefly employed.

 

Death: 4:20 P.M. at House of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Watertown, Jefferson County, New York on Monday, 30 November 1980, age 81, where she had been admitted Sunday of the previous week, 22 November.  Normally a very healthy and robust woman, she had been extremely ill for a couple of weeks, suffering from intense pain and bloating of the abdomen.  Her doctors were unable to diagnose the problem, and she finally collapsed in the kitchen of her home at 23 North Park Street, Adams, New York 13605.  Roxanna was rushed to the hospital by her daughter, Anna, and diagnosed as having a burst gall bladder.  It is possible that her fall caused an already inflamed gall bladder to rupture.  However, by that time Roxanna was extremely weak.  Hoping her condition would stabilize to increase her chances of survival, her doctor delayed surgery.  Finally, when it became obvious there was no other choice, surgery was performed, but it was too late.

 

Roxanna (Cool) Drake's funeral was on Wednesday, 1 December 1980 at Piddock Funeral Home, Adams, New York.  Reverend Roland Perkins, pastor of the Adams United Methodist Church, officiated.  Her remains were interred beside Almond in the Evans Mills, New York Cemetery.

 

Excerpt from and Order of Easter Star tribute to Roxanna:

 

“Over the years, our Fraternal chain has been broken by the loss of many members.  On November 30, 1980, another valued and much loved sister, Roxanna Drake, was summoned to her heavenly home….

“Sister Roxanna first joined the Eastern Star at Pisgah Chapter in 1917.  After changing her residence to Adams, she became affiliated in our Belleville Chapter No. 136 in 1944.

“Her services to our chapter were many and she very capably filled the following offices: the chair of Martha for seven years, in 1945, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1970, 1971, and 1972.  She was secretary for four years, from 1949 thru 1952.  Also, she was musician in 1956, Esther in 1957, warder for five years, 1958 thru 1962, Electa for 5 years, 1963 thru 1967.  Later, she became interested in being our Worthy Matron, so she was elected to be Associate Matron in 1975 and in the East as Worthy Matron in 1976.  Then she was trustee in 1977 and 1978.  She then, again, held the office of Electa in 1979 and also in 1980 until she was taken ill and was shortly called to her eternal home.

"Our chapter is very grateful for the membership of Sister Roxanna as she so faithfully served us with her heart and soul.  She was almost always in attendance at our meetings, and, as she mingled among us, it was a pleasure to greet her, to see her smiling face and hear her hearty laughter.  Her musical talents were always evident by her strong singing voice and her ability at the piano.  We shall all miss the presence of this sister, but we shall always remember Roxanna in our hearts and her service to our Chapter as “well done.”

 

b.  Parents: Lorenzo Dow and Anna Kinderdine (Brown) Cool

 

c.  Biographical notes:

 

Roxanna's parents were homesteading in a log cabin near Caro, Michigan when her two sisters and her brother were born.  Her father moved the family briefly to Pontiac, Michigan, where she was born, and then returned to Caro sometime around 1900.  Approximately 1912 the Cools returned to northern New York State, where they initially operated a farm at Ward’s Corners (initially the Thomas & Mary (?) Ward (d. 1821, age 44; interred Sheepfold Cem.) farm, then the J. Ward farm; and after the Cools left, it was the Buskirk farm), a short distance down the road (Route 26 today) toward Evans Mills from where the George E. Drake family resided.  That set the stage for Roxanna to meet Almond Henry Drake.  They were married on 1 January 1916 in the parlor of the Cool residence at Ward’s Corners (the farm established by original settler Thomas Ward) by Reverend B. F. Ceigler, pastor of the Philadelphia, Jefferson County, New York Methodist Church.  Stanley and Louise (Drake) Cool were attendants at their wedding.

 

When Roxanna and Almond moved into the Village of Adams in 1956, Roxanna went to work as a sewing machine operator at the woman’s under garment manufacturing plant (Rice’s (later called Crescent) Manufacturing) that was just down (toward Church St.) and across the street from their Park Street home.  From that job she would bring home empty, multi-colored, plastic thread spools that her grandchildren loved to play with when they came to visit.

 

A few years later Roxanna began to work as a housekeeper and babysitter for Ted Rice, a school teacher (and, perhaps Principal at some point) at the Adams school, who lived nearby on Church Street.  Ted’s wife, Mary Ruth (?) Rice, who had also been a school teacher and had a beautiful singing voice, became somewhat unfit (mentally) to raise the last two of her 4 children ((?) & Martha (b. abt 1961), the youngest), and Ted could not trust her to be alone with them.  Mary's condition appeared to be something akin to prolonged post partum depression, precipitated by having two 2 additional, unexpected, and unwanted children several years after her 1st two children were born.  Roxanna worked in that capacity for several years.

 

To commemorate their 50th wedding anniversary Almond and Roxanna held a reception at the Adams, New York Methodist Church on 26 December 1965, which was attended by approximately 150 people.  Fifty two relatives, including 21 grandchildren, had attended a dinner in their honor the night before.

 

d.  U.S. Census Records:

 

1900:  Roxanna was born in Michigan in May 1900.  Age 6 months and referred to as "Roxannie."  She lived with her parents and two older siblings in Caro, Michigan (Indian Fields Township, Tuscola County).

 

1910:  Roxanna Cool, age 10 and born in Michigan, was living with her parents on State Road in Almer Township, Tuscola County, Michigan.  She was in school.  Other members of the household, other than her parents, were her sister, Martha H., age 16, and Lorenzo Cool's brother-in-law, Oliver P. Kline, age 63, who was single and was born in Pennsylvania, as were his parents.

 

1920:  20 year old wife of Almond Drake.  Living on a dairy farm in the Town of LeRay.  She was born in Michigan.  Her parents were both born in New York State.  Roxanna and Almond had a daughter, Anna A., 11 months old.

 

1930:  30 year old wife of Almond H. Drake.  Married 1st at age 16.  Born Michigan, but her parents were born in New York State.

 

4.  Children*:

 

a.  Anna Arvilla Drake: Born 8 January 1919.

 

b.  Ekard Almond Drake: Born 13 February 1920.

 

c.  Louis Albert Drake: Born 5 May 1923.

 

d.  George Edgar Drake: Twin.  Born 24 October 1925.

 

e.  Lorenzo Dow Drake: Twin.  Born 24 October 1925.

 

f.  Agnes Noresta Drake: Born 1931.

 

g.  Charles Melvin Drake: Born 1939.

 

Drake, Almond Henry 1956 Roxanna (Cool) and family scan

 

* Per Anna (Drake) Burdick, her mother had at least one miscarriage prior to her birth; not named.

 

5.  Biographical notes:

 

Almond was named for his grandfathers, Almond Drake and Henry Briant.  Until age 25 he lived on the family farm (207.1 acres), referred to in the surrounding community as "Home Acres," helping his younger brother, Briant, and his father operate the dairy.  When he married Roxanna Cool on 1 January 1916 in the Town of LeRay, Almond relocated to an abandoned stone structure that had been the original Quaker Meeting facility (photos) in LeRay Township (built in 1816) located a few hundred feed from Ward's Corners (where early settler Thomas Ward built his home), down the Evans Mills-LeRaysville road (now Route 26) a short distance from his father's farm.  They had a small lean-to barn behind the house and kept some cattle of their own.  Their first two children (Anna and Ekard) were born at that residence.

 

In approximately 1922 Almond moved his family to Champion, New York, where he went to work as a farm laborer for Roland Freeman and his wife, Ruth.  However, they had been in Champion for only a year (son Louis was born there in 1923) when Almond's brother, Briant, was stricken with polio and was unable to continue running his father's farm.  Almond and Roxanna returned to Evans Mills/LeRaysville in September 1923 to help with the fall harvest, moving into the Henry "Hankie" E. Briant house, directly across the road from his father's house.  For the first year of residence in that house the front, downstairs bedroom was loaded with the previous occupants' furniture, making the area of no use to them.

 

This new residence included a relatively small (67.5 acre) farm (Tax ID 158; tract W1415; index 157), which included the Quaker Meeting facility they had lived in before moving to Champion (at that point used for grain storage).  It also had a small barn built on a hill behind the house so the back, under side was open.  Hay was stored in the barn’s second story.  There was an old Duchess apple tree in the front yard of the house; the geese they raised would fly up and roost in it at night, sounding a loud alert whenever anyone drove into their yard.  The entire time they lived there (about 18 years), all of their potable (drinking) water was carried in 8-quart milk buckets from the well across the road.  They had a rock-walled cistern under their house that supplied water for other uses.

 

For a number of years Almond (with the help of his father) operated the farms on both sides of the road.  Finally, Briant regained partial use of his arms and legs and was able to get around on crutches.  Briant continued to live across the road, and his children were like siblings to those of Almond and Roxanna.  During this period Briant bought a dairy farm of his own on the Slocumville Road, not far away, and he operated a Holstein dairy with the help of a hired man.  Of interest, George E. and his son, Almond, both favored Guernsey dairies (higher butter fat content, but less milk).

 

Almond, Briant, and George E. Drake worked all three farms together with just one set of farm machinery; it was a shared enterprise from beginning to end.  The cows, which were kept in the barn on Briant’s side of the road, were milked twice a day, morning and evening, and milk was transported to the milk products plant in Evans Mills each morning.  In the early years they hauled milk cans on a horse-drawn wagon (sled in winter).  At some point Briant acquired a truck they used to haul milk when the roads were passable.  In winter, horses were used.

 

After their oldest children had moved away from home in the late 1930s, Almond and Roxanna began to take in and help raise foster children; over time perhaps a total of 20 children.  The first two, Mary and Clara Gilbo, lived with the family in LeRay.  The rest lived with the family in the Belleville-Adams area.  Jefferson County would come into possession of children needing help/support for some reason and would approach willing families to provide foster care.  Most foster children were not adopted, but, rather, returned to their parents.  Almond’s brother and sister-in-law, Briant & Edna, were doing the same thing at their residence across the road in LeRay Township.

 

Their life near LeRaysville, and that of roughly 500 other families in the same area of LeRay and Wilna Townships, came to an end in 1941, just prior to the United States' entry into World War II, when the U.S. Government expropriated their farms to enlarge nearby Pine Camp for increased levels of military training.  Thus, Almond and Roxanna had to move again.  They bought the former Arthur Clark dairy farm on Ikey’s Road about 1.8 miles from its intersection with Grove Street, just outside the Village of Adams, Adams Township, Jefferson County (also referred to as the Taylor Settlement area and Ikey’s [railroad] Crossing area).  The actual move was made in late summer 1941 in time for their school age children to start a new school year in Adams.  They had delayed their move until their crops could be harvested and moved, bit-by-bit using a tractor and farm wagon, from Evans Mills to Adams.  Their son, Louis, drove the route from Evans Mills to Ikey’s Road so many times that summer that the tires on their brand new tractor were worn out when the move was complete.

 

A couple of years after arriving at Ikes Crossing, Almond got the opportunity to purchase 40 acres of farm land bordering Route 11, about one mile away and just south of Adams on what is referred to as the Allendale Flats.  The land was flat, easy to work, and very fertile, so he was able to pay off the $2,500 purchase price within about two years by growing peas for commercial processing.  Almond was so impressed with the productivity of the Allendale Flats land that in 1951 he bought the adjoining 180-acre farm of Herbert Holman on Allendale Road and sold his farm on Ikey’s Road.  Subsequent owner: James Aschmann, 15155 Ikey’s Road.

 

When Almond's son, Lorenzo, got married (25 Aug 1956) and moved his new family into the Allendale Road farm house, Almond and Roxanna moved into semi-retirement in the nearby Village of Adams.  They resided initially in an apartment above the Stokes family at 28 North Park Street.  About the time their son-in-law (Anna’s husband), Lew Burdick retired from full-time farming, Almond and Roxanna moved to the 1st floor of 19 North Park Street in Adams, and their daughter, Anna, and her family resided in the upstairs apartment.  For several years thereafter Almond continued to go to the farm daily and would stay busy doing light work - like operating a tractor.  He finally retired to leisure in 1961.  One of his favorite pastimes was fishing, and he did as much of it as he could.  It wasn't uncommon to see him sitting for an entire day in a small boat by himself, even if the fish weren't biting.

 

Following Almond’s death in July 1967, Roxanna went to work keeping house during the day for elderly neighbors Glorian Ivory and Glorian’s sister, Mrs. Bates, who resided two doors down at 23 North Park Street.  When Mrs. Bates died, Roxanna bought the house and resided there the remainder of her life.

 

Almond Henry and Roxanna (Cool) Drake were both members of the Adams Methodist Church, 50-year members of Union Grange #5 of Belleville, New York, and the Adams Parent Teachers Association.  Almond was also a 49-year member of the Rising Light Masonic Lodge #637 at Belleville, New York.  Roxanna was a member of Belleville Chapter 136 of the Order of Eastern Star.

 

According to her physician, Roxanna had at least one heart attack while living on Park Street in Adams.  However, it was not very severe and did not significantly impede her daily routine.  The physician prescribed rest.

 

Almond Henry Drake was diagnosed as being diabetic several years before his death.  He grudgingly controlled the situation via diet – limited salt and sugar.

 

Almond’s sister, Louisa Mehitable Drake, married Roxanna’s brother, Stanley Dow Cool.

 

While living near LeRaysville, Almond, Roxanna, and their children attended church three times almost every Sundays.  In the morning they would attend services at the United Methodist Church in the Village of Evans Mills, and Roxanna was a member of the church choir.  Their minister then held services in the afternoon at the Methodist Church between their house and the Village of LeRaysville.  That church was a wooden structure built in 1876 by a dissident portion of the Quaker congregation that established the original stone meeting house at Ward's corners (in which Almond and Roxanna started keeping house).  To support their minister and the LeRaysville congregation, which was considerably smaller than that of Evans Mills; Almond, Roxanna, and their children also attended those services, and, again, Roxanna sang in the choir.  In the evening they went back to Evans Mills for evening services.

 

6.   U.S. Census Records:

 

1900:  Almond H. was 8 years old.  Born in August 1891 in New York State.  Living with parents in LeRaysville, LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York and in school.

 

1905: Almond H. Drake, age 14, resided with parents on LeRaysville Road, LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York.

 

1910:  Almond H. was 19 years old.  Born in New York State.  Single, living with parents on the family farm in LeRaysville, New York.

 

1920:  Almond was 29 years old and head of dairy farm household on Slocumville Road in the Town of LeRay.  He and his parents were born in New York State. The farm was rented.  The household also included his wife, Roxanna (age 20, b. MI, parents b. N.Y.S.); and daughter, Anna A. (age 11 months).

 

1930:  Almond H. was 39 years old and born in New York State, as were his parents.  He was married 1st at age 25.  Employed as a general farmer in LeRay Township; rented his residence.  Other members of his household included his wife, Roxanna C. (age 30, b. MI, m. 1st age 16); daughter, Anna A. (age 11); son, Ekard (age 10); son, Louis A. (age 6); son, George E. (age 4); and son, Lorenzo D. (age 4).

 

1940:  Almond Drake, age 49 (b. NYS) and employed as a farmer on the Leraysville to Evans Mills Road, LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York.  He had completed 8th grade.  The household also included his wife, Roxanna Drake, age 40 (b. MI), who had 1 year of high school; son, Louis Drake, age 17 (b. NYS) and single, who had completed 3 years of high school; son, George Drake, age 14 (b. NYS), who had completed 7th grade; son, Lorenzo Drake, age 14 (b. NYS), who had completed 1 year of high school; daughter, Agnes Drake, age 8 (b. NYS), who had completed 4th grade; son, Charles Drake, age 3 months (b. NYS), and the following lodgers (foster children): Mary Gilbo, age 5 (NYS), who had completed 1st grade; and Clara Gilbo, age 4 (b. NYS).

 

 

*  Note:  References throughout are to the numbers assigned to people by Alice M. Gay in The Descendants of John Drake of Windsor Connecticut, published in 1933.

 

 

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