Private Levi Drake

Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry

Private Levi N. Drake was a resident of Shelbyville, Minnesota when he enlisted at the age of twenty-nine. Unfortunately, he contracted the measles not long after the regiment transferred to Tennessee. He was discharged for disability on September 13, 1862 at Keokuk, Iowa.

The following biographical sketch is taken from an 1895 publication, Memorial Records of the Counties of Faribault, Martin, Watonwan and Jackson, Minnesota.

Levi Nelson Drake, a farmer of section 14, Tenhassen township, Martin County, is a son of Zephaniah and Phoebe (Middaugh) Drake. The father was born in Sullivan county, New York, a son of Daniel Drake, a native of the same place. The mother was born in Pike County, Pennsylvania, as was also her father, Levi Middaugh. The parents were married in Pond Eddy, New York, and they then resided on a farm in Pike County, Pennsylvania, until the father's death, in 1843. The mother departed this life in 1893. They were the parents of six children, three now living--Levi N., the subject of this sketch; William J., of Minnesota; and Maggie J. Buchannan, of New York.

Levi N. Drake was born in Pond Eddy, New York, August 15, 1832, and remained with his grandmother Drake until twenty-one years of age. In 1854 he removed to Waupaca County, Wisconsin, where he purchased and improved a claim. In 1858 he located in Blue Earth County, Minnesota, purchased fifty-five acres of land near Shelbyville, and followed agricultural pursuits there until 1866. In 1863 Mr. Drake began carrying United States mail from Garden City to Tenhassen, three years afterward carried the mail from Blue Earth City to Spirit Lake, Iowa, next from Tenhassen to Winnebago City, thence from Wells to Mankato, and in 1886 from Fairmont to Estherville, Iowa. During his Government service he experienced many hardships from storms and other trials. In 1863 Mr. Drake purchased his claim in Martin county, and he now owns 572 1/2 acres of well improved land.

November 1, 1861, Mr. Drake enlisted for service in the late war, entering Company I, Fifth Iowa Cavalry. He was sent to Fort Donelson, afterward became sick with measles at Fort Henry, was engaged in guarding telegraph lines at Camp Lowe, and then, on account of sickness, was sent to a hospital eight miles from Corinth, remaining there about four weeks. He received his discharge from Keokuk, Iowa. Mr. Drake is now a member of the G.A.R., Philip Kearny Post, No. 18, and has also held offices in the Masonic order. In his political relations, he acts with the Republican party. He has held the positions of Treasurer, Constable and Supervisor of Tenhassen township, and has been a member of the School Board in District No. 79. Mr. Drake was married January 1, 1889, to Sophia Basset, born in Canada, March 22, 1846, a daughter of Judge Thomas and Harriet (Lawrence) Nichols, natives of England. They came to America when young, were married in Canada, and during the war removed to Chicago, Illinois. They afterward went to Wisconsin, and in 1862 came to Minnesota, spending six months in Owatonna, and then located in Pleasant Prairie, Martin county. They now reside in Spokane, Washington. While in Martin county, Mr. Nichols served as Probate Judge. They had six children--Sophia, John, Thomas, Delia, Amy (deceased) and Hattie. Mrs. Drake is a member of the Seventh-Day Adventists.

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